December 31


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Dec 31

Today is going home day, and like almost every other day since weíve been here, we woke up to a dull but not very cold day!

You know the vacation where you think youíll need short sleeves and sunscreen, but it turns out you need long sleeves, a jacket and an umbrella?  Thatís what this vacation has been.  Kind of disappointing for some of the things we wanted to do, because they needed sunshine and no rain, but still a good vacation.

As you can see by the luggage count, weíre up by one since arriving in Hong Kong.  Not too bad really, given the amount of shopping weíve done.  You see, shopping is one thing you can do, regardless of the weather, so shopping has been a major activity.  Not to mention we have to bring the pepto-pink dresses, capes and shoes home, because although I tried to make them disappear, luck wasnít with me, and Stephanie reminded me to bring them!

Departure day is actually a lot more leisurely than the day we came here.  The flight isnít until 4:25 pm, so we donít have to wake up very early.  In fact, the kids woke up really easily, and had their normal breakfast of hotdog buns and juice, and I had some more cereal.  Danny went on an eating binge, trying to finish up some of the fruit and bread items we still have.  The room was all tidied up, as you can see, and we were ready in plenty of time.

The hotel offers a free shuttle bus that takes you to the Airport Express train station, so we decided to use that.  We wavered between taking the 12:00 and the 1:00 but decided on the 12:00 just to be safe.  Good thing, too, because there was a rare traffic jam in Hong Kong on our way to the stations and the ride that should have taken 15 minutes took over 45 minutes.  When we got to the station, Dannyís mother was waiting on us, along with his aunt, who wanted to see us off.  We were easily able to check our luggage and we hopped onto the airport express train with just our carry on bags.  The train ride is about 30 minutes in a very comfortable train.

We got to the airport, said goodbye to Dannyís aunt, and got through customs, security, and everything quite painlessly.  I made a stop on the way to the lounge to get some treats for the kids to bring to school on Monday and then we spent the rest of our time in the Thai Airways lounge.  This is the Air Canada partner that hosts Elite flyers while in Hong Kong the airport.  They had great food that (as you can see) we took full advantage of.  In fact, the meal was great.  Dim sum, plus chicken with cranberry, and some potato thing that Emily really liked.  Stephanie was excited because they had apples and Emily helped herself to some chocolate ice cream.  Funny, but ice cream has never been a big thing in our house, but while in Hong Kong both kids got hooked on it and have asked for it at every turn!

The fun thing was that the lounge had computers with internet access, so to kill time, I suggested that the kids could use to amuse themselves.  Iím guessing not too many kids do that, because almost every lounge worker was busy watching my kids playing on the computers.  It kept them quiet and happy and the time passed quickly until we needed to get to the gate.

The flight was fully booked, so you can image the gate area and the chaos it involved.  Surprisingly, though, we took off almost on time, so that was a relief. 

The flight was fairly rough with many hours spent with the seatbelt light lit up.  The kids did really, really well, though.  Emily and Stephanie both picked at the first meal, some weird pasta with what looked like a hamburger patty.  I wasnít really shocked that they didnít eat much.  First, they ate lots in the lounge, and second, that meal was pretty nasty.

Emily announced, fairly shortly into the flight, that she wanted to lie down and sleep!!  Yay!!  And she did.....for about 5 hours!  How awesome is that!

Stephanie fought the urge longer, but also eventually crashed for a few hours.

So, flight passed quite painlessly.  I should have been happy, right?  Not so fast.  You see, when we get home, in spite of getting on the plane at 4:25pm, and being on it for 15.5 hours, we get home at 6:15pm.  Yeah, Iíll give you a minute to figure out my worry.

Got it?  Yeah, almost bed time when we get home, after the longest day in history, and my kids have both just slept for many hours.  Crap.  Seemed like a good thing at the time, but by the time the flight was over, I was kicking myself.

My best friend, Craig, was a sight for very sore eyes on our arrival at the Toronto airport, and heíd brought our winter jackets, too, so that was awesome.  We climbed into his car (with the booster seats he also thought to bring) and the ride home passed uneventfully.  The kids chatted his ears off the whole way and I spent the time wondering what the hell the night was going to bring.

Home felt lovely when we got there, although itís VERY, VERY cold!!! Again, thanks to Craig, we have a fridge full of fresh groceries so I donít have to venture out to feed the family.

Happy New Year, by the time youíre reading this, and all the best for 2010!

Thanks for joining us on our trip.  We enjoyed ourselves, so I hope you enjoyed reading and seeing the photos.  The next trip is the Disney Cruise at the beginning of April.....wanna join us?