Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wedding Pictures

The photographer’s pictures from Laura and Marcus’ wedding are now online. I snagged a few to show Erik’s and my tailor-made outfits. You can see the bride’s beautiful gown (bride is beautiful too) that my sister, Emily, designed and made. If you want to see the whole album, email me, and I'll send you the link.

Monday, October 27, 2008

In-laws' Visit: Final Trip Report

We spent Oct 4-7 in Bangkok. On Wednesday, Erik and I both worked. The in-laws took a harbor cruise and had lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. In the evening, we went to the horse races which are very popular here, and it was the first time we had been. It was a lot of fun. Mother-in-law was the big winner and won 3 out of the 5 races we bet on! The in-laws went to Ocean Park on Thursday. It is similar to Sea World and has a large aquarium along with amusement park rides. Erik and I have not been there, but everyone says it is great. One of the reasons we haven't gone, is that it can be super crowded on the weekends. Fortunately, the in-laws were able to go on a weekday and avoided the crowds. For dinner, we ate at a Chinese restaurant in the mall near our house. It has amazing fried shrimp balls--so good. After dinner, we had a cocktail at the new W Hotel located right by our apartment. It was super cool, and I can't believe it has been open for a few months, but we hadn't checked it out. I think we will be going there frequently.
Friday was the in-laws last day in Hong Kong. They had a dim sum lunch with Erik and his colleagues and finished some last minute shopping in the Ladies Market. We met for drinks at Sevva, the very cool new roof-top bar near my work which I blogged about here. Next, we headed down to the pier and took a traditional Chinese junk cruise for the evening light show. Again, this is something Erik and I had not done previously, and it was spectacular; however, I was glad the boat trip only lasted 45 minutes, because it was very rocky. The final dinner was at Spring Deer, a Hong Kong institution that specializes in Beijing duck. The food was phenomenal, and we ordered way too much. I tried duck for the first time, and I didn't care for it--too meaty. Erik has had Beijing/Peking duck many times, and he said Spring Deer's was excellent. We rolled our stuffed selves home and last minute packing ensued.
The in-laws were out the door by 7:30 a.m. on Saturday. By 7:31 a.m., I was back in bed and slept until noon! It was a wonderful visit, and I truly loved having the in-laws in Hong Kong.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


As I mentioned, we had a great time in Bangkok. We did not run into any issues with riots, but they may have been the reason our resort was so empty. At the Hong Kong airport, we ran into my friend M who was on our same flight to Bangkok. She informed us our return flight was canceled. This caused a bit of angst and aggravation, but it turned out fine. Once we settled into the hotel, we checked out the night market and had some dinner.

Sunday, was a full day of sight seeing. We visited the famous Reclining Buddha and surrounding temple. Pictures of the Buddha fail to grasp its enormity. It was beautiful. The temple was gorgeous too--very sparkly since most surfaces were mirrored or metallic mosaics--stunning. Then we went to The Grand Palace, the former royal residence. It was so big and completely breathtaking. We saw the Emerald Buddha, but he is not allowed to be photographed. Next, we grabbed lunch at a small cafe near the Palace and headed to the weekend market. Due to the horrendous Bangkok traffic, it took almost and hour by cab. I can not describe how huge the market was. It was a never ending maze of cool and junky stuff jammed with countless shoppers. The heat was almost unbearable, and the crowds took a toll on our patience. I was thrilled to buy two cool display stands for my jewelry, as well as some other trinkets. By the time we got back to the hotel, we were completely spent. We opted for the hotel buffet dinner which was very nice and was accompanied by a traditional Thai dance performance. On Monday, Erik and I went for a traditional Thai massage; two hours for less than US$15 each. After we had lunch, we visited one more temple made of broken plates turned into mosaics. A thunderstorm cut our visit short. The in-laws opted to spend the day visiting the historic Jim Thompson House and having high tea at the Oriental Hotel. Once again, we were too exhausted to leave the resort and ate in their Italian restaurant for dinner. We left the hotel around noon on Tuesday which allowed just enough time to hang out at the pool in the morning. It was a fabulous trip.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We Voted!

Our ballots have been cast! Yesterday, the US Consulate held a voting day for all US citizens. It was wonderful to see the place fully packed. Even though it is likely our ballots won't be counted until the results are final, it feels good to be part of the process even from 8,000 miles away.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Details on In-laws' Visit

First, I updated the post "First Visitors" with some photos which left off at Sunday, September 29 in the in-laws visit. On Monday, I had to work so the in-laws and Erik took the gondola to the Big Buddha and had the vegetarian lunch at the Po Lin Monastery. In the evening, they went to the Peak to see the beautiful city views and had a nice dinner at the top of the mountain. Tuesday, they went out with Erik's colleagues for an authentic dim sum lunch. This place is excellent, and you need a local to take you there because there is zero English. Next, they went to Stanley and Stanley Market. Tuesday night, we checked out the Temple Street Night Market near our apartment and ate in the street at Temple Street Spice Crab.
Wednesday, was National Day, and I didn't have to work. We threw a small party to watch the fireworks from out balcony.
Thursday, it was onto another Buddhist temple the 10,000 Buddhas in Sha Tin which literally has 10,000 Buddhas. Next it was walking along the harbor in Tsim Sha Tsui. I met up with everyone for a drink at the Peak Bar in SoHo and dinner at Nepal, our favorite Indian restaurant.Friday was an easy day which included more shopping in the Jade Market (it is really overwhelming the first time) and a simple dinner in the mall near our apartment. This restaurant serves the ubiquitous Chinese noodle soup, but this shop makes handmade noodles on the premises. I blogged about it here. Friday night was frantic packing for Thailand.
More soon...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Back from Bangkok

We returned last night from Bangkok, Thailand after spending 4 days there with the in-laws. We had a fabulous trip despite some mixed reviews by friends. It was a bonus that we stayed at a beautiful resort, Marriott Resort and Spa. Below are some pictures of the resort.

It has been a very full 12 days thus far, and we don’t plan on slowing down until they leave. Sorry, I haven’t posted more recently, but we have been busy! I will post a full trip report with pictures this weekend. I want to collect everyone’s pictures so I can post a mini scrap book for the in-laws. The agenda has been really great and maybe others can use it as a suggested itinerary.