hong kong some more

this is where people live in hong kong.
densely packed tall tall apartments. we also stayed in one of these. it was great to have a home base with a proper living space. when you travel with small kiddos for so long it's nice to feel somewhat like you have a home. there was even a playground right below our apartment.
 we ate, we (window) shopped, we played at the beach. we ate some more. the food is absolutely AMAZING in hong kong. you can get really great snacks on the cheap or splurge at michelin star restaurants. here's castle ordering off the iPad menu and eyeing his super yummy kiddy meal.
we got completely spoiled with all the great food we had. the boys were very adventurous and tried many new things. they loved it. atlas couldn't stop eating chicken and goose liver.
 the shopping is also quite intense. again, the world is your oyster. $2 iPhone cases or this:
the children's section of this one mall, kinda blew my mind. and the malls, they were everywhere. you can go to a different mall every day of the year and not step foot in the same one twice.
we preferred the street market. fun finds that we can't get back home.
castle was also quite impressed by all the tall skyscrapers.
i think out of all of us, he had the most fun on this trip, everything was a new experience and a wonder to behold.

speaking of flowers

Here are some I found at the lobby of the Four Seasons in Hong Kong. All fresh arrangements. I love them so.

welcome home

We've been home from our trip for almost a week now, and Atlas the baby boy is the last of us to get back on track with our time zones. I would like to hurry him up but I guess he will take his own time. Ironic as he was the first of us to get adjusted when we arrived in Asia, almost no transition at all.
My tired self was delighted to come home to cherry blossoms in full bloom. Spring is always so exciting here, signs that the gloomy dark winter days are gone.
This sight was just what I needed, since I was missing Hong Kong, and my family. This was a spectacular welcome home.
Thank you, Vancouver.

Nan Lian Garden 南蓮園池

In my opinion this garden is one of the hidden gems in Hong Kong. It's a little bit out of the way from all the main attractions but not too far.
 The site comprises of a Buddhist temple and walking gardens.
The plants and rocks are incredible to look at, all strategically chosen and laid out.
We had lunch at the restaurant in the garden and a guided tour afterwards.
We deemed it a great place to get some peace and quiet plus personal space in a very crowded city!
 And best of all it's free. :)

Fragrant Harbour

I don't even know where to begin. We have spent the past three weeks (living) in Hong Kong.
This was the first big trip with both little ones. We scaled back on our activities, with rest days interspersed. All that worked out well, but the flying - to be honest the long haul flights were simply brutal! Castle has always been the best traveller so no complaints there, even if he only slept two hours on a 13 hour flight and spilled a drink all over me an hour in. But our littlest, Atlas, thanks to his very curious personality he kept us extremely busy, all the time. Never again will he be a lap child. Never. Next time we are saving up extra to get him a seat.
Having three weeks we had plenty of time to explore, we also went on a side trip to Penang, Malaysia. About that another time. Being from Hong Kong myself I really wanted to show Castle where a part of him comes from. He may not remember much from this trip but I wanted him to establish a connection to this place. Meeting all of his aunts and uncles were rather daunting, because there were so many of them! And they all wanted to hug him and squeeze his cheeks!
We established "Hong Kong rules" with him before we left, such as always have to hold hands when we are out, and no drinking the water when brushing his teeth.
It was fun to see Hong Kong through his three year old eyes. One of the first things he commented on were all the tall buildings. "Tall condos, there are so many condos here!" Yep, not many houses in Hong Kong. And he was rather impressed with the double decker buses.
More to come.

Hong Kong

So what's new? We are in Hong Kong, that's what's new!
 The 14 hour flight was super long with the two boys, two hours in I said to Andrew we are taking a trans Pacific cruise home. It's been a few tiring days with the kiddos and all that jet lag. Despite that we have been throughly enjoying it. Castle especially had been excited to see and taste all the new things.
 You can follow along with our travels on instagram.
See you there!

I'm a mom?

The other day I looked in the mirror and realized I'm a mother. No, this is not a joke, in all seriousness I said to myself, oh wow, I have two kids. Boys. I have two BOYS! How did I get here?! Is it weird that it took me 3 years to come to terms with being a mom?
This has been a very personal struggle. I'm not going to lie, it's been tough. Some women can't wait to be moms, I wasn't one of those. I did not like children, I did not like being around children, and I especially didn't want my own. I wanted to work, I wanted a career, I wanted to travel, and I wanted to eat out at fancy restaurants. It was all about me. But somehow, in the span of a couple of years, my whole perspective on children changed. We got married, we had a child in our arms by our first anniversary, and for us, we decided it was important for me to stay at home. I thought the hardest part of that was figuring it out financially, but it the end, the biggest hurdle was psychological. I was mourning the lost of my old self, an idea that I was still hanging onto. In the end, I had to realize that I'm not "just a mom". Yes, sure, I'm a stay at home mom, but being a mom is only a part of who I am. A small part. From our experience, if you wait until you are ready to have children, you will never get there. We grow, we adapt, we laugh, we cry. That's the way it goes. And it's all beautiful.
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