August 31

Wow, hard to believe that our vacation is almost over!!  In some ways it feels as though we just got here and in other ways, it feels like we live here!

This morning, Danny said the words Iíve been longing to hear ďIím taking the kids to Ocean Park and you can go off and do whatever you wantĒ!!  Freedom at long last.  After all these days of being joined at the hip with my kids!

Danny and the girls left late morning, taking the hotel shuttle to the subway station, and then the dedicated Ocean Park bus line.  He bought the tickets for the park at the subway station, since it saves time (and he used your coupon, Kelly, thanks!!), and they were off.  The bus ride is about 30 minutes and takes them right to the park.

Luckily, Kelly and Carmen (cousins from Montreal) had told us that Ocean Park had a new water play area.  Nowhere on their website does it get even cursory mention.  Danny took the kidsí bathing suits with them, and good thing, since the water park was the only part of the park the kids wanted.

There was a huge waterslide, and a bouncy castle, and another smaller slide.  The kids were soaked, tanned, and very happy.  Danny said he kept asking if they wanted to see other parts of the park, but they didnít. 

Check out the happy smiling photos.  I guess they really knew what they wanted eh?

By the time I heard from them, it was very late afternoon, and they were heading back to the hotel for showers before dinner.  Dannyís cousin from Boston happens to be in town, and we never see him, and heís invited a group out to a very swank restaurant.

While the girls and Danny were at Ocean Park, I walked, and walked and walked.  In extreme heat and humidity.  Thatís the one thing I absolutely love to do in Hong Kong.  I took the subway over to MongKok, and starting walking back towards the hotel.  I walked for many hours.  I stopped every now and again, and I wandered through a couple of outdoor markets, but I bought nothing.  I just enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells of this city that I love so much.

I stopped for some Vietnamese soup noodles for lunch, and then walked some more.  At one point, late in the day, it looked as though the sky was going to open up into rain, and a few drops fell, so I hopped into the subway and took it back to Central.

When I got back out, there was no sign of rain, so I kept walking around in Central.  I visited Li Yuen Streets (outdoor, very cheap market, with cheap junky stuff), and Marks and Spencers, and even H&M and still I bought nothing.  In fact, in spite of being out, alone, for so many hours, I bought nothing.

On my way back to the hotel, I did something smart, if a little devious.  We are to meet Danny Ďs cousin and a bunch of other people at 7pm, at a very fancy restaurant.  Thatís very late for the kids to eat, and even late for them to be up, since Stephanie is usually in her bed around 8:30.  So, as I walked back to the hotel, I went into Pizza Hut and ordered them cheese pizza.  Yes, I did.  I didnít tell them, I just had them delivered to our room.  At first Danny gave me a strange look, but the kids were really happy, and ate lots.  What this means is that I can bring them to the fancy, adult restaurant, with their PSPs and not worry whether or not they actually eat anything (as I suspect they wonít).

We headed to the dinner in the hotel shuttle.  The restaurant we were going to is called Zen (go ahead and Google it, I did).  Totally not appropriate for kids.  Very expensive, very overdone.

When we got there, there were about 14 seats at the table, so obviously many more were coming.  Gradually everyone got there, and it was really nice to see Manuel. He hasnít seen my kids in many years, and in fact had offered to ask for booster seats in his email invitation to dinner.  Needless to say, when he saw them and realized how tall they are, he laughed at that idea!!

As expected, my kids didnít eat much.  They were really well behaved and quiet, though, and just sat and watched their PSPs.  They ordered cold drinks and ate a little bit, enough to be polite, and that was it.  Thank goodness for Pizza Hut (boy, never thought Iíd say that!!).

Dinner went on until past 10:00pm, so Stephanie was basically begging to go home to bed by the time we were in the taxi.  Poor little pumpkin had been so very good, but she was completely done.  Emily wasnít much better off, although she does tend to stay up a bit later most nights.