Friday, January 18, 2008

Back From Hong Kong

We returned from our whirlwind trip to Hong Kong late Tuesday night. It was fun – as much fun as a trip with three small kids can be, anyway.

We arrived late Friday and walked through Hong Kong Park to the central district, where we grabbed dinner and some really yummy ice cream. The kids actually made it the whole way with a minimal amount of whining, despite the late hour. On Saturday, we loaded them into the metro for the trip the Disneyland. As usual, everywhere we went, people wanted to talk to Aidan and take his picture. He just smiled and hid his head. I don’t know why he’s such a magnet around these parts – the smile? The curly hair?

The kids loved Disneyland, though Kyra was too small for many rides, I was too pregnant, and Aidan was too scared. During the riverboat cruise, you sail past animatronic hippos, zebras, crocodiles and the like. It’s supposed to be fun when the elephants splash you and your boat bumps down the rapids, but I couldn’t convince Aidan that it was all pretend. At one point, the boat got “trapped” near a waterfall and something burst into flames. Everyone on the boat laughed and clapped and smiled – except Aidan and Kyra, who both started wailing. When the ride ended, I led a tearful Aidan off the boat, still trying to convince him that it was all pretend. “But mama,” he sobbed, “that fire was real!”

After that, he pretty much refused to go on most of the rides, but he still seemed to have a good time. He and Kyra especially loved the water park area, with water cannons and bubble pools and the like, which of course made Bart crazy, because “you can see water in most any park.”

At any rate, it was all good, except lunch: nothing on offer for vegetarians, and not a chicken nugget in sight. Our little ones subsisted on soda and French fries, but I consoled myself with the thought that one day of such fare wouldn’t likely kill them.

Next day we took a ferry boat ride – big hit with the kids - and then wandered into the vendor stalls in the wanchai district. I love that little section of town. It looks just how I imagined Beijing should look, before we moved here: narrow streets lined with flashing neon signs and teeming with people; vendors selling live chickens, dried fish, exotic fruits, ladies underwear... The kids were thrilled to find a cheap little toy store, and they both bought cars for souvenirs. Kyra just pointed at the dolls and said “Monkey! Monkey!” over and over. Still, we couldn’t get them to eat much more than the chicken nuggets, fries and soda we found at a nearby McDonalds.

The next day was Monday, and Bart had to report for work, so I was left alone with three kids in a hilly town. Not a stroller-friendly situation. But we made the most of it, visiting the aviary and the playground in Hong Kong Park, riding a trolley bus, and watching cartoons back at the hotel. Ditto for Tuesday.

We flew out on Tuesday evening. By now Aidan was cranky from lack of sleep and overindulgence in soda. Kyra had developed a cough. Shay, on the other hand, was the picture of health and kept begging to move to Hong Kong. When asked why, he answered, “I just like it… and I can wear a t-shirt in the middle of winter.”

We flew home, and Aidan finally slept on the plane. Kyra, of course, did not, which was especially irritating as Aidan was sharing space with Bart, while Kyra was on my side of the plane. I get all the luck. No matter, though. When it was time to deplane, Bart carried sleepy head Aidan onto the bus that was to take us to the terminal. The bus was absolutely packed to the gills with Beijingers – no room even to move an elbow – when Aidan propped himself up and vomited up a weekend’s worth of sprite, all over Bart, all over the carry-on luggage, all over the neighboring passengers. If you ever need to clear more space in a crowded place, I think we’ve found a way. Bart had a four-foot radius of elbow room around him in every direction, though I never could figure out where all those people disappeared to while the bus was still moving.

So Bart had to carry a now-stinking Aidan through the airport, past customs and immigration and baggage and all the other stops until we found the car and got ourselves home.

Aidan was sick all day Wednesday but is fine now. Kyra is still coughing up a lung, poor thing.

All in all, it was a worthwhile trip. But I have to admit, my month alone in Hong Kong was a bit more peaceful. And not so heavy on the fries.


Bess said... [Reply]

That little Gorman girl is adorable!

isa said... [Reply]

How I missed you, Bart and Shameous

isa said... [Reply]

Aidan and Kyra are miracles of art.
Kisses isa

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