Wednesday, October 10, 2012

arriving in Hong Kong & the midautumn festival

I try not to let them climb on the table, but the girls can't get enough of all the action going on in the street right below us
I've been trying to decide if I'm going to blog while we're in Hong Kong, it just sounds so overwhelming- and life is overwhelming enough as it is right now. But, I know I'd regret it if I didn't at least give it a try. Plus, I need to quit researching places to eat, things to do, and stuff I want to buy in Hong Kong during the girls nap time- I have lists longer than the time we'll be out here. Hong Kong really is an amazing place! I ought to blog first about our Europe trip, but I'm hoping I'll get into a groove documenting our new little life out here then get around to some highlights of England. So here it goes...
This was me taking the girls out for the first time by myself. I felt like wearing a superhero cape.
Life is a little scary right now. (just in time for Halloween!) 3 weeks ago everything was going as expected- I was ready to get home from our amazing trip and make costumes for the girls, go apple picking and pumpkin carving and bake all sorts of pumpkin and ginger and cinnamon types of fall goodness as I anticipated the oncoming holidays of my favorite time of year. Brad was working at a good, stable job that he didn't love, but that I didn't expect him to leave anytime this year. Things were ordinary. Then something new came up, an opportunity that fit in with one of Brad's dreams of living in Asia.
yay! Brad's living his dream of living in Hong Kong and buying dragon fruit.
There are a lot of unknowns in our future as Brad starts a new company... will we be back in Hong Kong? What will the end result of Brad's work be? I like to plan and I'm not a huge fan of unknowns, but being married to an entrepreneur involves some risks. This is one of the first big risks we've taken together, so I'm trying to have faith in the fact that we wouldn't have felt good about it if if wasn't a good thing for us to be out here. When Brad's last company (Zinch) relocated to San Francisco we went out there and did apartment hunting, by the end of the weekend we both could just feel it wasn't the right thing for us- we stayed in Utah and Brad left Zinch shortly after. This felt different, so I'm trying to remind myself of that when I occasionally think "what in the heck are we doing out here?!" I'm also putting faith in the fact that Brad is pretty awesome and he'll figure things out one way or another. And it certainly doesn't hurt that during this risky time I get to enjoy living in a new culture with all sorts of new and exciting things for me to discover.
I couldn't believe we could fit all our essentials into a few large suitcases. Simplifying does help to focus in on whats important- here's everything we need to call anywhere home. (and I think some decluttering is in order when we get back to Utah..)
The girls did okay on the plane ride out- it was really hard, mostly because we had just taken 2 very long plane rides with them a couple weeks before.

Look at Brad multitask in the SF airport!
We really lucked out with our own rows on the long flight- the girls got some good sleep on the plane so that was nice.

We had a layover in Tokyo, which had the most hilarious signs and crazy toilets in the world. not only were they also bidets, but they played music or falling water noises so that you could do your business discretely. After our potty break we were depressed to discover we had to fly 4 more hours to get to Hong Kong. I was spent. Those four hours felt like 10 after all the traveling we'd done.
umm...i just wanted to pee, i can do that here right?
We grabbed our bags, hoped in the car we'd arranged to pick us up, and arrived at our apartment realizing we'd left the girls pack n' plays at the airport. oops, more on that later.
the girls claiming their territory. "this place belongs to us. our toys go...everywhere! don't even try to stop us, this town is ours."
We went to church in the morning- the girls did pretty well in nursery considering it was their first time going (they turned 18 months right about when we left for England) and they'd flown half way across the world just hours before.
We walked home and took long naps till I woke everyone up to go see the mid-autumn festival, being celebrated at the park right next to us. I kept trying to figure out when and where they were going to release the floating lanterns- to my dismay I discovered real floating lanterns are actually illegal in Hong Kong. Should I be glad that we're living somewhere that's concerned with laws and safety? Yes. Am I? No. When I first saw floating lanterns on the movie Tangled, I thought they were as real as magic golden flowers. Then I saw them on pinterest and started wondering if they could be real...Brad confirmed that they were real and informed me he'd released some on his mission in Taiwan. I decided it was one of my dreams to see them, and was so excited we were going to be in Hong Kong just in time for the lantern festival!
maybe it was a little mean to wake them up...but we couldn't let them miss this right?

Their safe, modern versions of lanterns were still very neat. Just not quite as cool as the real thing- someday I'll have to visit a more rural area in China that still does 'em the old fashioned (aka magical) way.
the big celebration happened to be at the park right next to our place, very convenient for tired folks.
we're a happy, tired family

this festival is all about the moon- it's always held on a full moon and everyone eats moon cakes.
it's also about fire dragons.
and lanterns.
that thing that looks like a giant fire ball is supposed to be a moon.
We ran around the roads trying to see the fire dragon without having to stay up till 11 with the girls.
We were tired and our shoulders ached carrying the girls so we grabbed some dessert and I was pretty amused to see fellow customers at the restaurant taking pictures of our girls with their ipads- not very inconspicuous. Our girls are such Asian rock stars.
fire dragon was worth the wait though- so cool! 

turns out we weren't the only ones who wanted to see the fire dragon.
Thanks for the warm welcome Hong Kong!


LL said...

Good for you guys!
Priceless experiences, so so fun.

Stephanie Lee said...

What an adventure! What a cool place to live. You are so brave to take TWO little ones on flights that long!

Brooke said...

hooray for adventure! :)

Da Denninghoff's said...

Wow! What an amazing journey you're on. More unique and memorable experiences await:)

The Oborn Supremacy said...

We miss you, but it is an adventure for your family. Just keep it at 2 1/2 months. Cute pictures!

Kelly said...

Such an adventure! Your family is adorable. My sister, Julie, is married to your cousin, Tom. He and I met on our missions in Holland long ago. I blogged during our one year in Taiwan. Was your husband in the Taipei mission? That's where we were. In Hsinchu. Take care! I hope you get to meet my daughter. She is in the MTC learning Cantonese. Goes to HK in mid December.


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