Friday, July 31, 2009

Delerious Day 6

It is 2:30 am and I cannot sleep. What does that mean? It means that I am going to finish up blogging about Hong Kong and tell you all about our final day in Asia.

By day 6 were were EXHAUSTED (and that is an understatement). Our dilemma was making the most of our last day there (we didn't have to leave for the airport until 1) without destroying ourselves right before 15 hours worth of travel. The answer to our problem came in the form of a spa visit. There was one right across the street from the hotel and we decided we would go have something done.

The spa was on the second floor of this sketch apartment building. It ended up being really nice inside but until we got there we were a little worried that it was all a sham and that we were going to be kidnapped...

Our "I hope we don't get sold into sex trafficing!" faces.

We had ear candles done. The package included a head and neck massage. Hello best part of Hong Kong!

I was lucky. That sweet little lady did a FANTASTIC job. Alexis, however, did not enjoy her experience so much. Apparently the man working on her head and neck was intense and ended up putting her in quite a bit of pain at times. Sorry Alexis! After our massage we got one last yummy drink and headed to the airport.

I don't think we were ready to leave just yet... What do you think?

On the second leg of our journey we were lucky enough to be put in the emergency exit seats. These seats were located on the second floor of the plane (so cool!) and provided us with AMAZING leg room. Everyone on the plane was jealous. You could see it in their eyes. Because it was an overnight flight, we also got this awesome little bag complete with slippers and refreshing towelettes. Domo arigato Japan Airlines!


Japan Airlines slipper models

We spent the majority of the flight playing skip-bo and phase ten (Thanks, Holli, for those cards! They're now international travelers too!), and tried to get some sleep, but I managed only very little shut eye and Alexis got none at all. We were DONE by the time we landed in Honolulu.

game faces

Asia takes it out of you. Alexis lost her marbles and I was obviously hit by a train.

It was a long, intense six days, but Hong Kong was a once in life time opportunity and I would go again in a heartbeat!

To see a few more photos from the day click here!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Day 5

NOTE: DIRECTLY BELOW THIS POST IS A POST FOR DAY 4! As much as I loved Hong Kong I am sick of blogging about it and want to get this over with. I have other things to say, dang it. So, scroll down and read about Delicious Day 4!

This (day 5) was the last day of the conference. After a LAME breakfast and a delightful keynote speaker we bailed. This meant we got to spend the entire day exploring Hong Kong. Where did we go? The jade market, and boy did we rock the set of stalls we visited.

I'mma cut you!!
You had best believe we worked that jade market!

After that we met up with Holly and Calvin and had one last yummy drink with Aubrey Olsen and sent her on her way back to China. Form there we hit up the Hong Kong History Museum and the neighboring Science Museum. Wednesdays were free days so we didn't pay a cent!

What time is it? It's museum time!
crazy mirror fun

Dinner came next. Holly and Calvin took us to a "hot pot" restaurant. The food you ordered is cooked right there in front of you in a bowl of boiling broth-water. We at some crazy stuff. We had squab brain, chicken feet, whole octopi, fish innards, and a number of other interesting and intimidating foods. We were lucky; nothing tasted bad. However, some things did have questionable textures...

They came to the party.
"Um, eat this?! Are you sure?"
Chicken Feet video

Untitled from Jessia Davis on Vimeo.

"Hi little shrimp! How about you ditch those frightening antenna and get in my belly..."

So when we met Calvin, we thought his name was Kevin. We called him Kevin for like 3 days until, at dinner, when we decided to come Facebook friends, we found out we had it all wrong. Needless to say we felt pretty stupid. CALVIN, why didn't you tell us sooner?!

"Really?! We've been calling you the wrong name this ENTIRE time?!"

Alexis and I were exhausted so after dinner Calvin took Alexis and I to a little dessert place instead of out shopping. Eating with friends is huge in Hong Kong culture. People go out for everything because apartments are so small. The place we ate was packed with young people and it was super fun to chat and laugh surrounded by them. Oh, and dessert was tasty too!

Strawberries in black jelly...
The jelly tasted like black licorice which I am not a fan of. Calvin was kind enough to swap desserts with me.
the mango goodness that I had instead
It was late, and we were tired. That means we were a little loopy.

Want to see the rest of the pictures from Daring Day 5? Click here!

Delicious Day 4

Let me begin with day 2 of the conference. Day two entailed: a keynote speaker presenting on Assistive Technology (what I want to do with my life), our presentation, the fanciest lunch buffet I've ever been to, swine flu fun, and charlies angels.

Hooray for blended learning!
The buffet was so fancy that they brought me my soda in one of those old school glass bottles.
They had crepes made to order in the buffet line. You had best believe I hit that up and added those saucey swirlies myself. Yumtastic!
Breathing in what we exhaled over and over again was making us crazy...
We understood and recognized the need for precautions like face masks in Hong Kong. With that being said: Swine flu train! Woo!
The highlight of my life: Charlie's Angels with the Bunk.

We left the conference early to have a little breather before venturing back to the temple. It was particularly awesome because the temple president arranged for us to do baptisms even though there wasn't a session scheduled. How cool is that to have something like that arranged just for you? Talk about blessings! We did a ton of work considering the amount of time we were down at the font (only 20-30 minutes). Alexis did about 50 baptisms and I probably did about 70 confirmations plus a good 15 baptisms of my own. It was particularly special because our temple here in La'ie has been closed for over six months. It was so nice to be able to leave the world enter the house of the Lord. The experience was definitely a testimony strengthener.

Here's everyone outside the temple. One of the passing missionaries took this photo and I was quite impressed.
the wet haired happiness that comes only after doing the Lord's work

Our post temple activities consisted of shopping at the ladies night market. I have no photos of that since I wanted to be able to say I was a poor American when bargaining. And of course, no night would be complete without yummy drinks. This time we actually went inside the little restaurant and got a table. The epitome of fun and tasty can be found in yummy drinks. So much so that I plan on trying to make them here at home soon.

Hui Laui Shan Healthy Dessert's new spokes model
One of the hotels on our way home. Classy, right? And don't worry 68 HK dollars equals just under 10 dollars American.

To see all of the photos from Day 4 click here!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hong to the Kong: Day 3

Monday, July 6

To begin, it was our first day attending the conference which was held at the Open University of Hong Kong. I'm going to be honest, Alexis and I were really eager to see the city, and therefore a tad upset about the fact that we had to sit in a conference all day when Hong Kong was waiting for us, but that was what we came for and we were definitely excited to learn all we could from those around us. We totally got into it once we got to the University.

Our "Wait... There's a conference we have to go to?" faces.

Not only did the conference give us new knowledge, but we they also gave some pretty sweet stuff in our conference goody bags. We got our very own name tag, information about Hong Kong, the University and the conference, a 2GB jump drive, a coupon packet, information about swine, a weeks worth of face masks and the bag itself (a delightful, purple, eco-friendly tote bag). Very cool.

"Look! I have an official looking name tag!"

I cannot believe how cool we are!

We were concerned about swine flu...

After the conference we got to hit the town. Holly and Calvin showed us around the city and we had the chance to be right in the middle of Hong Kong surrounded by some of the tallest buildings I've ever seen. They then took us to the peak, and across the harbor on the ferry. I don't think I will ever forget what it was like to see the city from above and then from below reflected across the glassy harbor water.

Our "We finally get to play in the city!" faces.

Need I say more?
the amazingly tall IFC building

Hong Kong island from across the harbor

After our adventure, they took us out to dinner at a tasty pirate themed Malaysian restaurant. They ordered us some crazy food. We had entire crabs that had been deep fried (shell and all), chicken joints, cabbage in a cream sauce, shrimp cakes, fried rice, and a hot, sweet, Chinese sticky bun. CRAZY!

Why yes, that is an entire crab.

Alexis had some trouble with her chopsticks--she couldn't figure out how to eat with them...

For dessert we had what we refer to as yummy drinks. They are kind of like fruit smoothies with chunks of fruit and other bits inside (like tapioca, or ice cold crystal jelly [flavorless jell-o]). We had one at least every day we were there. THANK YOU Holly and Calvin for introducing us to the wonder that was and still is Hui Lau Shan Healthy Dessert!

Yummy drinks! Look how happy we are!

Holly and Calvin: our FABULOUS friends and tour guides.

To see all of my photos from that day click here!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Adventures in Asia: Day 2

Sunday morning in Hong Kong came too soon. I probably could have slept for a good two weeks straight after our day of travel and adventures in Japan, but I got up anyway and, believe it or not, was SUPER excited for the day to begin. You see, we decided to go to a Cantonese ward out in the New Territories. Alexis tutors a girl from Hong Kong and the ward we were going to was her ward.

This is the view from our hotel room. It's much prettier at night when you can't see the stains on the buildings and everything is lit up.

Our first real glimpse of Mong Kok. I don't count our cracked out 2 am taxi ride.

We got there an hour before church began. We decided to sit for a moment in the air conditioned building and write our journals. I couldn't write though; people watching was just too much fun. They say the church is the same everywhere you go, but I was surprised. I mean it was exactly the same! Haha! I sat there and watched little kids get out of primary, running up to their parents and showing them the pictures they had colored. I watched the missionaries chat with new and investigating members, women from the Relief Society socialize, and men stand in circles laughing heartily with one another. I think my favorite part though was watching everyone come talk to the older members of the ward. I sat next to the cutest old man and I LOVED listening to him laugh with others as children and adults alike came and chatted with him. I know Hong Kong is a very western country, and I expected some things to be the same, but I might as well have been watching my own home ward finishing up their Sunday services. It made me feel a lot closer to the people there and it was a testament to the unifying nature of the gospel.

Me outside of the church building where we went to the Butterfly Ward.

While sitting there people watching I received the most pleasant surprise. Out of no where, Holly Yau, a friend of mine from school who had gone home for summer, came running up to me. Apparently the ward we were attending was her home ward. FUN! She sat with us and translated the whole meeting (which was SO kind of her), introduced us to her friends, family and other members, and made sure we knew where we were going and what came next. Her presence was a huge help and we even made plans to hang out and explore the city. So much fun! It was through her that we unexpectedly met my friend Mandy's parents. We took a picture just to show her. It really is a small world when you're a member of the church.

The hymnal in Cantonese.

Alexis and I with Mandy's family.

The best part of the day had to be dinner with the Goos. The Hong Kong temple president is from Laie (where I go to school) and knows Sister Bunker (or the Bunk as we affectionately call her)so they had us over for our Sunday meal. It was AWESOME. They are such humble people. President Goo is so soft spoken and yet surprisingly jolly, and sister Goo has such awesome stories form her childhood in Hong Kong. They were very fun to get to know. Spending that time with them it became apparent that they were called of God and on his errand serving the people in Hong Kong. Also cool was the fact that they live in the temple. Much like the Manhattan, New York temple, the Hong Kong temple serves as more than just a temple. It has a meetinghouse, mission office, Beehive Clothing story thingy and even an underground parking garage in addition to apartments for the temple president and mission president. Going was our first glimpse of the temple and it made us super excited to go back Tuesday to do some baptisms.

the Hong Kong temple

all of us at the Goo's apartment

I was very grateful for the opportunity to spend Sunday in Hong Kong. My time in the ward there and my evening with the temple president was a huge blessing and a wonderful start to our time in Hong Kong.

EDIT: Here is the link to the Facebook album for they day. CLICK ME!