Monday, December 22

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Today we are back where we belong, and you can tell by the happy smiles that itís working for all of us!

We started the day off slowly and late.  Emily and Stephanie both slept really late, after our long day of travel, and dinner out last night. 

We headed out, dropped off some laundry, then went down into the city for some brunch.  The girls had decided it was to be dim sum, so we went back to the restaurant weíd had success at before.  We all ate, although as you can see in the photo, I ended up feeding Stephanie.  Not sure what that was about, but it started out with a temper tantrum, turned into ďIím not eating any-fingĒ, then morphed into me feeding her.  Whatever, she ate.

After lunch, I needed to get some shopping done.   My story (and Iím sticking to it) was that I needed to Christmas shop.  Thatís true, for sure, but I also needed to shop for me!!  The whole family-of-four-in-hotel-rooms-for-weeks thing is starting to really get to me.  After days of being stuck in hotels without being able to go out and walk in China, I really needed ďmeĒ time.

So, off to Coach (didnít find anything, seriously!), then Marks and Spencers (found lots), Toys-R-Us (yes, they have it here, and yes I found something) I went.  Got the girls (ssshhhhhh) some High School Musical 3 dolls (Gabriella and Sharpay) that are small enough to fit in the new suitcase Iím going to need to buy (oh yes, again).  Also, got them each a really cute new outfit at M&S.  Probably get them something else small, but thatís about it for this year.

Headed back up the escalator, with a brief pitstop for fresh fruit, and returned happy to the hotel. 

Now, you might be wondering what the girls and Danny got up to?  The Botanical Gardens would be the answer.  They got to see the fountains, monkeys and other animals, but more important, they got to play.  Yes, typical 4 and 6 year olds that they are, all they want to do is play, so Danny took them there, while I shopped.  They both said they had a marvelous time and they were happy, smiling and sweaty when I met up with them, so Iím thinking itís true.

And in case you were wondering what we did for dinner, we had yet another large scale family meal.  Once again, Pok Heiís family is celebrating his fatherís birthday.  This time with even more people than last week.  We went to a large restaurant for the 6:00 time we were told, but no one was there.  We headed back down and briefly looked around in a store nearby, to wait so that we werenít first to arrive.  About 6:30 we headed back to the restaurant, expecting everyone to be there, but again we were alone.  About 6:45 another guest family arrived, but no sign of the hosts.  There were seats for about 75 people set, so we knew lots were expected.  Believe it or not, it was past 8:00pm before we sat down to start dinner (that was to start shortly after 6:00).  The food was ok, but lots of it wasnít my ďthingĒ, so I didnít eat much.  Fortunately, Iím learning from experience with my kids, and I fed them before we left the hotel, figuring that they would be too tired to eat by the time the banquet got started, but also figuring they wouldnít eat the food anyway.  This meant that while they werenít hungry, they were bored.  We gave them our cameras and let them self-entertain while we sat and visited and ate.

It was 11:00pm when dinner was finally finished, and we hopped in a taxi to come back to the hotel.  The girls had a bit of wind-down time, drawing in their princess books that Uncle Craig gave them for Christmas, then they called it a night.