Monday, October 28, 2013

Annual Family Halloween party.

 My family finds any excuse to gather together to eat and have fun.
Halloween is no exception.

We have costume contests, food, and dancing and
it's always a good time to see everyone old and young
dressed up in their costumes.
 ^^The spread
 Tinker-bell and a Cheetah. ^^
 ^^Dancing to the oldies.
^^We sang Happy Birthday to my dad since it was the day before.
^^Most of the gang.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hong Kong {part I}

We arrived to Hong Kong late in the evening and took a taxi
to our hotel in Kowloon.  We kept driving through jungles of tall buildings
and passing bridges for what seemed like hours.  

I can't begin to describe how huge Hong Kong is and how many people reside there. 
According to Wikipedia Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated
areas in the world, 6,300 people per square kilometer.
No wonder there were people every which way I turned!

Once we got settled in our hotel we looked out the window and were amazed at
the many lights that were outside.  The first picture above is
the view from our room.  

The next day we had made plans to go to the Mormon temple, 
since we are all Mormon we thought it'd be cool to see
a temple of our faith across the world. It was beautiful inside and out.

At the temple we met a nice couple from the U.S. that directed us to 
a nice mall with a huge food court.  We ate and then walked around
in awe of the most beautiful mall, complete with an ice-skating
rink inside.  This one of the things that struck me most about Hong Kong, 
were the luxurious malls.  They make the malls back home look like shacks.

After getting well acquainted with the metro system we made our way
to Times Square.  I gotta be honest, I hate Times Square in NYC, 
I find it so touristy and obnoxious, but when in Rome or Hong Kong....

We walked around TS, looked around some of the shops and
then saw people walking around with waffles folded in half.  We knew we
needed some of that sweet goodness.  So we filled our tummies with
waffles lathered with condensed milk...delish!

Afterwards we took a taxi and headed to the famous Victoria Peak
to see Hong Kong at night.  Wow is all I can say...the 
jungled city was just spectacular with all the lights aglow 
amidst the thin fog that surrounded the skyline.  It was 
so beautiful up there, a bit windy, but we loved
seeing Hong Kong show off  for us.
^^Our hotel, The Cosmo.
^^Skyline from our hotel room in the morning.
^^Mormon temple.
^^Jade market.
^^Times Square hustle and bustle.
^^The most delicious waffles with condensed milk in between.
^^View from Victoria Peak.
Next up...Big Buddha.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Niece sleepover.

^^Delicious huevos rancheros.
^^My niece Sara who reminds me too much of myself in all senses.
^^The three amigas.
^^Farmers market.
I have my nieces for a sleepover at my place about twice a year.
They look forward to it and so do I.  We usually get pizza, watch some
sort of princess movie and then they stay up late giggling.

Ah to be a kid again.

  This past weekend we did the same traditions followed by a morning
of breakfast {joined by my brother and his wife} at our favorite local spot, and then we switched it up by
heading to the Farmers market in Provo.  The girls had fun picking out a little something
and soaking up the autumn air.
There were a few hiccups with the
girls but I'm thinking that's just life with kids...
it never goes according to plan.

But the beauty of being the aunt, I get to have fun with them
and then drop them off at their mom and dads.

It's a win/win in my book!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand {part II}

The last couple of days on the islands we
made sure to soak it all up.  I was excited
that we would be heading to Hong Kong, 
but I knew it was a big city and that always means
throbbing feet and a different type of vacation.

We decided to go explore the island we'd been staying on
the last day.  I'm so glad we did.  We got to see what
real village life was like outside of the resort.  I know resort life
isn't the way the island people live.  It was humbling
to see how the local people didn't have much in the form of monetary
means, but they live simply and with such gratitude for what they do have.

The side of the island we stayed on was not affected
by the 2005 tsunami, however the other side of the island
was almost completely destroyed.  While exploring the other side
we noticed all of the empty homes, sometimes with only
one wall standing or just the cement foundation was left.  I can't imagine how many lives were
lost or how many others were affected by loss of a loved one or ones.

Not only was southern Thailand  awe-inspiring, charming, 
and gorgeous but the people were so kind.
We made friends with the staff at the resort
and it was so beautiful to see them clasp their
hands together, bow their heads and greet us with
a sweet smile on their faces.
^^Mango with sticky rice and coconut milk...I had it almost every day.
 ^^Traditional Thai dancing.

 ^^Loved all the different types of flowers.
 ^^Thai's main form of transportation...scooters.  We saw some that had 3-4 people on them.

 ^^After a day at the beach we made it up the hill to see the sun set.
^^The staff we made friends with, bidding us farewell.

Up next...Hong Kong.