Sunday, December 14
Well, Hong Kong has two major theme parks, Disneyland and Ocean Park. You know we already did Disney, so today was Ocean Park day.
The weather was fantastic, hitting a high of 25 with sunshine, but no humidity, so it was a great day to be outside.
Again, Hong Kong is organized in a way that Toronto would do well to learn from. There is a public transit bus that takes you right to the door of the park, inexpensively. We bought our passes at the discount outlet in the subway station (as we did last time! Iím getting good at finding discounts!) and caught the bus. Of course, both girls insisted that we climb up to the top level of the bus (remember how much I love that?? NOT). The ride is only about 20 minutes, so we got there in plenty of time to have the whole afternoon at the park.
Two years ago, it was very hot and humid on the day we tried to do Ocean Park, and of course both girls were younger, so it was not so successful. This time around, the weather was perfect, both kids were primed and ready, so we were good to go!
We took the cable car ride up the mountain, expecting it to just take us over the crest to more amusement rides. Little did we realize that it was actually quite a long ride, over many peaks and valleys. It gave us a beautiful view of Repulse Bay that we hadnít expected, so it was awesome.
Most of the rides at the top half of the park were geared to older kids, so we didnít plan to do much up there, but we did see the jellyfish exhibit, which Emily loved. Sheís had a fascination with jellyfish for years, having seen them here, in Halifax, Florida, etc. The exhibit was okay, but not special in my mind.
Then, we saw that there was an aquatic show starting at 2pm. We decided to have some quick (not very good) lunch while we waited for the show. Unfortunately, by this time of day, the sun was very hot, so when the show started, Emily and Stephanie were about melting in the heat. The show was really good, though, with sea lions and dolphins, so the girls really liked it.
Then we headed down the cable car ride again, into Kiddy Land. The girls had a great time riding the Merry-Go-Round and playing in a giant castle.
We also went to the giant panda pavilion and saw several pandas. The last time we were here none of them was awake, so while it was cool to see them, it wasnít exciting. This time, we got to see one of them quite animated and eating bamboo, so it was really neat.
Tonight we were heading to Times Square for a banquet dinner for Dannyís cousin who turns 84. We waited a while for a bus that never came, then hopped in a taxi instead. The traffic was a nightmare, so we were actually quite late arriving, but since people in Hong Kong have a different definition of ďon timeĒ it was fine. We sat down and had a really nice meal for his birthday. Funny sidebar, though: they sang Happy Birthday, and served and ate cake FIRST, before the fancy sit down dinner. That one baffled me, and although I love a good cake, it left me a bit full for the rest of the food. The banquet dinner included really nice stuff, with abalone clams, sharkfin soup, and lovely fish dishes, and we all left very full.
We hopped a taxi back to the hotel and the kids were in bed about 5 minutes after we arrived.
Tomorrow we travel into China by bus. Itís about a four hour bus ride and not pleasant, so itís with trepidation that Iím thinking about it.
We have to pack down our belongings into one small case, because you have to be able to carry your own luggage across the border (in addition to hauling the kids, of course). We will check the rest of our stuff with the concierge here at the Hong Kong hotel for when we return on Sunday evening.