Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays from all of us and may your New Year be an adventure!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A whole world and day away

Tom and I returned home yesterday. It all seems so surreal now. The total travel time was about 28 grueling hours. We are walking arround in what feels like a Advil PM induced haze. The drive to work was quiet, no taxis jumping lanes and no double decker buses appearing to tip their contents over on narrow winding roads.

This blog will of course continue - it was extablished to get us through what will be an extremely wonderful and amazing experience. Dates are being set and the trigger has been pulled. We are off to Hong Kong!

Tom has assumed the title of Associate VP of Academics for Hong Kong and will leave mid February on his assignment. The girls and I will of course follow after school has ended in June. We hope to share this journey with you all.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Everything is OK... They have sweet tea!

Drinking sweet tea in a Bubba Gump's restaurant on top of The Peak - I think I can live here.

- Posted using BlogPress from Tom's iPhone

Thursday, December 17, 2009

MC Escher's Inspiration

I have to wonder if Escher ever travelled to Hong Kong. While his experience in architecture and graphic design are fascinating, I can't think of any where else that would have as many steps as this city built on the very edges of mountains. Each trip from the hotel is a three block walk up hill to the subway station. From there you descend 100 (or so) steps into the deep. If you are unlucky, you will take a wrong turn exiting the train and be forced to walk up the endless flights without the assistance of escalators.

The world's longest out door escalator is located here. I have to admit though that I haven't been lucky enough to ride it!

Even the malls and schools are filled with flights of stairs and rising escalators. It's not uncommon for them to be six or eight stories high. Even more fascinating is the fact that this is all under a 40+ story tower of businesses and residences.

Starbucks and McDonald's have modified there retail approach in these spaces. You will find an small McFlurry stand and a set of steps at the entrance. Main counter is on the second floor and additional dining space on the third. Even grabbing a bite to eat can be exhausting!

Monday, December 14, 2009

OMG There is no @#$)&^%* toilet paper!

Caution, this post may not be suitable for all audiences.

So this was it, Tom had a meeting at the SCAD HK offices and I was on my own for the afternoon. I was determined to solo the MTR (subway system) and the ferries. My destination, Discovery Bay. We had lunch together after touring a school, then separated one stop away from my hop off to the piers. Now Tom had warned me, public restrooms were not pleasant experiences. I was however, in need.

No toilet in the restaurant area, nor in the MTR station, now I was at the pier with ten minutes prior to a 30 minute ferry ride. HMMM..... I spotted a public toilet at the Central Pier. Okay, that one was "under maintenance." (Hopefully that means it was being cleaned!) I went to the opposite side - thank goodness it was open!

I proceeded into one of the two stalls that may have put any us highway gas station in highest respect. Did the necessaries, then..... Oh no, no paper. No dispenser. Now what? Thank goodness for the ONE last slightly sweaty kleenex in my purse!

I, of course, finish my duties and go to the sink. Again, no paper, no dispenser. I am perplexed. I look over to what we may find to be a novelty or sanitary dispenser and look closer. The small blue packages in the photo actually had the infamous words "KLEENEX" printed in the appropriate font.

It is clear now - HK$2 (that's $.25 for us) gets you all the paper products you will need!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sundays are for church (or temple)

So we were told that Sundays were family days, which we found quite true. The domestic helpers were out and enjoying a day off. And everyone else jammed themselves into the MTRs (subways). This is the one day of the week that is for being together, be it shopping, going to the beach, or visiting your favorite icons. (In this case the Giant Buddha at Ngong Ping.) What an experience!

The 25 minute cable car ride was extraordinary. We floated above the tree tops and dipped in and out of the clouds. We arrived at the peak which was a charming little village looking almost Disney-esque. Only to find it was merchandised much the same! (Who could imagine a Starbucks at the top?!?!?)

The monastery, prayer circle, and Buddha however left us speechless. (Or at least extremely winded!)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Chinese love to Shop!

Kim and I played tourist today. Turns out this was some sort of Chinese big shopping day. The taxi driver indicated that everyone got 15% to 20% off today. As a result it was very crowded. The entire city is decorated with lights and Christmas cheer and everyone was in the holiday spirit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm melting

Its about 4:30 in the morning our time. I have officially been up for about 23 hours with only brief naps that can only compare to sleep in a hospital bed. THANK GOODNESS we had business class seats!

I have to admit that the service is amazing - including being presented a small bottle with the only English words being natural mineral water. I wasn't quite sure what to make of it. The contents were under pressure. I finally decided though that it works great on the static that built up in my hair. (Used it just like hairspray) Who would have thought this Georgian would actually need to add humidity?

We are now sitting in the first class lounge in Seoul Korea awaiting our next flight in about an hour and a half. Tom keeps looking over at me expecting me to break down in tears. I, however, am laughing deliriously at the computer screen that has automatically changed over to all Korean characters!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What do you mean we are over Alaska!?

Tom and I left the house nearly 13 hours ago. We just looked at the flight map to see that we had just flown across the boarder into Alaska. It seems like forever, but the view is quite spectacular now that the sun is lower in the sky.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Just Do It!

So I started a blog....

It's just like any other creative writing assignment growing up. Right?!

I have stewed over a blank page for about three weeks now trying to figure out how to begin. After a little motivational pep talk by my other fellow bloggers, (Thanks Kelly and Lauren) I realized that I have to just do it. Really, how many are in my following right now anyway? Y'all know me well enough that I can just let it go!

There is no valuable life lesson today, just that communication starts with words. The rest will come.