The Asian Detour

Hong Kong/Cathay Pacific

The start of our second trip around the world – albeit a much quicker trip than the last one.  Alyce was pretty anxious heading in to the last trip, and I couldn’t really blame her.  We were going to be away from everything that we knew and was familiar to us for nearly 3 months.

This time, she was much more relaxed (relatively speaking, of course).  We would only be gone for 12 nights.  And although neither of us were particularly happy about having to board Moose at the vet for that time, we knew he’d be taken care of.  Our parents watched the pain in the butt – aka Chunk.

We spent the night before we left in New Orleans, making things easier for the following morning.  Our flight to Chicago left New Orleans at about 7:30 a.m.  It was on an American Airlines Embraer E175 regional jet and we were in business class.  As with most domestic flights, it was pretty standard.  Though, I will say that the plane was actually pretty nice.  Many regional jets can be cramped/not good to fly on, but we liked this one.  And it was clearly a pretty new plane…I think it even had a new plane smell.

Upon arriving in Chicago, the cold air took our breath away on the brief walk up the gate bridge (I think it was 6 degrees F).  We followed the signs to the international terminal, and recleared security then waited for the lounge to open.

It was a little past noon, and the Swiss lounge was still pretty dead looking.  I finally found someone there and asked when they’d be opening, at which point I was informed that Cathay Pacific no longer uses the Swiss Lounge.  Oops.  I should have checked on that.

Now, Cathay uses the BA First lounge.  It is a bigger, much more spacious lounge compared to the Swiss Lounge.  That said, the food and drink selections were without a doubt superior in the Swiss Lounge.  It was not a big deal, and the extra space was nice.  Plus, you get your fill of food on the plane.

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The Asian Detour In Pictures

Alyce came up with the name “The Asian Detour” to describe…well, our detour to Asia on the way to Europe.  I like it, so I’m sticking with it.  Even though we weren’t in any one place for long, we still managed to get some shots along the way.  Here is the link to the pictures below, as well as some selected shots in this post:!i=3040577877&k=QBRkHLr

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Hong Kong Wrap Up

We have departed Hong Kong, and it was a lot of fun on the whole.  Getting around was surprisingly easy.  The MTR is easy to navigate and is very cheap and efficient.  The city buses were a little more complicated – but not too bad.  Taxis are also plentiful and relatively inexpensive.



Hong Kong is extremely safe.  At no point did we feel even the slightest bit threatened.  I would not have any hesitation walking around the city in the middle of the night.

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Hong Kong: Alyce’s perspective


Well, the first leg our our trip is over.  Hong Kong has been great! The Grand Hyatt was beautiful.  One thing that has really struck me is how helpful everyone is.  I suppose that is part of the Asian culture.  The service is unreal. Everyone we came in contact with went above and beyond to make us feel comfortable.  Also, I was amazed by how CLEAN everything is.  Everywhere you looked there was someone cleaning.  From sweeping leaves in the park to cleaning the windows of the store fronts to the subway floor…..everything was spotless.

Another thing that I noticed is how safe I felt.  We walked down a lot of tiny alleys at night (things that I would NEVER do in New Orleans) and never felt threatened.  Justin asked the concierge at the hotel if there are any areas that we should avoid, and he said no.  We walked all over the city, rode the subway, buses, and ferries, and I always felt comfortable.

I still can’t get over how many people there are in Hong Kong.  Everywhere you go, no matter what time it is, there are always people bustling around. The city has a New York sort of feeling to it….but with more people! The shopping is really incredible.  Unfortunately, Chanel, Hermes, Gucci, and Cartier are out of my price range but it was pretty cool to see all the shops.  There was pretty much a shopping mall or two or three on every block.

We both really enjoyed the food as well.  We ate in a big range of places: from noodle bowls and roasted meats in tiny restaurants (one of which didn’t have an English menu!) to very nice “sit-down” meals.  The last night, we ate at a really great Asian restaurant called The Chairman.  The highlight of that meal was the pork belly dish and the clam with chili jelly dish. The flavors were great, and it was nice to have some local dishes on our last night in Hong Kong. Hopefully, I continue to get better with my chopstick skills…..which were non-existent before this trip! I suppose if it’s your only option, you do the best you can (noodle soup with chopsticks…..why not?!!).

Overall, I have really enjoyed my time in Hong Kong.  To be honest, I was pretty anxious leading up to this trip (shocking, I’m sure, to those of you who know me well). I had a lot going on at home, and I wasn’t sure if leaving was to best idea. The first few days were kind of tough, but I’m starting to feel better. I miss my family, my dogs, and my house, but I feel that this blog (plus Skype, Facebook, and email) has really helped me feel not so far away. I hope that people are enjoying reading about our experiences.  Please don’t be hesitant to post comments.  We love it, and it keeps us motivated to keep the blog as updated as possible.  Love you all!!!



Hong Kong in pictures

“Take lots of pictures”…That was usually one of the first things we heard after telling people about our trip.  Thankfully, we had planned on doing just that, and we certainly took plenty of pictures in Hong Kong (and Macau).

Here is the link to some of our better pictures from Hong Kong.  You should be able to view the pictures in a regular sized window.  Or, if you’d like to see any of the pictures in a larger size, you can click on them and select the size – up to the original image size which is very large.


If anyone has trouble viewing, respond in the comments; and I’ll see if I can help.  Here are a couple of the pictures from the gallery (though, again, there are more pictures in higher quality at the link above):


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Macau and Michelin Stars

On our third day in Hong Kong we took the ferry to Macau.  Macau (pronounced Ma-Cow) is a small Portuguese country know for casinos and gambling!  The ferry ride was about an hour long.  You have to bring your passport, because you are technically going into another country.  When we got there, we walked around the historical areas first.  It is very different looking than Hong Kong.

The buildings are very colorful, and it has a much different vibe than Hong Kong.  There are several areas with shops and markets. Many of the shops were selling something that was similar to beef jerky (but they didn’t call it beef jerky). It was some sort of dehydrated sheet of meat (beef, pork, boar etc.).  All the places were giving out samples. Justin tried it. I wouldn’t.

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Exploring Hong Kong: Day 2

On day 2 in Hong Kong, we took the bus (double decker buses!) to an area called Stanley.  This is much quieter area than we were in the first day.  Of course, there were several markets and lots of shopping!  We noticed that this area had much more foreign (non-Asian) people than we saw the previous day.  We walked down to a little beach and sat by the water for a while.  It was a much prettier/sunnier day than the day before!



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Out and About in Hong Kong

Yesterday was our first full day exploring the city. First, we took the Star Ferry to Kowloon and walked around. There are so so many shops/malls/markets that it is amazing!! It was really incredible to see all the people and experience the action.

Star Ferry
Star Ferry

We stopped at Simpson Sin’s (a tailor), and Justin got fitted for a custom made suit and shirt. On Tuesday, we will go back for his final fitting. That was really cool. The people at the shop were so nice. Justin heard about it from Anthony Bourdain. After that, we walked through the “ladies” market. Here, they have hundreds of booths selling fake designer purses, clothes etc.

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