Both of my sisters decided to come out for the Midterm break we had. This would be my middle sister’s (Auntie) 3rd visit and my youngest sister’s (Sissy) 1st visit.
Love and I went to the airport to pick them up. Earlier in the day, their flight was delayed an hour. As the day went on though, the plane seemed to make up most of the time and arrived about 15 minutes late. Not too bad. Sisters said there was some mechanical problem or something.
From there, we took them on the bus home (giving them the full Hong Kong experience taking local transport. LOL).
The kids were so happy to see them. They got there in the evening, so there wasn’t much that could be done.
The first day, we went a bit light. Jet lag and all of that. Hong Kong is 14 hours different from Chicago at that point in the year (when Chicago springs ahead, we are only 13 hours ahead).
We took them to Diamond Hill the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Gardens. Both are gorgeous places off of the Kwun Tong MTR Line. We had lunch in Plaza Hollywood. After, we sent the kids home, while I took my sisters to check out one of the malls near us. If there is anything Hong Kong has, it is malls.
Love had talked me into buying Monster face paints. The next morning, Monster took that opportunity to catify them both. Afterwards, Auntie showed Bub and Monster how to make the traditional almond cookies our grandfather used to make every year for Christmas.
We took them on a tour of the different ferries around Hong Kong. We went between the Island and Kowloon a couple of times before we finally headed home with the kids. We made our way back and forth across the harbor.
Finally, we decided to take the train up into Central to see the Central Harbor. This was Sissy’s first look at the Hong Kong skyline.
We took them on the Observation Wheel. It was MUCH cheaper than the first time we had been on it when we first got to Hong Kong. From there, you can see so much of the city. It was a gorgeous day for it.
We took the Star Ferry across to Tsim Sha Tsui. We wandered around TST for a bit at the harborfront until we headed home to have dinner.
The next morning, Sissy went to Bub’s room to change her clothes. The door knob stopped working and got stuck. She was stuck in the bedroom, and we had to get maintenance to get her out. They had to destroy the door knob.
After that disaster was dealt with, we went to Yau Ma Tei to this massive craft shop. Auntie and Sissy love crafts, and in this instance, supplies end up being cheaper here.
One of the best and iconic parts of Hong Kong is the skyline. And especially at night. The skyline of Hong Kong is super colorful and just gorgeous. The last time Auntie was here, we didn’t go through Central other than change trains. Sissy needed to see the skyline. From there, we took the Star Ferry to TST to get to Temple Street.
Temple Street is a night market that doesn’t even really open up until it starts to get dark. Love and I took Auntie and Sissy to check it out. Sissy wanted to buy one of those holographic bags she’d seen. We also got bubble waffles while we were there.
We got the tickets to the Big Buddha the day before. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate. We had been to the Big Buddha a couple of times before. Each time, it was super clear out. This time, not even close. The mountain was inside a cloud for most of the day. It was like walking around in a fine mist. We were so damp the whole time. While it was wet and cold, it was still interesting to see the Big Buddha in the mist.
I think Auntie’s favorite part was the cows all over the place. Most are pretty okay with being pet, but I saw some people taking risks I wouldn’t with a wild animal. They have been known to get aggressive. They have hurt people. So when I saw the couple posing their youngish toddler next to a bull… with huge horns, I had to shake my head. Within seconds, they were running from that cow, abandoning the pram they had because the bull had run in between them. Luckily, they still had their kid.
As we were getting ready to head back down the mountain on the cable cars, it started to pour. Lucky for us, I had sprung for the more expensive tickets and the glass bottom. Our line was much shorter. We were able to get to the bottom pretty quickly. Sissy wanted to check out the shops in the malls. One was more of an upscale mall, while the other was more local.
Now this is what Auntie comes for. Ribbon Street. It’s actually a few streets full of vendors selling fabric, beads, sequins, ribbon, and just about anything else you can think of. It’s in Sham Shui Po, which is considered Hong Kong’s poorest district. While being the poorest district, it is still as safe as the rest of the city.
We took Auntie for her (now seemingly) semi-annual fabric run. My sisters are incredibly crafty and creative. This was a place we spent hours exploring with them. I am so happy that this place exists for my sister. She is always so excited to go.
Later that night, I took my sisters to Happy Valley Race Course
This was especially interesting to Sissy because she has been working for a farm that trains race horses in the US. She had just gotten her groomers’ pass to get into the paddocks at the track in Illinois.
We got there sort of late. Sissy preferred a night race since she’s seen plenty of day races. We had dinner at a nearby mall and walked from Causeway Bay MTR to the race course. There are are couple of different options for entry. There is the general entry, which is about $10 HKD (about $1.50 USD). Then there is the member visitor entry which was about $130 HKD (about $20 USD). Each entry gave you access to different areas. The man and the window told us we wanted the general entry, but Sissy was insistent that she wanted to be able to see the horses. To get the member visitor entry, you need your passport. Sissy and Auntie had theirs. I had forgotten mine, but I had my HKID. When I handed that to the guy at the window, their tune changed. They were way more accommodating.
So Sissy got to place a few bets. All of which lost. LOL. It was a fun night though. That was the first time I had ever been to the race course.
We took everyone to Sai Kung. Auntie has been there, but Sissy it was all still pretty new. That night, we were going to be going on a junk from Sai Kung. Love and I thought going to Sharp Island. This is an island that is not far from Sai Kung. You can take a boat from the pier there. Sharp Island is interesting because there is a strip of rocks between the two halves of the island. At high tide, those rocks are covered by water. If you get stuck on the side without the boat, you are stuck there until low tide. When we went, it was super low tide.
It was sad though. Sharp Island was hit hard by the super typhoon. It was quite a mess. I love going out to Sharp Island, and it’s one of my favorite places to take people.
Later, Auntie, Sissy and I (with Bub) went on a Junk with my boss and a few other school people. This left from the Sai Kung Pier. We saw a few sunken boats from the super typhoon along the way.
It was sort of cold that day, but we will jumped in the water. It was tons of fun to swim and drink with everyone. This was quite an interesting experience for my sisters. Junks are definitely not a thing for us in the US.
We didn’t do too much the next day. We sort of just chilled and hung around the area. Sisters were leaving the next day. So we went shopping in a few places for things for their co-workers and family.
It was time for aunties to go back to Chicago. The kids were so sad to see them go, but we were going to see them again soon in December. It would be a short period of time really between this time and the next. We had a great time with them. We actually had some really good weather. It was only warm the one day. Other than that, it was pretty cool out for most of the time. It did rain quite a bit, which did hinder some activities, but at least we weren’t melting.
Love stayed with the kids while I got on the bus with my sisters to get them to the airport. We took the bus there. It was hard to watch them go through security to head off into the big blue sky. When I got home, the weather seemed to have broken, and we finally had clear skies.
We love it when family comes and we can share our home with them. The kids love to show off their favorite places. Now, we wait for the next visitor to our home here in Hong Kong.