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Paul, Katherine, Grace Ann and Zoe!
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April 8, 2006
Since we went to bed so late, we actually wake up this morning around 7am.  Zoe was up 3 or 4 times, but it doesn’t seem so bad.  Zoe loves the king sized bed and we have fun rolling around and scattering our toys everywhere.  We have no idea what to do today.  We’re on our own.  Most of the group is taking a trip into Hong Kong Disney World, but I fail to see why one would travel 16 hours to a really small Disney World when a much better one is only 3 hours away.  Not to mention would a 10 month old really get anything out of it?  I think not…Katherine wants to just stay around the hotel and rest, I can’t handle being so close to such an amazing city and not going in to see it.  For a business traveler who lives in hotels and airports, spending the day inside a hotel airport is kin to torture.  Zoe could care less either way, and I am able to convince two other couples and Katherine to take the train into Hong Kong from the airport.  One of the couples is Mike and Anne who we’ve become friends with, and the other is Terry and Amy from Pittsburgh people we like as well.  So it’s a good group and there is lots of laughing. The train is unreal.  Super modern, supper fast, and super comfortable.  Must go like 80 miles an hour, has little TVs in the back of the seats like a Jet Blue flight and is spacious and clean.  It takes us whizzing past 50 story apartment buildings as far as the eye can see.  Towering mountains over the cities at their base, sparkling green water, and massive shipping ports are all part of the journey.  The topography and architecture of the entire area is amazing.  Zoe is squirming all around, and crawling over to my lap to look out the window.  Then after a second she decides it’s not all that interesting and jumps back to mom.  It’s really unbelievable how well the babies take it all in stride.  In less than one week they all went from being probably in one or two rooms their entire lives to being carted around 2 of the world’s largest and busiest cities, on buses, trains, and on sidewalks that make grand central station seem empty.  The train takes us 45 miles in about 20 minutes, with 2 other stops…you do the math.  We get off the train and I am convinced that everything in Hong Kong is a shopping mall.  The airport is a shopping mall, and the train drops us off downtown into another shopping mall.  One without an exit it seems.  We try an elevator, and two doors, before finally finding a way out of the place.  It was rather funny, in a pathetic sort of way…but we were all going on little sleep.  When we finally do get outside the sidewalks are so crowded that we have to walk single file and then it is still hard.  I can see that my hopes of exploring downtown Hong Kong are going up in smoke from the expressions on the others faces, and we make it one block before going into another shopping mall.  The ladies run off to do some shopping, but come back after the cheapest thing they found was a onesie for over $100.  This mall was apparently way to upscale for us.  We leave and head out in search of a restaurant and once again don’t know where we are going.  When you have 6 people and three babies, have no idea where you are going, and everything is so crowded you can barely move…patience dies quickly.  We head back to the first shopping mall hoping to find a restaurant that everyone can relax at and actually eat some real food.  We walk around that mall for days and eventually I get fed up and ask someone.  The girls have been remarkably patient, but are showing signs of losing it and we all know that the clock is now seriously ticking.  Asking pays off and we actually find an American style restaurant where we can order Sam Adams beer, real wine, and good food.  It’s our first real meal in 5 days and we are there for over 2 hours just reveling in the entire experience.  The girls on the other hand would prefer their chicken congi back at Lucy’s in China.  The meal is absolute heaven,   After that we’re able to find a bunch of Rainbow Fairy books for Gracie that we weren’t able to find in the states that will hopefully complete her collection.  Then it’s on the train back to the hotel.  We do a very quick swim, and then bedtime.  Slow day, but one closer day to coming home.