Sunday, October 3, 2010

Starting to see the sights...

I'll begin where I last left off - Thursday I went to lunch with a few moms from the baby group I've joined with Will. We had a nice lunch at the salad bar at the Marriott in Pacific Place. Pacific Place is a very posh mall in Admiralty, near Central. I took the shuttle from the apartment by myself with Will - with his stroller even - and managed to get there with time to spare to check out the mall. Lunch was nice - good food and nice to meet a few people.

Thursday afternoon we joined Lee and her boys at the American Club. The place is pretty nice. They have great facilities for kids' classes, a nice gym, a nice outdoor pool, and a huge indoor play area. Leah had a blast playing at the Eagle's Nest (the play area) with Caden. There is lots of obstacle course type equipment, a ball pit, an art area, a play kitchen...we didn't even get to explore the whole thing in the hour or so we were there. We'll definitely be going back...and probably joining.

Friday was a holiday in Hong Kong - National Day. Apparently there were fireworks at night - but we didn't make it out for that - it was past our bedtime. Although on a very positive note, Will seems to have finally adjusted to the time change. Both kids are still suffering from a sleep deficit, but we're getting closer to normal. Friday we decided to take the Star Ferry to Kowloon. We took the shuttle from the building to Central, which let us off pretty close to the ferry terminal. The ferry was a quick but fun ride with great views of Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. We explored Kowloon - walking along the streets filled with shops ranging from high end to junk. We went to the park there, including a nice playground that Leah loved. And we ate at a Pakistani restaurant that Shafi had read about. Unfortunately the restaurant was not so good - but it was still a nice outing overall. And after getting back home and taking a nap, we spent an hour or so playing at the pool.

Saturday we decided to do another tourist day - we took The Peak Tram up the peak, went to the Peak Terrace, walked around, had lunch, and took the tram back down. It was a nice outing with great views and good food. And once again we spent some time at the pool after napping.

Today we decided it was time for a beach adventure. We'd been told that Big Wave Beach in Shek O is the best beach on the island. It is fairly far - all the way on the Eastern side of the island and a bit north. But taxis are so reasonable here that the approximately 30 minute drive was only about US$15 each way. We bought some beach towels and straw beach mats, rented an umbrella, got Leah some swimmies (inflatable arm bands) and sand toys, and picked a nice spot in the smooth sand. Unfortunately the water was very rough today - according to others it was the roughest they had seen it - the red flags were up and they were recommending no swimming. We did wade in to about our knees, though. Leah was a bit timid in the water but still had a good time splashing a little and then playing in the sand. We ran into a family who we had been introduced to at the American Club. They were very nice and encouraged Leah to play with their 3.5 year old daughter Nina. We also had a nice lunch at the beach - burgers and hot dogs and fruit smoothies. It was a bit hot for Will - we stripped him to his diaper and wrapped him in a very light muslin blanket to keep the sun off. He did manage to nap a bit, but overall we'd probably be better off hitting the beach without him next time.

Will sleeping on the beach:
Leah and Shafi on the beach:
Leah with Elissa and Will (under the nursing cover) at the Peak Terrace:
View from the peak:
Shafi playing with the kids Saturday morning at home:
View from the Star Ferry:
View of the Star Ferry:
Leah playing with her new friend Caden at the American Club's Eagle's Nest (indoor play area):

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