Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Final Chapter: Last two day in HK, then home
By this point in the trip we were getting tired. Really tired. At some point during the HK portion of the trip, each of us got a bit snippy. The heat, the smells, the heat, the constant moving, the heat, the food, the heat (have I mentioned it was hot??) was starting to get to us. It was enjoyable but it was work.
HK is an absolutely fantastic place. There is so much to see and do there and its a great city for wandering. But, that's not something that can be done when its so hot and humid you feel like you're melting. We decided to do what seemed like the easiest thing: buy a 2 day ticket for the Hop On, Hop Off bus (HOHO). In some ways it was easy because we didn't have to figure out how to get from place to place. The drawback was having to sometimes wait for the bus.

Anyway, our first stop was a ride on the harbor ferry. I'm pretty sure its a HK requirement :-) Then we boarded the HOHO and made our way around to the various tourist spots. We went to world famous Victoria Peak; the highest point in Hong Kong which, even with cloud cover, provided gorgeous views. We made a quick beach stop and dipped our toes so we can say we've "swam" in the South China Sea ;-) We wandered around Stanley Market and made some final souvenir purchases stopping along the way for lunch to eat the biggest slices of pizza I've ever seen! We even did a short sampan boat ride in Aberdeen Harbour where the junk boats are.

Over the course of the two days we were able to use the super clean and amazingly easy to navigate subway "the MTR". For food we ate at Pizza Hut and at the huge food court (the Food Revolution) at the mall near the train station. Now, before you roll your eyes and/or laugh, the food court was completely awesome! There were like 20 food places and they all represented different types of Asian food. There was pho, Thai, some kind of Japanese beef place, Korean BBQ, there was even a teppanyaki place. The food was really good and it was so cool... and I do mean that... the a/c worked great which was a huge bonus. Our final dinner was at the take out buy-by-the-piece sushi place outside the train station. You grabbed a little plastic container and filled it with whatever individually wrapped pieces of sushi you wanted. It was fun! You could look through the glass and watch them being made and then carried out about a minute later. It was an extremely popular place. Each piece was $3 (but Hong Kong dollars, not US dollars, so only like 40 cents!) Georgie loved it.

Our final day on Chinese soil was the worst: travel day. Ugh. This required us to fly from Hong Kong back to Beijing (where we sat in the plane on the tarmac for 1.5 hrs before take off for no apparent reason at all), go through some kind of customs/immigration thing in BJ, go through security again, a 3 hr layover (it was only supposed to be 2 but there was, surprise! a delay). We finally got on the plane (after being forced to toss our just bought in the airport water and sodas for no explained reason) and then guess what? there was yet another delay as we sat on the plane for another hour or two in line for take off. At that point it was easy... just another 12.5 hr plane ride to go. LOL! At LAX we went through customs/immigration again, located our driver, and then drove 2 hrs in bumper to bumper pre July 4th traffic all. the. way. home. 26 hrs of travel, 17 hrs of it sitting on the plane... we were toast.

And then, just like that, it was completely over. It was a fantastic, exciting, and thoroughly exhausting trip! Ta-duh!

Hong Kong Harbour

Bobby's "I'm king of the world" moment lol!

The Victoria Peak tram. It goes straight up to the top at a very steep angle then travels backwards on the return trip.

This is Georgie's response when I told her that the next day in HK would be our last trip day

The view from the Peak

Our visit to the South China Sea. The water was warm but the sand was so coarse it hurt!

Georgie saw this pizza thing and announced that we "had to eat there!" We ended up eating a lot more pizza on this trip than I thought we would.

seriously, look at the size of that slice!

chilling on the bus.. poor thing, she looks so tired..

we rode in a "sampan" through the area with the old junks. Many years ago lots of families lived on them. I've heard that some people lived their whole lives without ever touching land. Not sure if its true but I think its interesting to see the boats with the new buildings in the background.

I've now been to HK twice and haven't eaten at the Floating Restaurant. Its a tourist trap but I want to go next time.

Enjoying one of her food court meals

OK this thing was delicious! It was some kind of shaved ice thing with cream and strawberries... OMG, delish!

The BJ airport had all these fun little things

more airport pix. Koi pond, neat Chinese style architecture

In line for take off...
HK Disneyland!!
Not too surprisingly, HK Disney was the thing that Georgie was most looking forward to doing on the trip. What can I say? My girl loves Disney :-)

I'd heard it was small; it is. I'd heard its not as good as the other Disney parks; it isn't. But it definitely has its charms. The biggest con was the weather. Like every day in HK it was just incredibly hot and humid. Florida is hot and humid too, not quite as bad as HK, but its bad. The difference is,... WDW seems to be designed with the heat and humidity in mind. The restaurants and many of the ride lines are inside and air conditioned, there's lots of places to get out of the sun. HK is completely different. There is almost no shade. There are only two eateries with inside seating in the whole park. There are fans that blow above most of the ride lines but they all seemed to be pointed at the sky with no perceptible breeze on the people. Ugh. I looked over at Bobby a few times and it wasn't that he was just sweating... there were literally streams of sweat pouring down his face. It was HOT!

Having said that, we still managed to have a great time! The ride lines were short. The posted wait times would say 55 mins but then we'd only wait 10. It was weird.

Most of the rides are Disney standards: Jungle Cruise, Small World, Pooh, etc. The stand out is definitely Mystic Manor. Awesome, awesome attraction.. we rode it three times! We got there at opening and closed the place down. Wonderful day even with the heat.

This was the best Tink EVER! She was so funny

Toy Story Land was really cute but they should have named it "No Shade Land". So freaking hot.

Mystic Manor. Kind of like Haunted Mansion except not scary. Very cool!

The Small World was good, better than WDW, but not as good as California.

I think by this point in the day we were delirious from the heat.

Georgie made me take this picture like 5 times until I got both the house and the moon to her liking. She had a vision. LOL!