Day 744 | December 9, 2016 | Hong Kong Happy

The intent was to bring the kids where they will need to read and speak some Mandarin -- and to have a squealing good time at Disneyland. We met objective #2, but quickly realized English/Cantonese-speaking Hong Kong is not really the right place for objective #1.

I had an amazing time seeing my girls connect with M, and M caring for my little loves. It's been a long journey to get to this point, and it felt like two huge parts of my universe coming together, a magical big bang of sorts. It was also the first trip with the kids where I didn't have to plan every detail, because M worked out most of it for us, including the Kingdom Club at Disneyland Hotel which gave us exclusive access to Minnie and Mickey in the privacy of the Kingdom Club room.

Memorable trip highlights for the family:

1) Rides and parade in Hong Kong Disneyland Park, especially the Hyperspace Mountain. Even little Red went along for the ride, and I could feel my heart jumping against my ribcage with every wild turn, worried that her small frame would get thrown off into the darkness. I didn't have any room to be scared for myself!

2) Stay in Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel Kingdom Club Room! Exclusive perks include supervised arts and crafts for kids, unlimited cookies and nibbles, sunset wine or beer for the parents, and bedtime story for the kids in the Kingdom Club Lounge. We also loved being visited by mascots in the lounge and over breakfast. Happily skipped the lines to get snuggles from mascots in the park, because we knew the mascots would be coming to us instead. Disneyland Hotel also has a lovely heated indoor swimming pool suited for the cold weather, and with life jackets for kids. Was a challenge getting kids and grown-ups out of there.

3) Mott32. Located at the basement of Standard Chartered Bank building, we had a yummy duck, dim sum and roast pork dinner in a beautifully designed space. Not a single morsel was wasted, and I loved the look on Red's face as the roast duck was being served.

4) Hong Kong Signature experiences. Victoria Peak Tram and chilling at the peak while enjoying the views was an easy sell, even though the lines were long getting into the tram. Hong Kong used to be a fishing port, and the Dukling is a traditional boat where fishermen would live and work. Convinced the brigade to go on a Dukling Junk Boat cruise -- and it ended up a tad catastrophic as we were all freezing and underdressed for the windchill, especially at night. Kids were being diplomatic when they qualified that the cruise would have been lovely in Singapore weather. We also took leisurely walks and playtime around Tsim Sha Tsui and Yau Ma Tei where they have local cafes and book shops, and Kowloon Park with playgrounds and an aviary.

Let the images tell the story...
Too cozy!
Morning readings

Waiting in line for the Victoria Peak Tram
Nervous as we ascend in the tram
Giggles and conversations over the audioguide
City walks and Christmas lights
Yum yum duck!
The look says it all!
So much yumminess!
Old Town walks
Kubrick Cafe and book shop
Cat stretch! :)
Hibernate mode in the freezing Dukling cruise
Can't hardly wait to get back into the warmth of the hotel room
Heart melt!
Happy parade
Crafting in the Kingdom Club Lounge
Nibbles and drinks in the Lounge
Ready for swims!
Watching the fireworks from the Lounge. I think watching it from the park is still a worthwhile experience :)
Bedtime cuddles with Minnie!
Breakfast snap with Minnie
Pluto cuddles, and such giddy happiness on their faces :)

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