Thursday, December 25
Merry Christmas and all that jazz!
We decided to have an unconventional Christmas. Yeah I know, surprise, surprise.
We started the day early, not so much by choice, but because Emily had already been downstairs and found that the jolly fat guy had in fact figured out that she and Stephanie are in Hong Kong and required gifts here.
You can see that while I was committed to not buying too many things, the girls got several really cute gifts, including their High School Musical 3 singing dolls and some very chic new handbags a la DisneyLand. They were really happy with their loot and we had a good time watching them play.
I had reserved us a table at the Christmas Lunch here at our hotel. Living dangerously you say? Why yes, we are. Turkey, ham, and sushi are on the menu, as is “homemade Christmas pudding.” Frankly, seeing what they offer up under these headings is quite intriguing and worth the price of the meal.
We headed down at noon and were pleasantly surprised. The variety of food was by no means conventional (duck, chicken, pork, real turkey, a huge ham, sushi, lamb curry, spicy Thai beef, etc.) but the quality was quite good. The restaurant was busy but not too crowded for our pleasure.
The kids were really excited and didn’t really eat much. The sales pitch for the meal said there would be a visit from Santa, so we were waiting anxiously. Suddenly, this scrawny-assed Chinese guy in a really cheesy Santa suit appeared and I nearly choked on my lamb curry. Funniest damned Santa I have ever seen. Bar none. Worth paying to get in just to see it. While we were killing ourselves laughing, the other guests were actually excited to see “Santa” and were taking their photos with him. Each of the kids got a little gift, and he left before I actually peed myself, so it was all good.
After lunch, we decided it was way too nice a day to do anything indoors, so we decided to spend Christmas day on the beach. Off to Repulse Bay we headed. It was fantastic--25 degrees, sunny, and not too crowded. The girls and I had a fabulous time, playing in the sand, walking in the surf and being really silly.
Stephanie and I made hand and foot prints in the sand, which she of course insisted on photos of, so I get to share them with you. The girls befriended the other little girl you can see in the photo (though it wasn’t clear if they liked her or her sand toys, but no matter). They played for a long time, making sand castles.
We walked the beach some more, waiting for our soaking pants to dry, and took some more photos. At one point, my girls were standing up on the park bench, belting out the tunes from the various incarnations of High School Musical. Danny pointed out that I could probably put a hat out in front of them and raise enough money to retire. The other people loved watching their performance and they giggled and sang for quite some time.
We had pre-booked dinner at a restaurant that Danny’s cousin recommended. Yes, folks, hotpot for Christmas. Now, this particular restaurant had been touted as being really good, so we were looking forward to it.
The food was barely good. The restaurant was nasty. The table and décor were dirty and tired. The girls were exhausted after the long day and ate nothing. Danny and I ate in a hurry and got the bill. It was expensive, and not good, but after it all we still figured we’d had a great Christmas Day. I’m sure it wouldn’t suit all of you, but actually we’re pretty convinced we’ll travel for Christmas again next year. It was strangely relaxing doing something silly for Christmas instead of feeling tied to tradition.
The sand was warm between our toes, the water was lovely, the sun burned my cheeks a little, and we all came back to the hotel happy. I’m thinking that about sums up a great Christmas, don’t you?
We hope you’ve had as good a Christmas as we enjoyed, even if you had to shovel snow instead of sand.