Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our Third Anniversary-The Peak in Hong Kong

June 30, 2010
Cafe Deco at The Peak

What an amazing night we had! Calvin had a date planned for our anniversary and had been telling me about it for the last week and a half! Well, when I say telling me about it, he had told me that he had planned a date, but wouldn't tell me what we were going to do.

On Wednesday, our anniversary, Calvin had to attend a seminar in the afternoon after his classes, so we couldn't do everything that we had planned. We were going to take a trip to the Hong Kong temple, but that will have to be a trip for another day. When Calvin got done with his seminar, we headed out! I curled my hair (Calvin has been saying he wanted me to wear my hair that way for a only lasted about 20 minutes, haha, the humidity doesn't really do my hair any favors) and we got a little dressed up and then rode the bus down to Central.

From there, we walked a little way up a hill and bought tickets for the Peak Tram (click there if you want to see the website). It was really neat! We rode this tram up the mountain and it was really steep!! Once we got to the top, this was the view:

Here we are waiting to get on the tram. There were a lot of people there! It is a very popular attraction.

I don't know if you can tell, but this is one point when the tram was going up part of the mountain that was so steep! Maybe you can get a little bit of an idea from this picture.

Here we are! We made it to the top! There were these decks where you could go out and look over the city. It was so pretty and felt really nice because it was cooler up there!

After we looked out over the city, we walked away from the tourist-type attractions and shops, and took this little path that went along the other side of the mountain. If you didn't know it was there, you would totally miss out on another amazing view! That side of the mountain feels so much different, because when you look out, you mostly see just the ocean, still some buildings, but not many. Calvin took me down there to show me this place in the rock where a general authority carved in the date when Hong Kong was opened for missionary work. When Calvin was on his mission, they brought the missionaries here when they came to Hong Kong and when they left Hong Kong. It was getting dark, so it took us a little while to find the spot, and Calvin kept asking me what time it was.

Here is Calvin next to the date.

We also got to see this really pretty waterfall. It was hard to get a good picture because it was getting dark.

Happy Anniversary! Three years!

We then started heading back toward the peak tram and shopping area. Calvin was asking me where I wanted to go to dinner, and I was like, I thought you had this planned? He was telling me, well, I thought we'd take a bus back down and then find a place to eat. He said, let's get some ice cream cones from McDonalds over here (they have them all over the place!) and then we'll go find a place to have dinner. I said, let's try to find a place up here to eat (there were some restaurants) and he said, well, they'll be pretty expensive up here. I agreed, so we went to find McDonalds. Well we walk into this mall type place and are heading up to McDonalds, and Calvin turns and walks into this really nice restaurant. He had made reservations there 2 weeks before! (Then I realized why he kept asking me what time it was) It was really neat. It had these huge windows looking out over the city. Calvin had made the reservations to make sure we had a table by the window. It was amazing. The pictures really can't even capture it.

We had some really good fruit drinks, Camden had chicken nuggets and french fries, Calvin had some pasta and I had a pizza (can you tell we were craving some food from home!?). It was all very good. Calvin really surprised me and we had a great time. I did take some video and I will try to get that loaded, it doesn't seem to be working right now. It was a great night; thank you Calvin for a great night and an amazing 3 years!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Hong Kong!

We are here, together again in Hong Kong. I know I haven't been keeping up with the blog, Calvin took the camera and I just felt so busy and didn't know what to write about! After Nevada, Calvin flew to the Dominican Republic for his WTO competition and Camden and I flew to SLC to stay with my family. At the end of Calvin's week in the DR, we made arrangments for him to leave early and for me to fly to meet him in New York City to spend a day together. It was a good trip and fun to get away together, even if it was for a short time! We explored China Town just to get ready for our trip :)

It was hard to say goodbye! We parted at the airport and Calvin flew to Beijing and I flew back to Utah.

Calvin worked in Beijing for three and a half weeks with a Chinese law firm. He took some pictures, but I might need him to write a post about those! Camden and I had so much fun with my family. He loved to feed the animals, play outside, and do anything involved with water.

So, at the end of Calvin's internship, he flew from Beijing, to Shenzen, which is inside China but close to Hong Kong. He travelled from there to Hong Kong, which saved about $200 rather than flying right to Hong Kong. He got checked into our room, bought guide books, cell phones, exchanged money, bought us octopus cards (the most convenient cards which you put money on and use for all types of transportation-buses, subway, trolleys, etc.) and just got everything ready for our arrival the next morning.

Camden and I were supposed to fly from SLC to SFO, then on to HKG. We got the airport pretty early, worked things out with the ticketing counter to get our bags checked all the way to HKG and get a boarding pass for our next flight, boarded the plane, and then, after pulling back from the gate, they told us that our flight had been delayed because of fog and backups in SFO. Well, long story short, I had a very nervous few hours, we were delayed 2 hours, circled SFO for about 20 minutes before landing, got off the plane very first, RAN from where we got off to the international terminal, convinced the security people that I was just a mom with a kid who was going to miss her important flight to Hong Kong and not a crazy person, threw away all my water bottles, and made it to our gate at about 12:50 am for our flight that was supposed to leave at 1:05 am. When we got to our seats, I was just so grateful that we had made it.

Our airline was really nice, Singapore Air. So nice in fact, that I had cheescake with my dinner! They fed us great food, gave Camden the children's meal, and were just really nice. It was a very long flight, and not fun, but I was really grateful we got such a nice airline!

When we got to Hong Kong, we went through immigration, filled out these little forms and showed them our passports, then went to the baggage claim and luckily our bags had made it too! We then walked through customs and there was Calvin waiting for us! I was so happy to see him there! We had gotten in an hour early and so I was really happy he was there. He helped us get on a bus and we rode to the city, got off and took a little taxi up to where we were staying, and got to our room. It was 6:30 am Hong Kong time, 14 hours ahead of our time. We napped for a while, then later headed out on a bus and down to Central for some lunch. I was still pretty cranky and Camden was too, and we ordered really spicy food (we ordered medium but it was burning hot!), let's just say, it was a rough afternoon (sorry Calvin!).

We came back and took another nap, then later that night, went out and rode the Star Ferry! The Star Ferry is really neat . It is one of Calvin's favorite things in Hong Kong. You just have to pay $3 HK, which is less than 50 cents.

Camden really enjoyed riding on the boat and looking out at the water and the buildings!

Now that I look at this picture, it must have been from a different night that we went out and took the ferry, but it was just as fun! This is once you get to the other side looking back at Hong Kong Island.

Beautiful Hong Kong Island at night! It had been raining during the day and then cleared up at night.

It was a great first day in Hong Kong! We also walked over to Kowloon Park and got some ice cream, rode several buses, bought two umbrellas and lost one (I left it on the bus, oops!) and got some dinner at a little restaurant. It was so fun to hear Calvin speaking Chinese and showing us all the places he has been!

The first few nights were pretty rough getting adjusted to the time difference and everything, but I think we are finally there. We get to eat breakfast and lunch here at the place we are staying. On Monday night, we went to a nice dinner here with everyone participating in the summer program here. There are students from Duke, students from Hong Kong University, and also students from other countries who are going to come to Duke for a year to get an international degree.

We are going to have a good time here! I will continue to keep updating the blog!