Wednesday, December 31


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Happy New Year to everyone by the time you’re reading this!

We’re home now, and dealing with jetlag, but happy to be here.

Wednesday started leisurely enough.  We had done most of our packing the night before, and the flight wasn’t until 4:20pm, so we didn’t need to rush.  The girls slept well, and woke up happy, a great indicator of the day to come.

We had breakfast in the room.  The girls had bakery treats, and Danny made it his goal to eat everything that we had left over, so he had noodles, buns, etc.  I stuck with my usual fare, and had the extra hard and crunchy Special K with a final instant coffee.

After breakfast, I walked to the grocery store for some plane treats for the girls and some cold medicine for Stephanie.  She seems to be fine, but is showing the beginning signs of a cold and I may need to manage it on the plane.  Got everything I needed and headed back to the hotel.

Since our last trip, Hong Kong has done what it does best—instituted a fast easy way to get to the airport via mass transit.  There is a new airport express train.  We used the hotel shuttle to get down to the subway line, hopped on the airport express, and just three stops later, got off at the airport terminal.  Oh, and the really cool thing is that they’ve set up a mini airport in the express train area.  You get to check your bags with your airline right at the subway station, so you’re not hauling heavy bags with you!!  It’s awesome!

We arrived at the airport about 2pm, just as planned.  By the time we were through the exit area of Hong Kong immigration, security, etc., it was about 2:45.  We went up to the Thai Airlines lounge again (arranged as a share agreement with Air Canada) and had a lovely relaxed lunch.  Stayed away from cheese sandwiches (those of you who remember our last flight home will know why.)

By the time the girls had enjoyed their lunch, and used the clean washrooms, it was time to head to the gate.  Actually, when we got to the gate, they’d already started boarding.  We got to our seats, at the bulkhead again, and settled in for the long flight.

You can see by the smiles that things started off happy, and frankly, they stayed that way all the way home.  The flight was only 14 hours coming home.  The girls were really, really good.  They slept a long chunk of the time (as did Danny) and never fussed.  They watched some movies on their DVR’s, ate very little, snacked a little, and we got through it.  Now, make no mistake, it’s still a very long flight, and it’s still not pleasant, but we actually did really well.

When we landed in Toronto, my best friend Craig was waiting for us, and were we ever glad to see him!  The girls practically bowled him over, they were so happy to see him.  We were happy to see our winter coats, too, as the weather is really cold back here and an especially hard surprise given what we’ve been enjoying.  It had been snowing too, so we were extra grateful to Craig for making the trek to the airport!

Home felt lovely, though I have the distinct feeling that jetlag is going to be our reluctant companion for the next few days. 

We bid farewell to Craig and settled in.  I’ve a mountain of laundry to do, a Christmas tree to dismantle, and a million other things to do.  Thanks to Craig, we’ve got a fridge full of groceries, though, so we don’t have to rush out to do that!

Thank you for joining us on our vacation.  You should consider joining us for real some time.  Hong Kong is fabulous and exciting, the weather is nice, and the shopping plentiful.