Nicky's Journal
"All The World's a Classroom"
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I've been writing my journal everyday to reflect the more mundane aspects of the trip, and to make sure that we remember the details when we re-read this in twenty years. Darren is providing the color commentary. If you wonder where Darren's stories may be straying from the truth (he's been known to exaggerate every once in a while), you can check my summary for "just the facts".

My journal is the Ying to Darren's Yang. Darren has the color-commentary; I'm stuck with the play-by-play descriptions. It's the right-brain, left-brain description of our travels. I slog through the daily updates with attention to detail and truth; Darren uses a little more creative license.

So join me in the truth department. Enjoy our travels through the lenses of 20/20 vision.

Click on the Links to the left to read my daily comments. ---- Nicky

03.10.2006

We're off.

We had a 30 hour trip from Orlando to Hong Kong. We left Orlando at 3:30 pm EST and arrived at the Hong Kong hotel at 10:00 am (9:00 pm EST the next evening). We had a five hour flight then a 15 1/2 hour flight. The girls didn't fall asleep until the Hong Kong flight, which was 3:30 am EST. They really were amazing the whole trip. Thank goodness for adrenaline and movies—they watched 15 hours of cartoons with no complaints from Mum and Dad. They had a 3 1/2 hour nap today at 12:00 noon Hong Kong time (I had to wake them up), then off to bed at 8:30 pm Hong Kong time. I don't think they'll have any problems adjusting to time zones. That was a trick I learned a while ago...change your watch to the destination time zone as soon as you get on the plane and start acting like that. It really helps defeat the jet lag. We've got a two-bedroom apartment to allow for four people having sleep issues, and we've left the lights and TV on and told the kids to watch movies if they wake up early. Hopefully that will work.

So here are some random thoughts that I've had since we left:

  • Start the trip right-definitely worth getting a nice room and getting off the plane. That was a tip I read: "Start and end the trip on a high note."
  • Efficiency apartments are the way to go...the kitchenette and separate living quarters make the trip seem more like an adventure than a vacation.
  • Time zone conversion-mentioned above. It's key.
  • Airplane pack-really can't do without Chap Stick, Visine, lotion and tooth brush and paste on the plane.
  • Accommodation-upon arrival ' really nice to have somewhere already lined up so you can just crash. Internet access is great to let everyone know you're there.
  • Personal space-that's really not a big thing in Asia.
  • Hong Kong-not really Asia-so many expats.
  • Cultural difference for the kids...they've asked a couple of questions on dress etc., but generally the kids have accepted everything as status quo. It's great!

03.11.2006

Hong Kong

We decided to forgo the tourist things in Hong Kong and take it easy for the day. The girls did great sleeping but they were up from 1:00- 3:00 am and again at 6:00 am, so we thought it would be more important to catch up on some sleep. I think we're all pretty much converted to local time, so we should be able to hit the ground running in Thailand. It was a great day for me. Very relaxing and fund with the kids. We went to the pool in the morning and Dominique really improved her swimming. Staying in places with pools is great with the kids.

Even though we didn't tour Hong Kong, ' been great staying right in the expat community and seeing how they live I'm sure they have a lot of fun and ' great for the kids growing up around so many cultures (like Cayman, but a big city).

My random observations for the day:

  • Go at kid speed-think of all the things you think you can do and cut it in half. You go so much slower with the kids but ' more enjoyable if the pace is manageable.
  • Kids need sleep...Dominique is such a great kid when well rested; when not, she becomes ultra competitive, rough and pretty rude. It's not worth having an extra hour of activity for this kind of behavior-sleep is critical.
  • Annette is such a "sleeping dog". I didn't think she'd be too interested in the Leapster since she's got my short attention span, but not only is she interested, but she's really good. She avoids the lime-light that Dominique loves, yet in the background, she learns a lot without anyone noticing.
  • It's great to spend quality time with the family! No cabin fever yet.
  • Perfect idea to stop at the two-bedroom apartment in Hong Kong.

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