Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hong Kong Holiday (#1)

Back in the Fall, I realized that we didn't yet have any plans for the week of Chinese New Year (CNY).  AK would be out of school for the week, and Ben's office would be closed for the 2 official days of holiday.   I heard time and time again that it was already becoming too late to book a trip if it hadn't already been done.  Did we want to go to the beach?  No; airline tickets seemed to be scarce and inflated 100-200% if available at all.  While looking for inspiration on a travel site, an ad for cheap(er) tickets to Hong Kong popped up. 

Well, why not?  It was only a 4 hour flight, and Hong Kong is in our time zone.  Hurray for no jet lag!  We began to plan.  Ben has been to Hong Kong a few times before for very quick business trips, so he would enjoy being a tourist.  He mentioned that he'd love to see the Tian Tan Buddha at Po Lin Monastery. I had been intrigued by the idea of Disneyland in Asia.  A plan was hatched. Part of AK and B3's Christmas present involved Princess and Lightening McQueen water bottles, Jessie and Lightening T-Shirts, and a note from Santa telling them to enjoy Disneyland.  They had no clue what a Disneyland was, but they were still excited to be going on a trip last Sunday as we boarded our plane.

We flew on Jetstar, which is Quantas' budget airline. In this case, 'budget' means food and beverages are available, but for a price. There was no extra leg room, and no blankets or pillows.  But for 4 hours, it was do-able.  It was a morning flight, so we were checking in to our hotel around 2  in the afternoon.

I didn't really know what to expect at the Hollywood Hotel; it was the lower priced of HKDL's two on-property hotels.  I shouldn't have worried; everything was perfect.  From the overly helpful bellboys when we arrived to Mickey's voice announcing our floor in the elevator, we enjoyed every detail.  Well, some of us enjoyed it.  Ben declared that he'd be tired of Mickey before we left, but I think even he would now admit that the entire experience was well worth our time and effort and money.

Our room overlooked the water (because that's all that was available when we finally made reservations), and someone enjoyed seeing the many ferries pass each day.
The hotel grounds were beautiful, but it was too cold to really enjoy them.  Waaaay too cold.  Had I not stuck in long johns and warm hats as an after thought "just in case", we would have been all wearing furry Goofy hats trying to stay warm. 

There were orange trees everywhere to celebrate CNY.

The hotel was decorated in an art deco theme, and these cars were along the walkway.

 In nicer weather, we would have enjoyed walking along the water. Maybe next time.

As is always the case at Disney, it was All Mickey All the Time. And I loved it.  Loved it so much that someone made fun of me for taking pictures of the ubiquitous Mickey silhouette. 

We saw Mickey on park benches... espresso and in ketchup...

...and on our hotel, decorated for CNY.

It's fairly easy to tell which subway train goes towards Disney, too.

I've never ridden a subway car with glass-enclosed bronze statues before!

Of course, eating Mickey shaped ice creams was a priority.  I loved them as a kid, and I was looking forward to those chocolate ears.  Anna Kate enjoyed a Minnie Ice cream, which was strawberry, banana, and vanilla ice cream and chocolate on one side.  She obviously needs more practice eating ice cream from a stick, though.  Maybe next time, the last 15% of her dessert won't end up on the floor. 

Unfortunately, B3 had to settle for a dairy free orange juice bar instead of a delicious Mickey. He didn't seem to mind; he enjoyed every lick!

Visiting during CNY had some unexpected bonuses.  The hotel was decorated elaborately in oranges and red. One day as we returned to the hotel, we could see that a lion dance was about to be set up.  B3 enjoyed the front row view, while AK's little fingers couldn't mash her ears closed enough to block the drums and clashing cymbals.

The dance was a lot more involved than I thought it would be; I didn't expect acrobatic, salad eating lions.  Honestly, I'm not sure what I expected, but it was impressive.  (You can read all about the salad at Wikipedia. Of Course.)

Here's a video.  It was even louder in person, but it's still loud.  Beware.  It's a little long, too.  I'm not into editing, so just watch a little.

At the end of each of the three days we were in Hong Kong, Ak and B3 crashed. 

Stay tuned for pictures from our fun filled Disney Days...

1 comment:

Donna said...

So cool! I love all the fun places you get to visit while you're over there:). Enjoy it and just think of all the fun memories you're giving your kids!

Lol at Big Ben being Mickeyed out. Roy always gets Mickeyed out on any Disney trip:). 1.5 days is all he can take:)