December 22


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Today we woke up to sunshine and the forecast was for about 20 degrees, so we decided immediately that we had to be outdoors.  Unfortunately, the side effect of all these late night family obligations is that the kids sleep late in the morning.  By the time weíve had showers and are dressed and fed, itís about noon so weíre unable to head out to Disney or Ocean Park or anything.  Itís frustrating the heck out of me.  So many of the things I really wanted to do this trip just arenít getting done.

The Hong Kong Brands and Products Expo is on while weíre here in Hong Kong, so I decided thatís where weíd go this afternoon.  Itís a bus ride from the hotel, and it costs just $10HK to get in (about $1.50CDN).  Itís kind of like the CNE from years ago, with people shouting and hawking everything from food items, to household cleansers to anti-aging cream and weight loss schemes.  It was crowded but fun to walk around and the sun made it quite hot.  The kids decided they needed ice cream (which was actually frozen yogurt, but donít tell them) and they really enjoyed that. 

We didnít buy anything but walked and walked the aisles of vendors, hearing them yell as they tried to get our attention.  At the food area, we lived very dangerously and had some snacks.  I had some rice noodle rolls with weird sauce and a cup of ďtea with frog eggsĒ (actually cold tea with barley).  Then I bought a lamb chop in a greasy paper bag, but Emily and Stephanie ended up eating it.  Then they liked it so much we bought another!!  It was really good!

We finished walking around and the kids were complaining about being hot, because of the sun on their heads.  I was determined to stay out in the nice air, though, so we started walking back (a really long walk).  About halfway here, Stephanie started whining about being hungry so we stopped into a small Vietnamese restaurant and had some light snacks.  Weíre going to Dannyís cousinís house for dinner tonight for Winter Solstice, so we canít eat much now, but Iím also sure dinner wonít start until about 8pm, so Iím ok with eating some now.

We also stopped so Danny could order new glasses.  Heíd brought a prescription with him and ordered some great new Lindberg frames.  Check out the photo of the funny contraption they put on him to measure his eyes!!!!!  The kids and I were killing ourselves laughing!

We didnít get back to the hotel until about 5:30pm, so we didnít have much time before we had to head out to Pok Heiís for Winter Solstice dinner.  We hopped in a taxi again (see the pattern) and arrived at his home just before 6:45pm.  They had a huge spread of foods for cooking in hotpot, and his lovely wife Serena always makes sure there are things that both the kids and I will eat, so it was wonderful.

As always, Emily had a total love-fest with Dannyís elderly uncle!  She has taken to him since she was just 2 years old and he loves the attention.  Pok Hei bought that fancy tea-making contraption in China recently and he sat and made tiny perfect little cups of tea for everyone for quite a long time after dinner.  Lucky for me, their daughter Cathy is very tolerant of Emily and Stephanie so they play in her room while I actually get a break!

It was 10:30 again by the time we were back, so quick bedtime snack for the kids, and called it a night.