Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday Fun

It started so nice....decorating the tree....Ryan watching football.  The kids having fun.  Short lived happiness...I told Jackson's godmother not to be surprised if he arrived in a Fed Ex box for the holidays.

Jackson quickly found it was more fun to throw the ornaments...and attempt to hit them off the tree than to hang nicely.

Then he plowed over the nativity scene...with his train.  Literally Mary went flying....

He did stop in his tracks to yell touchdown when Ryan's team scored.....we sent the boys to do errands while the girls finished the tree.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hard at work....

We headed back to PA early...between the travel and some late nights..everyone was pretty beat,  Today was great all around.  The kids have been excited about getting a tree, so we did that this afternoon. After 7 loads of laundry and a trip to the grocery store...we were ready to tackle the tree...

Our first attempt at a picture...not so much.  We just put lights on and tomorrow we will attempt the ornaments.  We also broke out our Elf on the Shelf.  Hopefully that will lead to great behavior for the next 5 weeks.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So much to be thankful for...

Of course I am writing this attempting to stay awake so that we can hit some of the stores that open at midnight.....ahh my one late night a year!

We had a great Thanksgiving in NH.....full of family, food and fun!  The kids had a blast with their cousins and will certainly be disappointed when we head back to PA tomorrow.

Uncle Barry started a new tradition...the driveway was a hit...check out the start line

You might also notice...that he is conveniently out in front with his son...not that I am calling CHEATING by any stretch of the imagination...but it sure look suspicious.  No joke...he does not let kids win. 

Next year we will have race bibs and snacks at the end...and we might have to make an adult one of the kids can win (cough cough BARRY)...


Friday, November 18, 2011


It has been a whirlwind since I return....nothing like going from 0 to 90 with jetlag!  I returned to 3 healthy happy cherubs and plenty of Thanksgiving and preschool commitments to keep me running for most of the week.  I also began training again so that coupled with the jetlag has left me in bed with the kids most nights.

We did have some awesome weather earlier in the week!  I love fall and was super happy to be back outside running.  I missed most of the cooler fall weather.  Here are some pics from this week.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hong Kong Final Thoughts

We are in the lounge waiting for our flight home.  Ryan rocked and upgraded us both to business class!  Perks of traveling so much.  We went over to Kowloon to check out the good shopping.  We did not find too much.  You really have to know where to go, otherwise the bargains are not that great.

You really can't see but the Chinese Banyan trees are HUGE.  It provides great shade against the heat.  We met up with another couple that Ryan works with over here.  They took us out for our final night in Hong Kong.  They have spent most of their lives alternating between North America and Asia.  They currently live near Stanley, which is another popular expat community.  This was our view from dinner.

I found it fascinating to learn about their adventures in Asia.  They have two children and have lived in Singapore, Japan, and Hong well as Chicago and Toronto.  The shopping in Stanely was fantastic.  Ryan got a great winter coat, that I get to haul back to the US for a steal.

I am excited to see the kids...but greatful that I was able to have this experience and see Asia.  Onto the US!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Victoria Peak, Aberdeen and Triathlon!

We went to the top of Victoria was neat.  You can see the city and all of the surrounding islands below.  It has not been really warm here like I thought it would.  We have worn jeans and long sleeves most of the time.  This morning the sun came out for the first time since we arrived on Tuesday.

Ryan worked most of yesterday, so my mom and I took off in the morning to Aberdeen.  A smaller fishing village known for floating restaurants and more typical Hong Kong lifestyle than the hustle and bustle of the big city. She had been there 40 years ago and we interested in seeing the changes.

We ate at the SAME restaurant that they did when they were here.  It was neat to hear her describe the changes and all of the developments since then.  It sure has grown!  We ate dim sum, which is popular here, a combination of small appetizer dishes cantonese style. 

We headed back to the central district for the afternoon.  One thing I have also been trying to figure out is how people train for triathlons here.  It is very hilly and the roads are narrow, with little room for error driving let alone biking.  Jen had let me know that she coaches another athlete here.  I was able to connect with Michaela for coffee and to chat.  She did indeed confirm that there is limited biking routes but the scenery is beautiful.  There is outdoor swimming ALL YEAR ROUND, which would be a great change.  I was able to run outside this morning so I know that is an option almost anywhere.  The smog can be a problem so that would be a change as well.

It was great to hear another perspective from an expat. She said that there are some great races in Asia and the season really runs opposite the US.  We then met Ryan for dinner and I was done with asian food for a while.  We picked up slices of pizza and then walked around Lan Kwai Fong.  This is a young area that gets pretty busy with bars and restaurants.  We head to Kowloon tomorrow and then we are meeting uo with some of Ryans coworkers in the afternoon.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Repulse Bay and the Expats

Since we arrived we have spent most of our time in central Hong Kong.  Today my mom and I met some friends who used to live in the States and now live in Hong Kong.  Ryan and Brian work together now and they were recently relocated from Singapore to Hong Kong. 

It was great to be able to see Erika and hear a little about the expat community in HK.  They live about 20 minutes outside of the central city in Repulse Bay.  This was a view from their apartment.


The roads to get here were long and really narrow.  You ride right along the coastline and their seems to be little room for biking for sure.  We ate lunch at the American Club and then headed over to see her place.  They have three kids and it was interesting to hear about the day to day life here.  One challenge is that space is a premium and you live in much smaller spaces than the US.  In addition, it is normal to have live in help here.  So all apartments and houses come with accomodations for live in help.    Ryan would certainly have to cure his cereal and Mt. Dew habit though as cereal is over $10 a box and Mt. Dew is found no where.

Repulse Bay was beautiful.  There is a beach below their building where the kids can one was swimming here though since it is winter.  In the building, there is a grocery store, preschools, little shoppes, playground, and drs offices.  There seem to be a lot of expats within this community so it makes getting to know people much easier.  Public transportation is really good throughout the island so you are able to get to and from places easily,

There are a bunch of other little islands off of Hong Kong..this was taken from the American Club where we at lunch,  We are headed to Victoria Peak, which is the tallest peak in Hong Kong.   

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wan Chai, Victoria Harbor, and others

This is pretty cool.  We took a ferry this evening over to Kowloon, and watched the largest light and laser show.  We spent most of the day exploring Hong Kong central.  Navigating our way through the subway, tram and ferry system.

There is just a MASSIVE amount of people here.  It really does resemble NYC in a lot of ways.

This morning was rainy and overcast so we took the opportunity to see some inside shopping centers and and temples.  We saw the Man Mo temple where you can purchase incense and it can burn for 2 to 3 weeks depending on what you wish for.

We have eaten mostly at the hotel since Ryan is staying here so long it is included in our room.  They have a variety of traditional foods as well as some Western food.  Tomorrow we  are looking forward to exploring Aberdeen and possibly some other Hong Kong suburbs.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hong Kong

We have arrived.  No pictures yet since I forgot the little adapter.  16 hours of flying and a 13 hour time change.  Whew...we barely made it to dinner last night without falling asleep.  I learned a couple of things so far.  I am certainly taller that 99.9 % of the population here.  This morning after my run, I went to get in the shower and needed to duck to wash my hair.  My shoes also do not fit in the little compartments on business class.  Apparently the average woman does not have size 12 sneakers.

We are staying in Causeway Bay which is pretty close to central Hong Kong.  It is relatively mild...70s and HUMID...everyone is talking about this winter weather that they are is winter here as well.  Today we are going to head out and see a couple of different areas of HK and do some shopping.  Ryan arrives this afternoon and he will be able to nagivate the city for us a little easier.

Hopefully I can post some pics soon.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Brianna

Admist of of the chaos this weekend....someone turned 4....

Brianna wore her crown all weekend and she had a blast.  We had friends and relatives fly in from Alabama and Iown and she thought that was great...that they were all coming just for her birthday!

She wanted a Cars Party...her request was a movie and a pinata.

Tomorrow morning I leave for Hong Kong with my mom.  Ryan will fly out on Tuesday. I am looking forward to some warmer weather and a little rest.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

On cupcake overload

It seems like this time of year, we are drowning in sugar.  Today was no exception.  Brianna celebrates her 4th birthday tomorrow at preschool.  She is SO excited.  I asked her what she wanted to bring to school and of course it was cupcakes.  Then I asked her what kind...

the ones with dirt and worms....really mom I like those.

So after Aly went to school this afternoon and Jack went down for a nap....we got busy.

We are ready to celebrate!