August 16

Today was another easy kind of vacation day. Unfortunately, both kids still woke up early, too early, although itís moving in the right direction. We didnít really have any set plans for this morning anyway, so itís all good. By the time Danny came to our room (yes, the room where I look after both kids, bitter much???) the kids had already had some breakfast. Think hotdog buns. Oh yeah, I need to shout out a big thank you to Magaly at work. Instead of nasty instant coffee, Magaly bought me these cool little single use filters that sit in your coffee cup, with ground coffee in them, and make one perfect cup of real coffee. That alone has dramatically improved the breakfast scene in Hong Kong for me!!

We walked down into the city again, just to be out and walk around. We had some shopping in mind, but got down to the city so early that nothing was open yet. We found a little Maximís breakfast shop, and ordered some seriously funky Hong Kong style breakfasts. For example, Emily had a fried egg, but it came with a hotdog wiener, a half a slice of toast, and a bowl with macaroni elbows and sliced luncheon meat in soup. For real. The kicker is, she ate the egg, toast, and hotdog wiener, then Stephanie decided she wanted to eat the macaroni in soup. I had a cup of really terrible instant coffee, and Danny ate a bit of everything, and then it was past 10:00 so the stores were open.

First we tried Sincere, a department store, but had no success. The kids were bored, because we were shopping for Danny to get some more shirts. So, mother-of-the-year that I am, I bought my kids these cheap little Hello Kitty pretend cell phones. We sat on the floor of the Wing On store, and opened the packages. We got some funny looks from people, but after they were open and the kids were pretending to call each other, even Danny admitted that it had been a great idea.

After the shopping failure, we walked around downtown a bit more, then the kids wanted to head back up the escalator to swim. Notice the lazy vacay mode weíre in? Swim, eat, and walk around. Itís pretty awesome actually.

When we got to the pool, the sun was burning us quickly. To give you an idea how quickly the weather changes, though, in the five minutes it took to get sunscreen on, the clouds moved in and it started to rain. Really rain. Heavy dark rain. It was funny. The lifeguard and some onlookers were watching us and laughing as we stayed and played in the pool in the rain. Apparently only crazy Canadians do that. Who knew eh?

You can see by the underwater photos that the girls are thoroughly enjoying the swimming time they are having. Weíre thinking that swimming will be an every day activity for us while weíre here. Within a short time the rain had stopped, and after we all dried off, Danny and I took turns walking down into the cityóhim to buy moon cakes as a gift for some elders tomorrow, me just to get out and walk. Stir crazy much? Why yes, I am, thanks for asking!

We had agreed to go to Pok Heiís house for dinner tonight. For the most part, the kids are still tired and ratty by evening, and the fact that dinner will be after 7:00pm would normally make me cringe, but Pok Hei and his lovely family have already seen my kids at their worst on prior trips, so I wasnít worried. Serena had a great meal ready for us, and we stuffed ourselves on chicken, rice, fish, and various stuffed veggies. The kids ate some chicken and rice, but then quickly turned sucky. The evening wasnít a total bust, though, because Pok Heiís daughters have Wii, so Emily and Stephanie got to try Wii bowling. That kept them busy for a short time, until we quickly enjoyed cakes for dessert, then made our excuses.

Stephanie was sound asleep by the time our taxi pulled up in front of the hotel, so she went straight into bed without waking. Emily insisted on a little ďiPad timeĒ before giving in to sleep, but we were all out cold by 10:00pm. Hopefully this will put an end to the waking up by 5:00am due to jetlag.