We flew to Hong Kong on the day the Giants won the World Series, Oct 29, 2014. We landed and watched the last inning on Bob’s iPad via the Wifi in the limo taking us to the Hyatt. Upon arrival we found the Reeds staying at our hotel and celebrated quietly until Tom and Gayle arrived later that night and we started to celebrate the Giants’ victory in earnest. During the weekend we did several things: went out to an island and ate the craziest seafood meal ever, we took the Funicular up to Victoria Peak for the view and had a great a walk. We also took a walk through the protest known as the Umbrella Movement.
The Umbrella Movement was made up of a large number of students protesting China’s decision to manipulate Hong Kong’s election process. These peaceful protesters shut down a main artery of traffic in Central Hong Kong from September to December 2014. It was amazing to walk through the sea of tents, many of them with folks sleeping inside, countless art displays, many posters in Chinese and in English. It was huge. It was moving to walk through and see them very neatly making their demands known. Other than the traffic being halted, the area was quite clean. Many Hong Kongers were in support of the protests despite the inconvenience being caused by these streets being closed down.
The manager of the hotel suggested that we go for a day trip out on the Bay! We headed out to Sai Kung, a suburb of sorts of Hong Kong and looked around there for a while. We were able to take a taxi through a large county park toward the north and then a water taxi to Tap Mun Island (see map). We had a reservation at one of the very busy restaurants with plastic pink tablecloths and had at our feast. It was the kind of Chinese meal with lots of bones and shells so we just made piles on the tables of the detritus. There were monkeys in the forest that we could see from the bus on the way back and there was a cow at the bus stop (which reminded me of India). Just a cow begging from picnickers. Normal.
Other fun things to do in Hong Kong include taking the tram to the top of the mountain for the view. We walked through a bird park, we took a scenic boat ride around the harbor at night with drinks and we went to Hollywood Road to eat really nice French food for ours and Mark and Kappy’s anniversaries (both November 3rd). It was insane out there for Halloween! Thousands of costumed revelers were out and about in a crowd controlled street barrier situation. It was actually difficult to walk around and nearly impossible to get a taxi.
The other incredibly important thing that occurred here is that the Jackson family was staying at our hotel. I kept seeing them at the buffet in the Club and recognizing one brother after another. Finally, Gayle encouraged me to go to speak to Jermaine when he was near the elevator. I did and he was very friendly and Gayle took this picture of us.
Our guests continued on to Shanghai with us and stayed for a week. They all got caught up in shopping and I think Gayle and Kappy traveled home with very heavy suitcases–purses, suitcases, fake Lululemon, chopsticks, shoes, I dunno. We also traveled to Xi’an to see the Terra Cotta Warriors and they went on to Beijing on their own.
More stories and pictures coming folks! Thanks for reading. People continue to ask if we know if we are returning to Shanghai and the answer is: We don’t know!
Happy New Year to all of you!! Let’s have a fantastic 2016.