Thursday, July 10, 2014


Unofficially of course, we have been watching sharks in Tai Tam Bay!  The police even came over to take a look. I would estimate four or five big ones.  No news seems to be in English about them even though there were reporters a couple days ago.  I heard they were on TV but did not see for myself ( I heard I have been on TV too by ladies at church and in the club house but I never saw). Oh, this language barrier! What kind of shark? Silver tip or Sand shark--we are too high up to see for sure.  They circle and the sea froths in a feeding frenzy.  We see their fins and noses above water a little.  Seems like morning and evening are popular feeding times! Again--wish I could get photos but they are very interesting to watch! Did I mention the jelly fish? We will miss this place so much!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hiking on the back of the Dragon!

We are going on a dragon hunt!  First official day of summer--the kids are done with school hurray!  Now to do some exploring on this beautiful island where we live!  Above is the view from the dragon's spine.  If you look at the sky scrapers on the left you will see our home sweet home!  The spot that looks like a lake is the Tai Tam Reservoir.  It is a fresh water reserve in case of drought.
 Yes!  I was actually on this hike and here are two very rare photos to prove it!!

 The strip of land that circles Tai Tam Bay is actually the Stanley Peninsula.  You can see Stanley Prison on the far left.  Tai Tam Bay is connected to the South China Sea.  The circle of low rise apartments on the right is where the Hong Kong International school calls home at Red Hill Peninsula.
 Here is a better view of the reservoir and Tai Tam County Park.  If you look at the middle on top you will see Park View--a very lovely set of apartments that we considered renting!  (I am more than happy with our choice.  We will be sad to leave.)
 Shek O is the fishing village where we started our hike.  Here you see the very cool shadow a fern makes!
 This is a great view of the Dragon's spine!

 Ok, Devon, Alexis and Emma were with me too!

 No waves at Big Wave Bay today.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Crazy Yummy Food

Here we see the typical fish burger with a rice bun and seaweed. Tim says it was yummy. I will take his word for it until I can order chicken!  The rice bun does look intriguing!

Next up we have the amazing k-roll. It is an Korean style burrito! First the Nori, then a thin layer of rice, then the lettuce, carrots, purple cabbage, sweet onion, avocado, spicy mayo (not sure what it is but tasty!). The yummy piece of chicken, breaded shrimp, or bulgogi! I just cannot explain the yummy factor--it just works!  I might have to try this at home!


This next little gem is my invention.  A pita heated carefully with hummus then a little zaatar ( how do I describe that?) 
Traditionally the Thyme is dried in the sun & mixed with Sun dried Sumac, Sesame Seed and Sea Salt. Then I drizzle extra virgin olive oil.  Next the cucumber pieces, avocado, sprouts (this time sweet pea) with some vinager, mushrooms and some hot pepper flakes. Yummy lunch!

This is my latest creation. A tribute to Chicago. Flaky crust but on the inside is from bottom to top cheese, sausage, salami, onion, peppers, mushrooms, and yummy spinach then cover bottom of crust with basil pesto put said crust on then a smear of sauce and sprinkle of Parmesan. ( the crust was fabulous! I have no idea if it was authentic because I have not been to Chicago since Alexis was born but it was amazing. Text me if you want the recipe--it's a keeper!) This is an amazing pie. Everyone(even China rice boy) loves it.

Last just to gross you out here is a photo of the sushi Tim and I both ate in Japan.  I will confess--I hate fish! That being said this was the most amazing sushi I have ever had bar none. It did not taste like fish--no clue why. Buttery and yummy with a bit of a wasabi kick. Wow--Tokyo!

Now for dessert....too bad I'm full!

Friday, May 30, 2014

Crazy Weekend!

Adventuring in Asia makes the days pass quickly.  (Especially, when we keep secrets from the kids!)  Our latest began at noon on Friday...I told the kids to pack for 3 days of warm weather and do not forget bathings suits.  One catch, they had to share a rolling carryon with a sibling without fighting!  What?!!  So many questions that I added another rule--no guessing or talking with siblings about the guesses.  I'm not sure how well they followed this rule but at least it was more peaceful for me!

4:00 pm--Everyone out the door.  I asked the door man for a taxi and promptly asked the taxi driver to take us to Northpoint MTR station.  This really confused the kids even more--I was just bursting it was so funny!  It took a long time to get a taxi.  The doorman was really angry with our driver for some reason we never figured out some days it is ok that we do not understand Cantonese!  The driver took us to the MTR station and was making remarks about Guangzhou the whole time.  I'm not sure that Emma or Jason caught the reference but Devon, Alexis and I all caught it.  (At this point you need to appreciate that people from mainland China come to Hong Kong to shop.  They bring suitcases for their purchases and take the train.  Hong Kongers refer to them as Mainlanders and do not care for the crowded conditions or attitudes they bring.  So the taxi driver's remarks were not necessarily complimentary but once again--I could ignore them because he did not know I understood a bit!) Guangzhou is a big Chinese city on the mainland that is a rather long train ride away.

4:45 pm--We board the MTR train going the appropriate direction.  It is dragon boat weekend so when Jason keeps bugging me about where we are going I kindly inform him that we are going to ride a dragon!  He is quiet thinking about that for a while and then asks "but is that safe?"  We make it to Central in seats( a rare find on the crowded trains!)

5:15 pm--Then we pull our 3 rolling carryons up the mile long escalator in search of dinner.  Devon, Jp, Emma and Tim(via text) opt for the lamb diner kabobs.  Alexis and I prefer the Vegetarian wraps at MANA! (because they are sooo yummy!)  Then we head to some rare benches that I know exist close by to eat our yummy food!

6:00 pm  Time to meet Tim!  We head to our Starbucks meeting spot and let him eat his kabob. (Good toilets there as well so another great secret that is rare down town!)

6:30--Tim leads us back into the MTR but this time we do not board a train which really confuses the kids!! Then we go back into another train station and head for the Airport Express in the IFC mall.  So, now Alexis knows we are taking an airplane (the dragon!)

7:00 pm-- We head through immigration at the airport.  Tim had us checked in boarding passes ready to keep it away from nosy kids as long as possible!

7:45 pm-- We just happen to find a line to stand in at a boarding gate going to Singapore!  The secret is out!  Alexis squeals with delight and hugs her dad and Emma wonders where Singapore is!

12:30 am--We are standing in line with very tired kids in the Singapore airport waiting to get through customs and to the hotel BUT it was worth the wait!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday in Saigon

Our first day in Saigon was Sunday. We visited a great local church but were asked for obvious reasons not to post photos.  

This was an interesting place that we went to lunch at and had some fancy Vietnamese food!  I ordered cold noodle salad but somehow Emma ate it and I ended up with her french fries--boo!  All was good and we had a great laugh over it.  Mindless eating.
Here we are at the reunification palace.  The US airlifted the President of South Vietnam out just before tanks rolled in.  Also, two bombs landed on the place but neither exploded!
They kept things just like they were when the Communists rolled in which is unusual.  We enjoyed a blast from the past when we saw these old telephones!
This rug was made in Hong Kong!  It has the Chinese Symbol in the middle and dragons.  I had no idea that the Chinese occupied Vietnam long before the French and then Japanese in World War 2.  There were many Chinese people among the Vietnamese.
This is the Notre Dame Cathedral.  You can clearly see the French influence here from the architecture to the French Baguettes!  Of course all of it has an Asian twist or two!
This is the famous Central post office built by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel!  (He also built the Eiffel tower in case you have not guessed.)  The former phone booths are now functioning as cash machines.
The "bones" of this building are amazing to look at!  Still a marvel of architecture.
Now we head to the busy pick pocket haven of the uproarious open market--ugh!  Stuff we must buy though so we go!

This is the famous photographer Randal Hale!

After the heat we head for drinks--here is a luscious cup of passion fruit juice--please pass me ten I am sooo thirsty!
Now we head back to the villa amidst motor bikes galor.  I could never stand driving here!
A bakery that we hit on the way home to get fresh baguettes and treats for breakfast.
The wheels on the bus go round and round!  Here we go!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Up, up and Away!

 Here we are getting ready for the adventure ahead!  Grandma and Grandpa Hale joined us as did our good friends--the Leungs.
 Where are we headed?? Vietnam!  Going to get some history lessons in first person this time!

Here is the room that Tim and I had!  This villa was amazingly gorgeous!  I just had to have the Chinese bed.  Jason liked the claw foot tub in our bathroom.  So here we are first night in Vietnam.