Hello Hong Kong!
Can I just say that I love this place?
Ok, thanks. Now I'll back up a bit.
Tuesday afternoon our guide Elvin, who by the way ROCKS, dropped us and another sweet family off at the train station. Then he went back to the consulate to pick up our children's Visas. Patty and Mark, with their daughter Abigail, had already spent a few days in Hong Kong before they adopted their son Samuel. So it was great to hear about their experience. We sat next to each other on the train and then had dinner together at the train station before going our separate ways.
Prior to traveling we were not able to book one room with 5 occupants. So we ended up having to book two rooms. The wonderful people at the Intercontinental Grand Stanford were able to put us in two rooms next to each that first (and second) night prior to a suite becoming a available (more on that in another post.)
Anyway, we woke up a bit late and finally decided to hit one of the beaches here in Hong Kong. So around lunch time we finally managed to board a bus to Stanley Beach on Hong Kong Island. It was a 7-10 minute walk to the bus stop. The dumplings were ecstatic to be riding on top of a double decker bus...in the very front row. And I have to say that the view from up there was pretty awesome indeed.
After about an hour and a half bus ride along the west side of the island, we finally made it to Stanley Place, a great little market area. We refreshed ourselves with some expensive gelato, as in $6USD for that tiny cup. Yup. But when it's 104 degrees with the heat index, ya gotta stay cool somehow. So we treated ourselves.
Then we were told we could go swimming if we walked in a certain direction for about 10-15 minutes. This took us past Stanley Main Street, a very charming area.
We couldn't wait to dip our feet in the water.
We walked along this narrow street, climbed up a bunch of steps...
...and walked along a mostly shaded narrow road with a beautiful backdrop.
It was hot, I'm not gonna lie. The dumplings were big troopers.
Then we climbed down a bunch of steps and finally made it to the water's edge. This was not Stanley Beach, though we didn't know it at the time. It was a more secluded beach called St. Stephen's Beach. It was a small stretch of beach and not very populated. We rented an umbrella and bought 2 mats.
Then Baba got in the water with all three dumplings! And yes, those are shark nets out there in the water.
Havi loved the water. In fact, she was none too pleased when Baba went back out in the water without her. A few snacks kept her busy though...salted dried peas, with a touch of sand thrown in.
Havi had fun playing with the straws and sodas while the bigger dumplings got changed.
Then we headed back toward Stanley Main Street for dinner at Pizza Express. It was affordable, cheap, and tasty....it's hard to put those three adjectives in the same sentence here in Hong Kong!
The best part of dinner was the view. Dining al fresco while looking out at Stanley Bay was simply surreal. It might have been warm out, but it was wonderful.
Then we headed back to the bus stop for the 75 minute bus ride back toward the hotel. Of course all three dumplings fell asleep during the ride. That was fun trying to wake them all up so we could get off. Then I hand carried Havi for the 10 minute walk back to the hotel so Patrick could wear Madeline in the carrier. Oy!
Anyway, it was a fabulous first day in Hong Kong. The subsequent days did not disappoint either. I am going to do my best to get those posts up before we leave. Tomorrow is our last day here. We actually fly out at 12:45am Sunday morning. So we will still have most of the day to enjoy. We'll see how much time I have to post. lol. We have truly loved our little Hong Kong trip. I'm kicking myself that we didn't fly out of Hong Kong for our first two adoptions. Thankfully we got to do it this time around. Stay tuned for more Hong Kong fun!