Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April Antics

Belated Happy Easter everyone! Easter isn't a big holiday in our household but there's something about celebrating it in the spring that just feels right. There's not a whole lot of chocolate to be had here in Hong Kong, certainly not in comparison to the overwhelming quantities of eggs and bunnies available in Aus at this time of year, but there's enough to make you feel like a bit of glutton. We've also managed to track down hot cross buns, and this year marked the start of a new tradition: Easter Saturday pikelets, something we all embraced wholeheartedly. We decided to forego the roast lamb that we would have had for Sunday lunch if we were down under this Easter, but instead we had quiche with a salad made almost entirely of ingredients fresh from our garden! The lettuce, spinach and herbs are going nuts, and this week I planted tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, beans and sunflowers. I haven't been this excited about food in a long time and with the weather being absolutely gorgeous I think it's fair to say things are looking up!

We kicked off the Easter weekend on Friday with a 'safari' at Harbour City organised by Little Steps. It was Easter on adrenaline, and J had an absolute ball. There were games and giveaways and a whole lot of giant fluffy rabbit ears, plus the kid's first trip to Toys R' Us. It was a lot of fun and our boy was brilliant. He was just so thrilled to be out somewhere different that he wasn't at all demanding, and he's been like that the whole weekend. I'm sure it won't last so I'm making the most of it! Apart from that (and the Eastery food) there hasn't been too much going on this weekend. We've just been enjoying the sunshine, each other's company and four days without any construction/demolition/endless pole-driving and drilling - it's been bliss!

Working backwards, I want to write about our little sojourn to Macau last week. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, here, it was our first trip away without J. Leaving him was tough, and he got very upset which didn't help to alleviate the feelings of immense guilt, but the further away we got, the easier it became. We caught the ferry over (a bit hair-raising to be honest) and shuffled through immigration with the rest of the hordes. We were collected by a courtesy bus and driven to our digs for the night The Venetian Macao and the fun began. Firstly, this place is huge, and the whole vibe is composed to make you feel like you're in Venice. From the "gondoliers" at the door to the fake canals, it's all so over-the-top and surreal, but the attention to detail is quite simply superb. We strolled along the canals, shopped a little, and ate a pretty spectacular dinner at Brazilian restauraunt Fogosamba in the heart of the faux St Mark's Square. Apart from eating a meal at a table and having an uninterrupted adult conversation and a glass of wine, the highlight of the trip was Cirque Du Soleil's performance of Zaia. It was breathtaking and awesome and totally spellbinding - I can't say enough good things about it. There were a few downsides to the hotel, like it's not a place for kids, and it's so massive that we spent a lot of time walking to and from places (or getting lost). I also hated the fact that people were allowed to smoke everywhere, even in the elevators, so we were desperate for fresh air after a few hours indoors. I also got asked to leave the pool area while I was sitting at the edge dangling my feet in. Apparently you need to be wearing a swimsuit and take a shower before putting any part of yourself in the water... After spending the night in a suite that was bigger than our house we bypassed the casinos and the perpetual twilight of the canals and caught a cab to Macau city. It was beautiful, not something I ever expected to say about a city on the edge of China, but they obviously take great pride in their heritage, and if you can ignore the Starbucks and McDonald's outlets tucked into the old Portugese terraces, you will feel like you've been transported to another place. We followed the well-trodden tourist path, with a few detours and we weren't disappointed. 

We arrived back home late that afternoon and were greeted with an excited chorus of "mamadadamamadada!" Our helper looked exhausted but our little guy was fine without us. He bit me a few times just to show me that he hadn't been all that impressed about being left behind, but we have definitely been converted to the child-free mini-break. It was nice to be somewhere different and to be reminded of the kind of people we were before we had a baby, and we found we actually had other things to talk about. All in all a great experience. Here are some photos of the old city:

 The old post office

 St Dominic's Cathedral

 The old Macau Fort

 The ruins of St Paul's

And here are a few from The Venetian:

 The Vegas of Asia

 The outdoor canal
 And the indoor one

PS: if you haven't done so already, please head over to the button on the right and vote for me in the Sydney Writer's Centre blog awards (please!). Email subscribers to the blog will need to go to the actual blog to do this (please!).

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog and its great. I'm an expat in Beijing and I love reading other expat's blogs. These pictures are beautiful, I look forward to reading more about your life in Hong Kong. -Katharine