Friday, December 12, 2008

This week in review

Okay, my goal is to start posting daily (or at least every few days) but at least this time, it has only been a week or so! ;)

It has been an interesting weeks of ups and downs.  I have developed a respiratory infection but am on the mend (I think!).  The boys have been great and are looking forward to Christmas.  Will has already been telling me about how Santa is going to bring him things because "I'm being SOOOO good, mommy".  Funny.  He has also tried to locate "santa's camera" inside the christmas tree.  I had to tell him that it was very small and hidden so that we would not find it.

David's brother Tony is going to be able to join us for Christmas!!!  He currently lives in Syria (Damascus) and will be coming to HK from the 19th-26th.  We are so excited to have him here to celebrate the holiday.  When I told Will he said "UNCLE T-BONE!  WOO-HOO!"  It was cute.

Here are some random photos from this weeks outings:



Well, in the interest of my health, I need to make this short and go to bed!  Hope you all are having fun preparing for the holidays!

Becca

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Okay...clearly I am no good at keeping up with my blog! :)  In my defense...it has been really busy around here with David working late most nights (past dinner and bedtime!) and Will giving up taking an afternoon nap about a month ago.  That has really limited my "free" time.  Oh, and I also re-formated my manuscript (from my post-doctoral research) for resubmission in a new journal (American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology).  Whew...

Everything in Hong Kong is still great!  We celebrated Thanksgiving with the boys by making a roast chicken with all the usual Thanksgiving dinner sides (stuffing, cranberries, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn and of course pumpkin pie!).  We certainly missed our extended family, but had a nice day all in all.  I bought a christmas tree and am working on decorations without breaking my budget.  The kids and I are going to make a lot of homemade decorations!

We have been busy running around as usual and I am going to let the pictures speak for themselves (by the way, if you want to see the pictures in a bigger form, mouse over the image and click on the little rainbow circle in the lower left hand corner and it will show you the link to my picasa web photo album where you can see larger images).  There are a ton...despite the fact that I was camera-less for a few weeks (the boys destroyed my digital camera and we just got a new one before Thanksgiving!).  Here goes nothing...

Hong Kong Railway Museum and Tai Po Market:

Snoopy's World, Sha Tin:

Hong Kong Central Library and Victoria Park:

Avenue of Stars and Middle Road Park:

Eating Oatmeal and Kowloon Park play:

Star Ferry Ride and Hong Kong Park:

Whew...hope you enjoy the photos!  I am going to work on posting more often and including more on our day to day activites (you know...the boring stuff! LOL).

Miss you all!
Becca

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hi all!  Sorry it has been a while since I last posted!  David has been really busy working, which means I am really busy at home with the boys! :)

We are doing well.  We have some friends (Angela and Wes) visiting us from the US, so it has been fun to show them around and share some of our favorite places!  They have taken a ton of pictures, so we will reap the benefits of their excellent photography skills. 

I took the boys back to Hong Kong Park the other day.  There is a big sand pit there and we brought some dump trucks to play with.  There was another little Chinese boy there who had a backhoe and they all took turns sharing their toys.  It was fun and I got some great shots of them playing with the trucks.



We will celebrate Will's 3rd birthday on Wednesday October 29.  I will be sure to post pictures. I think we are planning to take him to Ocean Park (kind of like Sea World) on Friday to celebrate his birthday as well as Halloween (they have a big show for Halloween).  I can't believe he is turning 3!!!

Not much else new to report!  Still trying to adventure out to new spots.  I miss the fall foliage of VA though.  It is still 80-90 degrees here, although not as humid as it was previously.  It does not seem like the end of October for sure!

Will post again later this week!

Becca

Thursday, October 9, 2008

WATCH AND VOTE!!!

Please pass this on...



AND DON'T FORGET TO REGISTER AND VOTE!!!

Hong Kong Park

Hello!  We adventured today to one of the big parks on Hong Kong Island called Hong Kong Park.  It sits right in the middle of the business district, so you are surrounded by skyscrapers, yet it is absolutely beautiful!  They do a fantastic job of landscaping and there is a lake stocked with lots of fish and turtles for the kids to see.  There is also a conservation area which has lots of different plants to view (with names labeled and a history of the plant).  There is an aviary as well but we did not go in today because there was a steep flight of steps and I had the stroller with me and didn't feel like lugging it all the way up!  To top it all off, there was this amazing children's playground with SIX different levels.  Each level had different things to climb and play on.  One was a big sand pit with diggers, which of course Will loved.  It was one of the best parks I have ever been to.  Seriously!

Enjoy the pictures!



Becca

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Goldfish, Flower and Bird Markets

I took the boys to the Bird, Goldfish and Flower markets in Mong Kok today!  It is an area just north of where we live (3 train stops from us!) that has a lot of outdoor markets.  I thought that the boys would appreciate seeing the animals (although I would have rather done some shopping - amazing stuff up there if you know where to look!).

The Flower market was at least an entire block of shops that almost all sold plants and fresh cut flowers.  While still busy, it was a nice change of scenery!

The Goldfish market was really cool.  A whole street with many fish stores.  The fish are out in big aquariums and tanks that you can look at.  There was a wide variety in all shapes, sizes and colors, including a whole store that did salt water tanks.  Unfortunately, they won't let you take pictures.  Will really enjoyed seeing the fish!

The bird market and garden was interesting.  Lots of older men sitting around talking, smoking and looking at their birds.  And of course birds for sale too.

Here are some photos of our adventures:


The extreme close up of the plant was actually taken by Will...I thought it was a pretty cool picture! :)  I also love the picture of Will watching the train go by...he is still enthralled with trains.  We have to wait to watch them go by or he will throw a fit!  After I took that picture he asked if we could go ride on that train.

Next we have to hit the Jade market...think I will do that on on my own so I can enjoy it in peace! :)  hahaha....

Becca

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Big Wave Bay Beach

So I took the boys to the beach today!  We had a great time.  It was the first time the boys have really gotten to play in the sand and surf so it was fun to see them explore.  Of course as we were leaving, I heard an announcement that the beach was "officially" closed because the shark nets had sustained damage in the recent typhoon.  Nice.  Apparently the beaches here drop very deep very close to shore so they use shark nets to prevent the shark from coming up to the swimming area.  Daddy David refers to the boys as "chum" for the sharks and is adamant that they are not to go in the water! :)

We had a nice trip and enjoyed playing in the sea!



Becca

Thursday, September 18, 2008

David Paxton is walking!!!

Well...he finally decided that he really need to keep up with his big brother, so little D-Pax is now walking.  And really pretty well too!  Here is a little video proof!


video

Now I am really in trouble when the boys each run in a different direction! :)

Happy Friday!  Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Becca


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Mid-Autumn Festival

Last night was the Mid-Autumn festival here in Hong Kong.  It is a big event and everyone carries decorated lanterns in all shapes and sizes out in the streets and parks.  We went to the park first and watched a "dragon dance" at the Kung Fu Corner (they practice Kung Fu in the park every Sunday for everyone to watch) then took the kids down to see a big display of lanterns on the Harbor promenade just around the corner of our building.


We had dinner out at a small local restaurant.  The food was awesome!  We did get a chuckle out of this menu item:

???????  Hmmmmm....

Love to all!
Becca

Friday, September 12, 2008

AFV has nothing on Will...

Sit back and enjoy this classic moment captured on video...


video

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Finally! Some pictures!

Hello!  Well...we've been busy exploring all that Hong Kong has to offer so I have not posted much yet, but I wanted to add some pictures from our first full week in Hong Kong.  We have had a great time and are enjoying our new home!  I'll let the pictures speak for themselves...

Our Arrival/Apartment/Local Park:

Streets of HK (near our apartment building):

Our trip to the Big Budda on Lantau Island:

Our local park - Kowloon Park (a 5 min walk from our door):

At the Pacific Club Playroom (also a 5 min walk from our door):


Our trip to Lamma Island (one of HKs outlying islands):

Sorry to overwhelm you with photos, but wanted to catch up on a weeks worth of events! :)  We are doing great.  It took the boys about a week to adjust to the time difference.  They seem to be back on a good schedule, although they are getting up earlier than they were in VA (6am!).  It works well for us though, so no complaints.

David started his job this past week and has been enjoying getting to know his colleagues and such.  They seem like a very nice group of people and have been very welcoming to us.

D-Pax is *almost* walking!  He takes 5-6 steps at a time now, so we know it won't be long.  And he is really trying to say some words (other than mama and dada).

Will is so excited that the Pacific Club playroom has a Thomas the Tank Engine train table complete with all the trains!  He asks to go there everyday.  And I have met several other expat moms and their kids there (they all live in our building).  The Pacific Club is a gym/club facility that we have a membership to (comes with the apartment).  The Club is in a pier attached to our building and has an amazing play area for the kids.  It has the train table, an inside playground (slides...etc), a reading area with tons of books, a ball pit, a small fenced area where they can ride bikes, an air hockey table (Will is really good at it!) and a small computer room (mostly for older kids).  It also has a pool and gym facility...etc.  Really nice place!

Kowloon Park has also been a big hit with the kids.  Not only does it have an awesome outdoor playground and pool, it also has gardens, fountains, an aviary (birds), a maze and a ton of other things to do.  I am sure we will enjoy it even more when the weather cools down a bit!  It is usually in the upper 80s to low 90s with VERY high humidity (75-90%!!!).  It should cool down soon though.

The Big Budda trip was amazing!  The cable cars were so high up...I have to admit, it was a little scary.  The kids didn't seem to mind though.  Will was looking out the window the whole time!  We had lunch at the monastery there (they serve a vegetarian lunch, family style).

We went to Lamma island yesterday.  We took the ferry (30 min ride from HK island) over and had lunch there and went to the beach.  We hadn't planned on swimming, so we didn't have suits!  Will got his feet (and clothes) wet...his first time in the ocean.  It is on the South China Sea.  There are no cars allowed on Lamma island, just bicycles.  It seemed very remote...a big change from HK island itself and a nice getaway!

David's mom is still here with us (you'll see her in the photos) until Tuesday.  It has been nice to have the extra help and we will be sad to see her go.  I will have to re-adjust to taking care of the kids by myself during the day! :)

All in all...we are having a fabulous time!

More soon-
Becca

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We made it!

well...here we sit in our apartment in Hong Kong!  The kids did fantastic on the flight over and our apartment is really great!  I will post some pictures once I can see straight!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

T minus 16 days and counting! Yes, that's right, we leave Charlottesville, VA on August 25 for Richmond where we will stay overnight and depart for Hong Kong the morning of August 26. Our flight takes us to JKF (NYC) first, then onto a Cathay Pacific flight direct to Hong Kong! We are flying business class (woowoo) to HK and have elected to just have 3 seats since we don't thing D-Pax will sit in a seat by himself since the "pods" in business class sit at an angle (an he wouldn't be able to see us). Hopefully we will not regret this! The "pods" look fantastic and roomy and the chairs fully recline, so maybe we can sleep some too.

We land in HK on Aug 27 at about 6pm their time (which is 6am eastern time!). Adjusting to jet lag with two kids should be OH SO FUN! :) Hopefully they will be so exhausted from the trip that we can just sleep. Wishful thinking I am sure!

Our heads are spinning a little trying to wrap up all the loose ends here as you can imagine!

Exciting times for sure!

Becca

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Hooray! We have an apartment!

Hooray! We officially have a 2BR + study apartment in Hong Kong! You can check out the website at http://www.gatewayapartments.com.hk/en/index.htm

It is a place called The Gateway apartments. It is on the Kowloon side and the building (high rise of course!) looks out over Victoria Harbor onto Hong Kong Island. It is very near a nice park called Kowloon Park (http://www.lcsd.gov.hk/parks/kp/en/index.php), which should be really nice for the kids. We did have to sign a one year lease, so hopefully we won't be disappointed! :)

I am excited because it comes with daily MAID SERVICE! WOO-HOO! And it is over 1700+ sqft, which is huge by Hong Kong standards. All in all, we feel good about our decision.

Becca

Friday, July 4, 2008

Are we there yet?

Well...not exactly! We have just under 2 months of final preparations to make before we make the move to Hong Kong in September 2008. We are a little overwhelmed right now with all the things on our "to do list" but are excited none the less.

We created this site to keep everyone in the loop about our adventures (both before and during our journey). I am sure we will be posting much more once we arrive!

Becca, David, Will and David Paxton Deaton