Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hong Kong

We are here!  Sorry it has taken me so long to post, but we have had no time!

We left Charlotte as scheduled at 4 am Thursday morning.  Arrived in Chicago at 8:00 am and prepared for our 12:30 flight to China.  I won't bore you with the details, but we had a ton of delays and ended up spending the ENTIRE day in the airport waiting for our flight which FINALLY left the US at 9:00 PM.  All in all, the 15 1/2 hour flight was fine. Better than I had expected.  Our plane was really comfortable and we managed to sleep a little, watch some movies, and relax.  We landed in Hong Kong and arrived at our hotel at 3:30 am.  Then, we crashed.

We are staying at a really nice Hyatt hotel in Sha Tin in Hong Kong.  We woke up and enjoyed a delicious breakfast yesterday and then headed out to tour Hong Kong.  Hong Kong, like all of China, is enormous. Here are some of Rob and I's observations from our day:

-Hong Kong is beautiful.  It is a clean city that is set in a beautiful, natural setting.  Huge harbor, then the massive city with a backdrop of beautiful mountains.  (excuse the bad pictures...very cloudy day and I did not have my good lens):

-Hong Kong is packed is with huge buildings.  Everywhere you turn there are high rises.  Most are residential.  And hanging outside of most is laundry.  We learned on our tour that a typical room for a family of four is a one bedroom, 700 sq foot apartment.  No room for a washer/dryer so people have to hang their laundry out the window to dry.

-Hong Kong is also packed with people.  Long lines are everywhere (we waited in a 30 minute line for a cab from the airport at 2:30 am). The streets are full of cars and tons of buses and the sidewalks are lined with people.  Rob and I couldn't get over all the traffic. Driving here is a nightmare.  It seemed chaotic to Rob and I, but no one else seemed to notice.  Even the harbor is packed.  Here we are on our boat tour trying to navigate through the old fishing village:

Even the beaches are super crowded:

-Of all these crowds of people we saw all day, most of the people were Chinese.  We definitely stuck out.  It was interesting to be the minority for the day.  We learned from our guide that 96% of the residents of Hong Kong are Chinese; and over 70% of the tourists are from mainland China.  Tourism is actually the #1 industry in Hong Kong.

-Hong Kong operates as a separate entity from mainland China.  It has its own currency and legal system (i.e the One-Child policy does not apply to Hong Kong residents)

-Hong Kong has two official languages: Cantonese and English.  This has made communicating fairly easy for us.  All children in Hong Kong schools start to learn English in Kindergarten.

-Our last observation of note is that the people of Hong Kong are incredibly polite. Everyone has been very gracious and helpful to us.

All in all it was a good day and good way to try and be out and about adjusting our internal clocks to China time.  We are missing our kids, of course, but they seem to be doing fine.  They are with Rob's parents right now and having fun.  My brother and sister-in-law have dropped by for a visit and so they are getting to spend some time with their cousins which is great!  James, John and Kate:  WE MISS YOU AND WE LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!  Thanks to all of "Team Osborne" for taking such good care of our kids.

Today we will relax this morning (we are 12 hours ahead of US time) and get ready to take a flight to Nanning this afternoon.  Nanning is the capital city of Guangxi, which is Vivian's province.  We will arrive this evening and try to get some sleep (which has not been easy to come by so far) in preparation for Gotcha Day on Monday.

Hard to believe we are meeting Vivian tomorrow.  We don't have any details yet about what time that will happen, but we know we will be meeting her at the Civil Affairs Office in Nanning.  Hope to post again tonight with more info on what will happen Monday, but for now this will have to do!!!


  1. EEEEKKKKKK!!!! Your in China Maureen!!!! And, only a few hours from Vivian!
    Sounds like you had a wonderful day in Hong Kong, and so neat to hear about your experiences I wouldn't have guessed that Hong Kong would be so clean and beautiful. I guess you just hear about all the people and expect the worst.
    Many blessings!

  2. Can't wait to see pictures of you with your precious girl!

    Jennifer ( DTC FB group)

  3. I loved Hong Kong! The difference between HK and China was shocking to me!! Cannot wait to see Miss Vivian in your arms!!!

  4. SO glad you arrived safely and hope that your clocks are resetting themselves quickly. Try to get some sleep before the big day and most of all, enjoy the path!

  5. Congratulations on getting there safely and it being your almost Gotcha Day!