The best laid plans…or not.

If you read my post from 3AM, you will remember we had big plans for this day. Well, we certainly bit off more than we could chew!! We didn’t even do half of it. I’m not sure what the scale of the map is that we looked at when we thought we could do it all in a day, but the reality of all that walking, not all that much sleep, and an exhausted baby set in and we called it quits by 2:30 and we are back to the hotel. D-O-N-E.100_2101

 

We started out the morning while it was still dark- first ones at the 6AM breakfast buffet. Oh yes. It all went downhill from there. Actually, we literally went UP hill. A VERY big one. We got on the hotel shuttle that went to the subway, that went to another subway, that went to a bus station that went to what we thought was the tram to Victoria Peak. However, we found out after a very scary bus ride that it actually took you ALL the way up to the peak. Did I mention I hate heights? We were on a double decker bus (first time ever!) on a really skinny road that went at an incredibly fast rate of speed uphill and the cars going the opposite direction (on the wrong side of the road) were so close you could literally reach out the window and hi-five a person in the car next to you.

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The cartoon characters are cute. The ride is not.

 

However, that view out the window was preferable to the other side that was (at the top) a 1,300 foot drop with only a 2 foot tall rock wall for a guardrail. My palms were drenched in sweat the whole way up and even Gaige (a permanent resident of “fun country”) said it was the scariest drive ever. Another mode of transportation I was thrilled to get off of. If you remember the scene from Polar Express with the train winding around the mountain- that’s a good comparison.

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At the top, the “Galleria” had all sorts of shops and restaurants. The McDonald’s was especially impressive. We had foofy coffees at the McCafe and had fun being those crazy westerners taking pictures of the menu- but we couldn’t pass up the photo-op of the “prosperity burger” and the “red bean pie” alongside the apple pies we’re used to.

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Like a US McDonald’s, but different.

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Mmmm. Just like Mom’s.

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Prosperity Burger – endorsed by Creflo Dollar and Joel Osteen.

 

Joey and I now totally understand and can’t roll our eyes or laugh at the foreigners we have seen in our American touristy places back home that are quickly chattering and snapping pictures like crazy because we are those people here! Actually, it was really funny because at one point, Joey had the baby on his back in the carrier and he decided it would be a better view for the picture from the peak for him to climb up this really narrow rock wall ledge to shoot the pic and Gaige and I noticed a Chinese older man run up near where he was and start taking pictures of Joey and laughing at the crazy American. Ha! It was a little embarrassing (for Gaige especially- Joey didn’t even notice, he was so engrossed in his photo taking).

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Here’s where we learned a lesson. Always do your research and have a plan well laid out for the day. We usually do, but this time I’ll just blame it on our lack of sleep. We really had very little info about what there was to see and do at the top of the peak besides ride up in the tram (which we missed when we accidentally rode the bus from Hades) and take pictures on the observation deck. I had heard there was a museum at the top, but we couldn’t find it. Since Joey doesn’t generally like to ask questions and prefers the adventure of figuring it out himself, he led the way. Actually, he did stop in the tourist booth and ask a very nice (attractive) young lady what we could do up on the peak. 😛 She advised that we take the “leisure circular walk” and something about the “porn walk”- it was all I could do to stifle my laugh and neither Joey or I had any clue what she said after that as we were both thinking the same thing and trying to keep from bursting out with a huge grin at her blunder. In hindsight maybe she had told us how long the trail was…

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These signs only started showing up with 900M left in the direction we walked!

 

Well, Joey decided we take her suggestion and do the “leisure walk”. No joke, there were no obvious signs that told us how long this trail was until after thirty minutes of walking. I finally found a white person I knew spoke English and she told us we were “at the beginning of the trail”. Since Griffin hadn’t started fussing too much yet, Joey wanted to “stick to the plan” and “complete the mission”, so we went on. And on. The ‘circular walk’ went around the whole mountaintop! 2 miles later and a screaming baby I had to nurse on a bench we finally found along the way, we were done with our leisure walk and very frazzled, to say the least. If my husband weren’t the Chaplain, I’d say we need to call one and set up a marriage counseling appointment when we get home!

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Helpfully placed at the end.

 

The good news, we found the tram and took it back down the peak. Overall it was a neat experience, but I do not recommend the leisure walk with a baby. Remember how at 3AM I wanted to do something today that was in a controlled environment with easily accessible bathrooms to care for the baby? We did just the opposite. Oh, and as soon as we got on the tram to head down the peak, we saw the sign for the wax museum that was inside one of the buildings we had just departed. It looked pretty cool from the sign! Sorry we missed it! We completely ditched the entire “Ocean Park” plan. No way. It’s a process just getting back to the hotel!

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I had to snap this picture of Gaige, completely passed out. Today he did this at 4PM, yesterday it was 5PM. At least he’s being consistent since he got up an hour earlier today, too.

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He can go all day…as long as it’s over by 4pm.

 

We get Charlotte in less than 48 hours!!! All this other stuff is fun- but she is the reason we are here! Tomorrow we take a taxi to the train station and head into China. We are so close! We’ll post when we get to China!

 

P.S. as we were putting in these pictures to post this, the smoke alarm in our hotel went off. It scared Gaige so badly out of his sleep that he curled up screaming because he thought people were storming in the room to attack. I don’t remember a time I have laughed that hard. Oh, and the baby slept through the whole thing, and you know how loud a smoke alarm is. Why can’t he sleep like this when we want him to? There is so much hilarity on this trip so far- somehow I doubt there will be much to laugh at in about 48 hours. Much joy, but also many challenges and difficulties lie ahead. But, for now, we’ll enjoy the good laugh and probably go find out why the smoke alarm was going off. Now THAT is probably a good plan!