[love it] our first public holiday

Two days off from school. Mooncakes. Paper lanterns. And a dragon.

More Mid-Autumn Festival stuff later.

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[love it] mask-animo

Scissors, tape, glue, paper, hole punch, string, paint, markers, more tape? Aka Crafts? Count the girls in.

Hub and I went a wanderin’ again last night. And found an amazing, I’ll say it again, amazing, shop neatly filled to the brim with kid stuff. Self-proclaimed “babies and kid concept store”, petit bazaar* has found a place in my heart. Little too gooey?

Now, I’m not sure what they mean by ‘concept store’ because everything was in full production and ready for a cash transaction. But it was all cute. And unique. And special. We bought the girls a mask making craft, Mask-Animo made in France (oui) by Mitik. Simple design, easy to assemble, and fun.

Sold.

Ava and Teddy’s pal, Nicole, joined for some craft time.

petit bazaar*
9 Gough Street, Central, Hong Kong // 852.2544. 2255 // m-sat 11.00-21.00, sun+pub 12.00-19.00
80 Queen’s Road East, Hong Kong // 852.2528.0229 // m-sat 10.00-20.00, sun 11.30-18.30

[food porn] my life doesn’t suck

Not gonna lie. My life doesn’t suck.

We’re still doing a fair amount of touristy stuff. Mostly hitting an area and just wandering. The other night Hub and I found a great new yakitori (yakitori=grill on a stick) restaurant, Yardbird. Japanese style grilling is the key, but the other thing that makes Yardbird special is they grill every part of the chicken – heart, liver, neck, gizzards, etc. Minimally simple interior and presentation of food. Fun, informative staff (it’s the UN of waitstaff). Inventive and yet highly editable food combinations. We will definitely become regulars.

And maybe next time I’ll try more of those exotic innards.

images via: Asia Tatler Dining and Yardbird

[sweet girls] i heart uniforms

I can’t say it enough, I’m sooo glad the girls are wearing uniforms!

We just finished the first three days of school without a single meltdown. Hong Kong International School (HKIS) has 2,000 students from all around the world, the girls are making friends from everywhere.

Their social interactions have sky-rocketed. There seem to be a zillion kids in the Parkview ‘compound’, and most go to HKIS. While on the bus the girls are coordinating their own play dates. Moms have a tough time keeping up!

And while Perry and Teddy are at school, Ava (starts school in a few weeks) hangs out with new friends.

And just for fun…

[phase 1] happy tourist

I’ve been told there are three phases in the expat experience.

1) the happy-tourist phase, 2) the cry-in-the-shower-this-is-not-like-home phase, and 3) the yay-we-live-here phase. We’re of course in Phase 1. And here are just a few of the touristy things we’ve done.

^Yau Ma Tei Fruit Market:  this wholesale fruit market in Kowloon was listed as one of the ‘themed’ streets to visit on an HK web site. It’s a maze of stalls in an old, tin-roofed type warehouse building spanning about a block.

Mostly selling wholesale, these vendors sell to individuals too. As we walked through, we quickly realized that this place must be listed in all the tourists books as one of the stall owners tried to sell us a crate of six mangoes for $150HKD. That’s $19.23USD. Good thing I took my anti-sucker pill.

Rumor has it that all the open-air markets in HK will someday be forced to sell indoors due to hygiene concerns. I simultaneously like and hate this plan. These markets are part of the charm of this great ‘old with new’ city.

^Maxims Palace: come on, it has ‘palace’ in the name (like almost every other big restaurant in HK). Listed as a must for dim sum, I’d say this was not a must, but a if you’re in the neighborhood. Please note, there are about a gazillion and five dim sum restaurants in HK. We are in China after all. The girls were great and tried almost everything!

^Nan Lian Garden + Nunnery: we didn’t see a single monk or nun, but this place is amazing. And free. Each building/temple structure was pieced together like a big puzzle, not a nail or screw lives here. Buddhas around every corner, complete with monk chant soundtrack piped throughout. It really is peaceful and does settle your mind (if you’re not dragging three young girls around who are complaining about the heat and would rather eat at McD’s for lunch). Cross a bridge over the busy street and you’re in well manicured, winding gardens. If you’re hungry they have a vegetarian restaurant – it was yumalicious.

^And we’re not the only ones being tourists. In our first week we’ve had visitors! My Aunt Sue first (from LA), then her son/my cousin, Aaron (USC) with his pal, Cody (Berkley). It appears that it’s a requirement that USC students vacation in HK, because Aaron has been running into them left and right.

Getting around is pretty easy, but it includes a lot of walking (I’ve lost 2 kilos in a week, you do the conversion). The girls are pretty pumped about having their own MTR passes (aka Octopus cards) – or as they like to call it, their ‘debit card’. Not only do these get you through public transportation, you can use them at tons of shops.

There have been a lot of other touristy things that we’ve done as well, it seems to go on and on…but we’ll save them for another time.

[different but the same] let’s go to the market

So we’re here. And somewhat settled (as much as you can be in four days).

We’re in a ginormous complex with about 18 towers. It’s a small community. If I were the non-adventourous type, I would never – never – have to leave this complex. It has everything (including a pre-school and Botox services at the spa across the street).

Our first to-do was to stock up on food items. So we walked across the street (I like the sound of that) and ventured into the international market/grocery store. It has great stuff from every place around the world. Including some of our all time favorites.

It made me giggle though to see how things are just a little different, but of course the same. And if you look closely at the Snap, Krackle and Pop’s eyes, I’d swear there was more of a ‘slant’ to them than in the States.