Friday, 29 April 2016

The Big Buddha

Our first day in Hong Kong we went to Lantau Island to see the pink dolphins and the Big Buddha. This was my favorite day of the trip. I really enjoyed seeing the islands jut out of the ocean. They are so beautiful, especially since it was kind of stormy so everything was misty. They looked so ethereal and mystical. I loved seeing that. I absolutely loved seeing the monastery and the Big Buddha. We read all about Buddhism and how this Buddha came to be. It was so interesting and sounded so nice. I would love to leave the world and head up to the mountains to meditate right now. It's kind of noisy at our place, haha. I loved it! The paintings/murals about the Buddha were beautiful and just looking at them made me feel more at peace. I think I reached a state of nirvana by the time we left. Not really, but it made me think a lot, which is what great art should do. I loved it. I wish we could have spent a lot more time going to the different temples. It is so different from anything we have in the West. And just thinking of the differences between the East and West, how we view religion, etc. It really made me think a lot. 

We stayed with my mother-in-law's cousin, who she was really good friends with growing up. They were so gracious and let us stay with them the whole week and we had never even met them before this trip. I am so grateful for their hospitality. They really made our trip great. The kids had so much fun spending time with them. Charisse picked us up from the airport showed us how to get to their flat, and showed us around HK. She went out with us a few times. It was so nice having a "local's" inside knowledge. She took us to Tai O to see the pink dolphins and showed us how to get up to the Big Buddha from there. She was so great. She helped hold a baby or someone's hand. She made our ratio with the kids even. 

The thing about Hong Kong is since it is made up of a bunch of islands (like 250 total) often times to get to places you have to take the MTR (what they call the subway), a boat, a bus, another train, etc, etc. Our journey to get to the Big Buddha we took the MTR, then took a boat, then a bus, then we were at Tai O to see the pink dolphins, then we took another bus up to the Big Buddha, and then a cable car back to the MTR, and then the MTR back to our flat. We were very very tired by the end of that day. Mommy and Cosette selfie she asked for at the beginning of the day.

Those islands! I'm so in love with them. They have been one of my favorite things about Asia since our trip to the Philippines. The ones we saw in Korea were absolutely breathe taking. 

View of Hong Kong Island from our boat.

Fishing boat we saw on our search for the pink dolphins. 
Sadly we did not see any pink dolphins. When we arrived at the entry to the Big Buddha village Henry saw this poster and exclaimed "look! We found the dolphins!". Natuarally we had to document "seeing" the pink dolphins.

Cosette took this picture of me.
The boys were asleep for the whole hike up to the Buddha and visit to the monastery.  They missed out, but we got to take our time and enjoy it a little bit more.
There were cattle and dogs roaming around the area. Luckily the dogs were not inside the Buddha's area. They kind of freaked me out. A group of big dogs in a pack freaks me out. But seeing the cows was funny. They were just walking around like they owned the place. 
There were statues 

Cosette was really excited to find the rabbit. She is really into the chinese zodiac. She knows who everyone 
This sign said The Big Buddha, and I joked with Cosette saying that we had made it. The joke went over her head and she kept asking where it was. 

It was stormy that whole day. We could barely see the Buddha even when we got to the top. 

We got to hear the monks chanting! That was Cosette's favorite part. We were able to go up and watch them while they chanted. She was completely memorized and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

My favorite picture of the day. I don't know why, but she insisted on wearing the camera bag on her head. It was hilarious.
I thought this was such a beautiful shrine. 

Lyndon thought this tree was really cool. I called it the Dr. Seuss tree because it looks like it popped off the page of one of his books. 

The monastery was decorated with most vibrant colors. 
We took the cable car back to the MTR station. The kids like "flying" and looking at the "jungle". It was beautiful. We were so lucky we were still able to see something even with the bad weather. My favorite was seeing a small waterfall below us. And we freaked out the other riders in the cable car with us with our crazy kids.

Before we got on the cable car the kids made a couple of friends. There was a little Thai boy who started running around the square with them while we were taking a break. It was so cute. And then Henry went up to a little Middle Eastern boy who was probably 12-18 months old and started talking to him. The little boy was so excited for the attention and that was the cutest thing I had ever seen. Henry was so sweet holding his hand. Cosette gave him hugs. Us parents were going gaga over how cute it was. It was a beautiful to watch these children from different parts of the world playing and laughing together. Jesus was right when he said we should be like little children. They have the ability to look past all the things we see as hangups and get along. I just thought that was a lovely experience.

We taught him good manners.
This picture of Henry with his meatballs cracks me up. And Lyndon and Cosette's faces are pretty awesome here as well. 
This little babe was all worn out. He slept pretty good on the trip.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Miracles do Happen

One of the biggest surprises and miracles from heaven happened. Tuesday morning I was woken up by a phone call from my sister who lives in Seattle. I called her over the weekend making plans to possibly stay with her for a few days when I fly back to the States at the end of May. She called me and said that she was coming to Singapore and she was getting in on Wednesday, the next day! She said that she felt strongly that she needed to come and certain events had transpired for her to be able to hop on a plane like she did. It was probably the surprise of my life and a testimony to our little family that miracles do happen. Heavenly Father is mindful of us no matter how it seems sometimes. And I need to remember that because sometimes it seems pretty bleak. He is preparing a way we just do not know it. Once again I need to remember that. My health has not been good and we have been praying for a solution. One of the solutions we came up with was for me and the kids to go back to the States for their school break in June. Then Leslie came to our rescue! I am so grateful for her. I just felt like crying when she said she was coming. And I had to keep myself from crying when we picked her up from the airport. I love you sis! I am grateful for your kind heart and willingness to literally drop everything and come to my aid. I do not think I can express how grateful I am. If there was anytime to use the hashtag blessed this would be it. 

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Plothows do Hong Kong Disneyland

This is the last video from our Hong Kong trip. We went to the second happiest place in Asia: Hong Kong Disneyland! (Tokyo Disneyland is the first happiest place in Asia, if you are wondering). We finished the trip by spending two days here. It was me and the kids first time having more than a one day pass. We opened and closed the park both days and had a fabulous time. I guess we can now join the Disneyland warrior's club. There will be more pictures and all the details to come.  

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Plothows do Hong Kong Part 2

The second video from our Hong Kong trip gives a small highlight to the whole reason we went: to go to the Hong Kong Temple! There would have been more video from that day, but my phone got misplaced and I thought someone had actually stolen it. That was scary, especially since I would not have been able to get a new one till I went back to the states because they are really expensive over here. 

This video covers the Hong Kong Temple, the markets at Sam Shui Po, the Jade Market, the Star Ferry, the Hong Kong Flyer (as we call it), our day in Stanley where we pretended to be pirates, and other tid bits from the trip. 

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Plothows do Hong Kong

We got back from Hong Kong a couple of days ago. The trip was two thumbs up. We really needed a family vacation.

Here is a video from our first couple of days in this cool place. We went to Lantau Island to see the pink dolphins and the Big Buddha. Sadly we did not see any of the dolphins due to it being a bit stormy. We almost didn't see the Big Buddha because it was so misty. This was my favorite day of our trip. We bought a selfie stick for the trip and I had a lot of fun using it. We got some fun family shots and funny video, as you will see. We keep cracking up when I awkwardly say "lose some weight" when referring to Lyndon's comment about Henry being super heavy after carrying him up a mountain of stairs, literally.

We took a ton of video and were going to make one movie, but that would have been ten minutes or longer, so we broke it up into three shorter films. More pictures and details to come. xoxo

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Jurong Bird Park

We took Lyndon to the Jurong Bird Park. Went over spring break and loved it! Henry got so excited to go again. I brought the swim suits this time because I didn't know there was a splash pad there the first time we went. Cosette asked me if I brought them this time. She has the memory of an elephant that one. Highlights were the bird show, the owls, the lori loft where we had birds land on us and eat from our hands, and the splash pad. Ironically once we got to the splash pad it took forever to get the kids to go play. They love playing on the rides that you pay a $1 for. We never do them, but the kids just love playing on them. Once we got them off those they were in the water and naturally we could not get them out. Cosette would lay down on the splash zone and wait for the giant bucket at the top to fill up and water to dump on everyone. Henry was all about the slides. It was really fun to watch them. We spent a long time looking at the hornbill and toucan exhibit. There is quite the variety. Hornbills live in Africa and Asia, and toucans live in South America. They do have similarities like their giant bills and most of them are pretty colorful. Cosette named the Toco Tucan we saw Chocler. It was cute. And we saw him in the bird show which made her excited to see her winged friend again. Henry was so excited for the bird show. We sat in the front row and he wanted to go on stage where the birds were going to come out. Luckily he didn't up on the stage. He focused his attention on the show the whole time. It's a pretty spectacular show. Lyndon was blown away and loved it. 

Trying to recreate the momma penguin and baby penguin pose.

We live in a jungle. It's so cool. I love it! 
Chocler, the Toco Toucan

Henry was unsure about the birds. He definitely did not want them to land on him. Cosette was a bit nervous when they landed on her.

Australian pelican.

Looking at the flamingos.

That is Cosette in there.

We still have not made it to all the exhibits there so we will be going back, and pay the fee to ride the train to the exhibits we have been to yet because they are far away in the park. We were all a hot sticky mess. Every outing here we just end up melting in the heat even though today was not that hot.We came home cranky and tired, so we definitely wore our selves out. We will all sleep well tonight. 
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