|08-06-2009, 05:28 PM||#30|
Join Date: Jan 2009
Packing Up and Moving Out
Here is it, the morning to go home.
The dumplings in Shanghai were killer. DD was not overly happy with Chinese food, too many things had seafood and she can't eat any of it. Desert in most places consisted of fruit, the vast majority of it was watermelon. They taught us how to eat soup dumplings and I really like the ginger and vinegar that they suggest you dip them in.
It isn't good. It isn't bad. It is just different.
The acrobats were amazing. They say circus... NOT even close. There was humor and music and... well... acrobats. A guy 'juggling' one porcelain vase that was probably 2 feet high. Tumblers jumping through rings. The highlight was probably the 8 motorcycles in a metal ball. Hearing the guides talk about it, it kind of sounds like what you might see in a regular circus at home. NOT even close. I bought a CD of the music (and that came with a free "t-shirt"... that is what the lady called it... it was a polo shirt) and later went back to get the DVD which also came with a free shirt.
Up and at-em early in the morning. Breakfast and then off to the Maglev train. We made it to the airport in 7 min... 310KM per hour. People had their doubts that I could take pictures going that fast. I did.
The Shanghai airport is really big, and absolutely beautiful. It isn't quite as nice as the terminal we flew out of in Beijing, but close.
While waiting at the airport, I got a decent copy of the swine flu movie that they show on every (maybe all but one) flight we had on china airlines.
The ones on the flights have music and the pig talks, but they are on tiny screens and because they are on a plane, getting them even as smooth as this one isn't easy... this was way better.
About midnight that night a little typhoon thing went through off shore of Hong Kong. That meant a 30 min delay of flight AFTER we boarded. That could have been bad, but it wasn't really. They served tea and left the air on and it was a nice nap time.
Flying wasn't bad. Landing in 50 MPH winds is... interesting... especially when you land on a runway that has water at the END of the runway. It was the only interesting landing we had.
And there we were, hong kong.
Rain and rain and rain and rain... there were breaks in the rain where it let up, we actually got lucky enough to see the normal water parade even in the rain. We got even luckier because they had the fireworks. TORRENTIAL downpour thunder and lightning... and fireworks. The VIP viewing that ABD arranges is from the platform in front of the train station. There was a cemented in umbrella that many of us stood under to watch the show. I got a video... it could have been zoomed in better... but I figure I'm lucky to get this much given that we were all soaked (badly enough that DH threw away DS's jeans because they would never have dried in time to make it home)... We could not have gotten wetter. Waded water about 9 inches deep in places getting to the bus back to Disneyland Hotel. Lots of drowned rats. But it was SO worth it.
Shower and into warm dry clothes.
Up for breakfast... Mickey, Daisy and Pluto were our visitors for breakfast. I SO want to mug one of the cast members/character keepers for their shirts. The HK DL ones are different.
Hong Kong top to bottom...
Drove for an hour to get to Stanly Market. The market was interesting... you could do some hagling, but not a whole lot. DS got a wood and leather box that he was wanting. DD got a tiger painting on canvas that now we will have to have framed for her. I got 2 cashmere shawls to go with my silk one from Shanghai.
Up Victoria Peak for lunch on our own and a stunning view of fog shrouded hong kong harbor. When we got there you could see about 30 feet from the top of the hill off into the trees. NO buildings... no harbor... a couple trees maybe. By the time we left, the wind had changed directions and we were able to see better for the cable car ride down. The view is amazing.
Star Ferry across the harbor to catch the bus in Kowloon back to Disney property. DH remembered the boat ride from 40 something years ago when he was in the service. The seats on the boat are open air with great windows or air conditioned with so so windows. We went open air. The rest of the people on the tour went AC. It wasn't too too bad. It was more humid than we are used to but a lot like "home".
Back to the hotel with time to spare to go to the park for some last pictures, and a trip to the lion king that we missed seeing the day before. I would SO not miss that show if I were anyone going. It is worth the time. It is totally different than the one in Florida. I think the only thing that is the same is the fact that is is Timon, Simba and Pumba and the floats have the same animals on them. The kids opted to stay in the room and rest so they missed out on seeing it.
Farewell dinner in the crystal locus. The food was good, but it was kind of weird. Everyone was waiting for the "main course" and it never really seemed to come. They brought soup and salad and some other stuff like that, but the real DINNER like the dinners we were used to most of the time was kind of... a let down.
We went downstairs for the slideshow viewing and that was awesome. Can't wait to see the photopass version. Got a picture of DS (in the slideshow) eating a duck face. That was well worth it.
And now we are packed and getting ready to leave.
This trip was SO worth every penny. It was absolutely the trip of a lifetime.
One parting thought... Again, it's not good, it's not bad, it's just different. The trip is in China. There are MILLIONS and MILLIONS of people in China and most of them are packed into Urban areas. They have learned that, to claim their place in life, they need to muscle their way into whatever they want to do. So they do. This trip, don't expect niceties everywhere from the locals. For the most part you won't be disrespected but you WILL be treated like everyone else. Lines for tickets and to get into things are a lot like lines on the road... they are suggestions, but if you aren't willing to be just a little pushy, you will never get to see anything. This is especially true if you do things on your own during your "down" time. They aren't doing it to you because you are a visitor they are doing it because that is the way they survive.
Learn just a few words (like hello and thank you) and everyone brightens up (you aren't so much the ugly american... you become human). Expect to be taken advantage of by cabs that are questionable. Expect to haggle over prices for things. Expect to have a trip you will never forget, one that may change the way you look at things.
I will probably post more as I realize all of the things I forgot... don't hesitate to ask question.
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