Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cheung Chau Bun Festival

I took the boys to Cheung Chau Island today (one of Hong Kong's outlying islands).  It is a 30 minute ferry ride to a small fishing island.  We have been there several times before, but this trip was special.  Usually we go there to play at the beach but this weekend, Cheung Chau is holding their annual Bun Festival.  The festival coincides with Buddha's birthday and began as a ritual for fishing villages to pray for safety from pirates but now mainly showcases traditional Chinese culture.

We started off playing at the beach since it was an absolutely beautiful day!

After playing at the beach, we decided to walk through the town to see all the festivities.  The first thing that we noticed was all the buns being made in the local bakeries right on the street.  They are traditional chinese steamed buns (slightly sweet-ish).  During this festival, they make huge towers of these buns and have a race where people climb the tower to collect the buns (the higher up the bun, the more luck you get).  The race is held at midnight this coming Saturday (Buddha's birthday), so we did not see the race, but got to see the towers!

We were also lucky enough to watch some of the traditional Chinese theatre being put on.  I have no idea of the plot, but it was really fascinating to watch!

Finally, we also visited the Pak Tai temple which was built in 1783 to commemorate Pak Tai, the Taoist God of the Sea.  They were burning lots of incense outside and inside the temple of course, which you will see in the photos...the spiral things are large curled sticks of incense and you can see the written prayers that people have attached to them.

An amazing adventure to say the least! :)

Here is a slideshow of all the photos from our outing if you'd like to see more!


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunday afternoon Mahjong

Sunday I met some of my HK friends for lunch followed by an afternoon of Mahjong.  We ate lunch in Tsim Sha Tsui (the area where our apartment is) under the bridge on Haiphong Road (where the "temporary market" is).  It is a very local spot that I have walked through numerous times but had never eaten at.  It is basically lots of little stall like kitchens set up with a common eating area.  No english spoken or written!  My friends informed us of which stalls were best and what to order.  We had some yummy beef balls with noodles as well as pork chop and vegetable.  For dessert we ate something similar to french toast (thick toast, egg-battered and fried served with honey).  It was all very yummy!!!

Then we set off back to our apartment to play Mahjong.  David and I bought a tailor made mahjong set that has both the traditional chinese characters as well as the english characters (to make it a little easier for us!).  The game tiles are truly beautiful (see pics below).  It is a fun game to play although I think I have only scratched the surface of understanding how to play!  It is not easy but LOTS of fun!!!

(From L to R, Betty, myself, Fannie and Veronica)

(L to R, Veronica and Yuyi, Veronica won the first round!)

I won the second round - a whopping $4 win - haha...

From L to R, myself, Fannie and Veronica, deep in thought and strategy...

D-pax likes the tiles too! :)

An excellent way to spend a Sunday afternoon!  Can't wait to do it again soon!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Yay for Poo!

Okay, so we have been working with Will a L-O-N-G time now on potty training (I know...he is 3 1/2...most kids have this down by now).  He has been doing really well with going pee in the potty but has refused to poo in the potty.  I was keeping him in underwear when we were at home and putting him in pull ups when we went out to avoid the inevitable mess.  Well, I finally decided that he wasn't going to figure it out unless I just put him in undies and toughed it out.  Yesterday was the first full day in underwear.  He did GREAT!  No accidents, but then again, NO POO, which is unusual for him.  We did keep him in a pull up overnight.  Today, he said several times that he had to go poo and we would put him on the toilet to no avail.  However, late this afternoon, he finally did not just one, but THREE poos on the potty.  He must have been "storing" them from yesterday.  He was so proud of himself (as were we!).  Finally...some success! :)  I have never been so happy to see poo in all my life.

Anyway, that is our big story of the day.  Here are some pictures from our day's adventures and play:

We had to buy these bubble guns because the boys love bubbles so much...however D-pax always ends up eating the bubble solution while trying to "blow" the bubbles.  The guns bypass the need to blow! :)  Needless to say, they were a big hit...they are Buzz Lightyear paraphanalia.  Thanks, Disney.  LOL...

Oh...and here is a little video of the boys for those of you who have not seen it on my Facebook page:

Happy Tuesday,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

My handsome boys...

Hello!  I will spare you all the usual "it's been so long since I've posted and I swear I am going to try to post more..." rhetoric! ;)

Just thought I would post some cute pics of the boys from our play at the park this afternoon.  It was a hot and humid day in Hong of many to come I am sure as summer approaches here.

I can't believe how big they are getting...especially if I see pictures of them from when we first moved to HK.  They have changed so much!

Happy Monday,