Saturday, November 18



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Eat, rest and then eat again! Now, thatís a vacation! Today was really nothing but eating. Truly. We had invited Dannyís elderly uncle and his sons and daughters to meet us for dim sum around the noon hour. We traveled by subway out to Tseung Quan O where he lives, and met Dannyís mom and number seven aunt, as well as uncle Roberto and cousin German. Hard to tell what made Emily and Stephanie happier - seeing the relatives, taking the subway, or seeing the huge indoor fish pond in the shopping centre where the restaurant is located. Regardless, they were quite happy.

Dim sum was nice. This was the same restaurant weíd met Dannyís uncle at in previous visits. He has some mobility challenges, so this is the closest and easiest for him. The food was very good and everyone enjoyed lots of conversation. Emily went to one of Dannyís cousins and had a good time showing off her Chinese writing ability, as well as playing with his cell phone. Stephanie decided she liked one of the cousins, too, and sat on her lap playing.

We realized fairly shortly thereafter that we needed to get back to the hotel for our afternoon break, since we had booked to host a huge family dinner the same evening.
Kind of funny to finish one meal, already thinking about the next, but thatís the way today is going to be. Weíve ordered a huge banquet-style meal for tonight, and Pok Hei has helped us to invited many relatives (some more distant than others) and there will be about 48 people at the dinner.

Unfortunately for us, although Emily was falling asleep when we left the dim sum restaurant, when we got back to the hotel room she decided nap time was over and party time had begun. She refused to sleep, so I knew the evening was going to be a challenge. Short of medicating her (and donít think I didnít contemplate it, but I forgot the good stuff at home) there was really nothing I could do. Stephanie didnít really nap either, because she fell asleep in the taxi coming home but then woke up wide awake and refused to get any more sleep. Oh boy, let the games beginÖ.48 guests and two young daughters having had no nap!

Before actually going to the dinner banquet, we all met at Pok Heiís apartment for tea and a visit. It was nice for the girls because Pok Heiís daughter Cathy has lots of tolerance for little girls invading her room and lets them play. Also, Pok Heiís sisters spoil Emily and Stephanie rotten, so there is no lack of attention paid them.

We all walked over to the restaurant about 20 minutes after our reserved time (customary here, but drives me crazy!!) Other guests kept arriving and arriving. We heard from one cousin that her bus had broken down so she was delayed, and others were just late arriving, so we didnít get started eating until nearly 8:15pm. The food was lovely, the restaurant did a fine job. Emily decided that she didnít want to sit with us, and sat instead with Cathy and her friends. It worked out fine for a very short time while she ate the appetizer of lobster and noodles, but as soon as her little tummy was full, she no longer wanted to sit still and watch others eat. Guess where she came to raise trouble? If youíre thinking to me, you win the prize. Of course, youíre probably all thinking that, and you all know thereís only one prize! Uncle German provided some really clever rescue. Having children of his own around Emilyís age, he had bought two little Disney Princess colouring books, and two packages of coloured pencils!!! MY HERO!! I had forgotten to bring the girlsí colouring stuff so I was feeling really panicked. I could have hugged German, and I may have, itís all a blur. The girls played with their books and coloured pencils for quite a long time.

Sadly for me, a formal Chinese dinner banquet goes on for quite a long time, too. The girls did eventually get tired of behaving themselves and decided to cause some trouble! Emily wanted only me, and climbed up on my lap, announcing she was tired, and falling asleep. Stephanie turned into the rambunctious life of the party, dancing, singing and being silly, but also being a handful to manage. This wouldnít have been a big deal if it werenít that we were hosting the dinner and our 48 guests. We managed to get the meal done, although Iíll admit that I came back hungry. Emily slept through the taxi ride home and I plunked her into the bed when we got here. Stephanie was also really tired by the time we returned to the hotel and it wasnít long until she was in bed.

We had a very enjoyable visit with lots of extended family. Would have been nicer if the girls hadnít been so tired, but I guess two big family meals in one day is just too much.