Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving - this is how to spend it

Our morning routine stayed the same as it has been all week; get up, eat a small breakfast here in the hotel room, get cleaned up and then head out on the MTR somewhere. Today, back to Central on a rush-hour train.
Next, we switched modes to double-decker bus for a cross-island express (the subways don't extend to the southern part of Hong Kong Island.) We got to see a bit more of "downtown" HK; the Admiralty, Wan Chai, and Happy Valley neighborhoods.
We went through a tunnel for several minutes that punches through the mountain ridge we stood on yesterday. We emerged into a completely different version of HK...
Suddenly we were out of the built-up city and hurtling on narrow two-lane cliff-face roads through tiny little harbor towns. Glad we weren't the ones driving... Within 20 minutes of leaving Central we were at the end of the line, in a little town called Stanley.
Stanley is a laid-back little market town / artist colony / rich-folks getaway / old fishing village with a take-your-time, no-haggling ethic. Several blocks of the town are a rabbits' warren of little shops and stalls - the same kind of merchandise we saw at the Ladies' Market a couple nights ago, but some much better-quality items too, and none of the chaos.
We had a little brunch at the Delifrance and wandered out to the waterfront. There, we finally got down to the Pacific Ocean beachfront - we've been near the ocean so many times (Seattle, Vancouver, Tokyo) but never actually at it. So this year, we've stood on the beach for our first times on both the Atlantic and Pacific.
Here's the beach. The water actually looked inviting; the sand was rather coarse with lots of broken shells - and broken glass. This wasn't a swimming trip, though. (We got our pool time later this evening...) The temperature was in the low 70s today with gentle breezes from the ocean and light haze.
We did some shopping, sat for a while in town and watched people go about their daily lives, and Ann got cornered by some more middle-schoolers on assignment to practice using English.
We had pizza at a place called Pizza Express - which was actually a pretty classy restaurant with really excellent thin-crust pie.
As we looked around during our "Thanksgiving Dinner," we thought back 10 years ago to the frustrations we had trying to have children and the troubles that were just around the corner. We would never have imagined how our lives would change, or the places it would take us as we became parents.

We are thankful for Wynn and the honor of being the parents who raise her. We are thankful for the ability to take her around this world and show her how all sorts of people live, to keep her connected with her Asian roots - and to grow new roots ourselves. We play the "what will she grow up to be?" game often - this trip is showing us some of the people she may become, and we're thankful for that, too.

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