Tuesday, December 23

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Ok, so I know youíre all going to feel sympathetic when I say thisÖ..it was actually kinda cold in Hong Kong today!!  Yes, high of just 16 degrees and it felt cold.  Ok, I know, stop throwing things at your computers!!

We had another leisurely start to our day today, with both girls sleeping late again.  This is an unfortunate side effect of all the late night, huge family dinners weíve been going to.  My children, normally in bed by 8:30 at the latest, have been going to bed at 11pm or even midnight! Then they donít want to get up in the morning.  Iíve been getting up early to keep in touch with some of you, since the time difference means we can only really cross paths early morning or evening here.

I wanted to head to Causeway Bay to shop again, but neither of the girls nor Danny wanted to, so he agreed I could go on my own!  YAY!!  Besides, Emily keeps asking Danny to take her to his old school here in Hong Kong.  So, I hopped on a bus, headed for the shops, and Danny and the kids headed in the opposite direction to visit his old primary school.  (Yes, it still exists; yes they had schools way back then).  Danny had prepared them for the possibility that the school would be locked up and they wouldnít be allowed in, but as you can see, that didnít turn out to be the case. In fact, they had a chance to see inside, take some photos, and Danny showed the girls around.

The real excitement for the kids came right afterwards, when they spotted a playground nearby that had monkey bars.  Those of you who really know Emily know that she loves monkey bars.  The kid has body-builder arms from playing on the monkey bars at school and sheís been complaining about not finding any to play on here.  So, enjoy the smiles in the photos.  You can see how happy they were to play.  In fact, they played all afternoon.

I walked many, many kilometers.  I got off the bus in Causeway Bay and fairly quickly found what I wanted.  Emily had expressed interest in having a thermal mug.   Yes, my very Chinese daughter likes nothing better than to drink hot water in a thermal mug.  Not normal, you say?  Probably not, but itís what she likes.  So, we were out the other day, and she sees these really cute Hello Kitty ones, but she was with me, so I couldnít buy it for Christmas.  Todayís goal was to get one Hello Kitty thermal mug and something else for Stephanie (whose taste runs more to apple juice in a plastic cup).

Found a really cool little shop called Trendy Land.  Yeah, real original name, eh?  What was cool was that they had the same Hello Kitty thermal mugs, stainless steel even, for way less money than the department store.  So, Emilyís getting one for Christmas.  Found cool Disney watches for the girls and some other little toy items, too, so Christmas is taken care of.

Walked for many more hours and shopped in some of Hong Kongís most exclusive designer shops.  Danny had nervously watched as I told him I was going shopping for a few hours, money and credit card in hand.  Guess what?  I bought absolutely NOTHING.  Damn.  Figures.  The more you want to shop, the less likely you are to find something you want.  I even went into two different Coach stores and found nothing.  I actually think Iím off Coach at the moment.  Saw a nice handbag at Kate Spade New York that I might go back for, but Iím torn between that and one at Orla Kelly that I saw, so Iím still undecided.

Nothing new or special in Karen Millen nor the Armani shop.  Geez, youíd think Iíd left without money to spend.  Found nothing. 

Oh well, it was still nice to be out on my own shopping.

For dinner, you guessed it, another big family meal in a restaurant.   Now, donít get me wrong, I dearly like the family, itís just that night after night of big pre-ordered meals gets to be a bit much.  Truly.  The fact that they run until 10 or 11 at night doesnít work for me and the kids either.  I just want to choose my own food, at my own time, without all the hoopla.  Know what I mean??

We got to take the ferry over to Tsim Cha Tsui, and that was fun, although kind of cold tonight.  There were some buskers doing a mediocre juggling act that the kids enjoyed for a bit.

Emily and Stephanie enjoyed this meal more than most others, though, because Dannyís cousin, who is visiting from Singapore, has two really awesome kids who speak English fluently.  My girls were thrilled, especially Emily as you can see.  She and Sunila were instant friends and chattered throughout the meal, as only two little girls can do.  Stephanie enjoyed playing with my camera and used up all my battery looking at older photos.

Dannyís aunts brought Christmas gifts for our kids, too, so they have quite a collection here at the hotel, waiting for Wednesday.

We hopped in a taxi back to the hotel, expecting the kids to fall asleep instantly.  Of course, when you expect that, it never happens.  They didnít collapse until nearly 1am, after being too excited and happy.