This morning the whole family popped out of bed at 5:30 am. I'd been up since 4:30 desperately trying to will my body back to sleep but it was a no go. I only had 4 hours of sleep but between the time change and the sheer excitement about being here, I was up. SJ and I went to the gym, showered, and gathered the troops for breakfast around 7:30. We met some of the other families in our group down at the enormous only in Asia breakfast buffet. I really like this group and feel fortunate we've gotten to travel with so many people. Debbie and I were thrilled to add Julie to our travel group after CCAI released their travel network for our travel group. But there is another couple here too who had a 7/6 LID and has a daughter matched from Yangxi. They are lovely people from Florida. There are two other travel groups with us here in Hong Kong - 1 group going to Nan Chang and the other to Changsa. They fly out tomorrow while us Guangdong families take the train. The Nan Chang families all receive their children tomorrow. We supposedly are going to get Cici on Monday. In our group of 4 Yangxi, Guangdong families Cici's friends will be Katie, Livi, and Ava! All are within a month of each other. Livi is joining an older sister from China while Katie and Ava will be their parents' first child.
After breakfast the group of 47 people (!) met int the lobby to hop on our tour bus with our guide Matthew to tour Hong Kong Island. We drove up to Victoria Peak, down to Aberdeen to see a fishing village by fishing boat, then onto Stanley to see the beaches and hit a market (we drove by Jackie Chan's huge house). We finished up the day at 2:30 back in Kowloon for a late Dim Sum. It was so much fun. I will say though that the winding roads up the mountainous terrain on Hong Kong Island in a large bus had me feeling motion sickness more than once. And then to step out into the unbearable mid-day heat was pretty tough on this jet lagged lady!
After lunch, my mom, Debbie, Ann and I went to my mother's favorite pearl shop here in HK and we all walked away with a bag of something! I got a very long strand of pearls that I intend to wear for a while but then have restrung for my two girls. I'm thinking maybe 8th grade graduation or something. We'll see. I doubt this will be our last pearl shopping excurision.
SJ and I are downstairs in the lobby trying to caffinate up ourselves and sugar-up SweetPea to get us as far into tonight without dropping. Buddy is a lost cause and is going to be in trouble tonight when he wakes up at 1 am and everyone else is asleep. If he wakes me up, I swear he'll never get another allowance!
So here are some pictures from today...........
|View from Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island|
|Debbie and I on Victoria Peak. Debbie and I have been chatting for nearly 5 years and we met for the first time this morning! AND our girls are coming from the same orphanage and are only 5 days apart!|
|SweetPea and her new friend N. N's family and we flew together from Detroit! Both are 9 and finally getting their baby sisters!|
|SweetPea, N and Buddy on Victoria Peak.|
|Lots of little foos adorned the lookout area.|
|Daddy and his two - soon to be three kids!|
|One of our final pictures as a family of four!|
|Next stop after Victoria Peak was Aberdeen to see a fishing village. We rode these boats around the harbor to see HK fishing life.|
|Not in focus but I really like the picture...|
|Some of our CCAI group.|
|This is an enormous floating restaurant!|
|And Matthew said when we went around back and saw the kitchens we'd understand why we were not eating lunch here!|
|Buddy and Daddy|
|Our boat driver...|
|When we got off the boats there were people putting paper into large barrels of fire and someone was setting off firecrackers. We went over to see what was going on and it appears to be a celebration with an ancestral offering. Matthew told us that while today is August 13th on the western calendar but it is July 13th on the Chinese calendar which is a day they believe ghosts come back. So paper offerings were lit on fire to send up to their ancestors and food was put out for them.|