Tuesday, July 23, 2013

hong kong

This special trip definitely deserves a blog post. My studio partner is living in Hong Kong for a few years and I snatched up the opportunity to visit her. It was such an amazing time. The weather was gorgeous in January when we were in the depths of what would prove to be our longest/harshest winter yet. But let me back up - first I spent a weekend in Denver with a friend doing what girls do - eating, shopping, going to the theater, getting massages and pedicures, and eating...then I had a nice, long layover in Seattle where I was able to enjoy lunch and coffee with another dear friend. THEN I headed to Hong Kong. It is a 24 hour trip one way, but it was so worth it for the experience.

The first day we took the famous Star Ferry to Kowloon, once we were there, we took a hop on/hop off bus tour of Kowloon and ended up in Stanley, which is very Western - we saw very few Asians and those we did see, spoke English as their first language. It's a true melting pot.

The size and number of skyscrapers is unfathomable. I have never seen anything even close to it. The haze is also awful and apparently this was a very clear day.

15,000 square foot Apple store



We went up to Kowloon Peak and had this gorgeous view of Kowloon in the foreground and Hong Kong Island in the background.


This was in Stanley in the evening


Heidi's husband's company provided them with an amazing house. The guest room is on the top floor with huge windows that open to this view. Nicest guest room I've ever occupied.

I was there over a weekend, so I joined the family in the town, had some dim sum and went on a boat ride out to a beach, accessible only by boat. There is fresh seafood everywhere for sale.





Here is Heidi's beautiful family out at the beach. Who knew I would visit Hong Kong and spend a day at the beach?
Heidi's husband negotiated with this boat owner for a ride out to the beach. I think it cost about $30 and he sat out in the water for two hours, waiting for us to play and then we got back on the boat. Hard to imagine him making any profit this way. His boat was a mess of junk and it appeared he lived on it. It had a "toilet" on it, which is mostly just a hole with a door for privacy.



 The fishermen bring their fish to this pier and people tell them what they want, they agree on a price and then put their cash in the net, which the fisherman replaces with fish. Effective, if not sanitary.




The markets are everywhere. I have regret that I didn't get pictures of a "wet market," which has all parts of meat available for purchase. Its a stomach-turner.


Trying to get a self portrait on a windy day doesn't always give good results.

The Ladies' Market is in an extremely crowded area. Getting off the MTR, or subway was wall-to-wall people. We slowly shuffled along until we got through the crowds a bit. The Ladies' Market is mostly where knockoffs are sold.


It's, literally, a sea of people.


The Lake

and here are the other photos that I have on my laptop, currently. These are from our trip to the lake this last weekend. A friend of mine let us use her family cabin for the weekend and we had an amazing time. We couldn't stop marveling at how nice it was to just hang out, have some boat rides...the simple things in life. We are working on a summer bucket list and it has caused us to be much more intentional about our downtime this summer. We are having a blast and will all agree its the best summer ever. This was one item on our list - camping at the lake. We intended it to be tent camping, but when the cabin was offered (boat included), we jumped at the chance. Can you blame us? The weather wasn't great, but it didn't dampen our time...nope not one bit.

When we arrived, my friend and her kids were there and the sun was out. The kids jumped right into the lake. About an hour later, a thunderstorm rolled in.

after the thunderstorm, the littles went out and made some sort of root stew. apparently it had to sit for days because Phil dumped it out on the last day and some sadness ensued.

Henry loved the toddler-sized life vest the most




We had this typically-busy lake to ourselves since we picked the weekend of the State Fair (its held in Minot) to go to the lake. Accidental brilliance is the best.



Tubing behind a pontoon boat that only goes about 15mph was perfect for my cautious children. One of them (I won't mention any names) would only go about 5-8mph. Her name rhymes with late.

apparently, dock-side refueling is a thing.

Piper is a great boat captain.

S'mores were obviously on the docket.









Again, Kate got ahold of the camera and took photos of Henry getting ahold of a Minecraft sword.