Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hong Kong DIsneyland- Day 1 {pictures of the hotel}

 I had the hardest time deciding which room to book before we left and there were NO pictures of the room- just a vague description... so I thought it would be helpful to take a bunch of them when we checked in and post them here for other families debating what to do when they go.
It was a tough decision but we ended up booking the Kingdom Club Suite after signing John up for the magic access pass.  We got 25% off of our room with his pass plus 10% off our park tickets and 10% off of the food we bought in the park(which was only lunches that we shared).  Our lunches each day came to about $20 for all 6 of us.  The other benefit of the Kingdom Club is that we had free breakfast for all of us each morning and free drinks and snacks during the day along with free appetizers and drinks(including alcoholic!) each night.  There was MORE than enough food at night to feed us and count as our supper.  We figured this more than all paid for the room!
 Above is our first fast glimpse as we whizzed through the property gates in our van that drove us from Guangzhou to the front doors of The Disneyland Hotel.  We used Wall Top Limo Service and I set it up myself before we left for China.  They picked us up at our hotel in Guangzhou and drove us through customs into Hong Kong and then right to our hotel door.  It was well worth it since there was so many of us and we had no idea what we were doing or where we were going. :)
This room was the Kingdom Club Suite.  There were 2 rooms and 2 bathrooms.  Mary Beth slept on that couch and then we moved that coffee table and the boys slept on the air mattress that we bought and used in Guangzhou.  A door separated this room from the bedroom.  They had a little Minnie Mouse sitting on a chair when we walked in with the tags still on.  This became a very hilarious story...
We didn't really know for sure if it was complimentary and we didn't want to just assume it was and then get charged for a $35 stuffed Minnie later on our bill- ha! so when we went downstairs later to explore John went to the front desk to ask them about it(as well as a few other questions we had).  He told them we found a Minnie Mouse stuffed animal in our room and was that ours to keep.. did it come with the room/complimentary?  The sweet lady at the desk misinterpreted a little bit and started apologizing and ran to get the manager.  She told him something in Chinese and then the manager started to profusely apologize for there being a mouse in our room!  HAHAHAHA  John quickly realized that they thought he meant a REAL LIVE mouse and had to try and explain again.  We sure got a good laugh out of that later!  Those poor people- they were probably so mortified for us thinking there were mice running around their fancy hotel!  By the way, yes, the Minnie Mouse was complimentary. :)  So if you find one don't worry about asking- ha!

 There were TVs in both rooms and a bathroom could be accessed from each room- which we LOVED because if our big kids had to get up during the night or early morning to use the bathroom they wouldn't disturb us or more importantly the baby.

 This is the bathroom off of the living room(big kids' room).
 This is the master bathroom off of our bedroom.

 Master bedroom- we requested a king bed instead of 2 double beds.  And then of course Ruby stayed in here with us.  There was a patio off of both the bedroom and the living room.
 View from the balcony:

So amazing!! We will never, ever forget it.  None of our kids had ever been to Disney before so this was an experience of a lifetime for them(tacked on to the tail end of their other experience of a lifetime... a trip to China!) :)
Each night there was turndown service & fresh robes & slippers for all of us every day!  I will share more about the other perks of this room in another post.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

last day, Ruby's VISA and a trip to Walmart {Guangzhou, China}

Today was our last full day in Guangzhou.  I was so bummed.  We were excited to go on to Hong Kong and Disney of course but this was the last leg of the trip where it would really feel like we were in China- since we were staying at a Disney resort.  I had grown to love this country and now I felt like it was going by way too fast.  I seriously do not want to go home!  I especially felt like our time here in Guangzhou was way too short.  I actually just kinda wish we could move into The Garden!  Wouldn't that be nice?  Ruby's VISA would(hopefully) be ready for Elvin to pick up today and that was all that was on our list of things to do:  meet him at a certain time in the hotel lobby and get it.
We wanted to walk around some more in the city and look for some small, local shops that weren't touristy.  We also needed to go to Walmart and stock up on some more of Ruby's formula and baby food.  First we enjoyed another fabulous breakfast and fed the fish afterwards.  It is sweltering to eat outside like this but who can resist the beauty of the courtyard while inhaling our favorite spicy, boiling hot noodle soup for breakfast?  Apparently we cannot.
Ruby stuck with her congee, eggs, fruit and sweet breads while the big kids devoured plates of dumplings, steamed buns, fruit, and anything else that struck their fancy that morning.  We are living it up while we can!  Breakfast is going to seem so horrible when we get back home. :(
 Don't their facial expressions look the same!?

First stop of the day: Walmart!  Some things look the same as a US Walmart but mostly it does not.  I took a bunch of pictures to share with you what I mean...

Yes, those are chicken feet.

Ruby fell dead asleep out of nowhere which she always does.  No set naptime since we are all off schedule and spend most of our days on the go.  She does great napping where ever we are and we get extra snuggle time with her that way too. :)
sweet girl

I thought this was interesting... hunks of meat just laying out and then you can bag your own! ha!
Back at the hotel later we met up with Elvin, received Ruby's VISA(yay!) and took some pictures with him.  We will never forget our guides on this trip, I'm already hoping to come back soon to Elvin again!  He has taken excellent care of us and he has the best sense of humor.  It was easy to see right away why he is a favorite among all the families with our agency.
Elvin offered to set up a night cruise for us this evening but we decided to pass.  We have heard mixed reviews about it and we also needed to get some packing finished and get some good rest for our journey to Hong Kong tomorrow.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Safari Park {Guangzhou, Guangdong}

 Most of these pictures are from Mickey.  Today, after the consulate appointment we would be going the the Safari Park.  We had heard it was unbelievable and boy, was it.

 We love the translations on the signs in China. LOVE.

These animals were so close. We could have touched them- seriously!

 A big CanCan kiss for Mama!  She actually said "Mama" for the first time on this day.  And while it was a Monday in China, it was Sunday in the US which meant it was MOTHER'S DAY!! :)
 Jeffrey had been looking forward to this moment since I first told him it was a possibility.  He was in 7th heaven. Looooovvvvessss tigers.  It was a bit pricey, I'm not going to lie- especially because it went FAST.  But it is something he will always remember and they let us take a picture without paying an additional fee which was nice.
 This sweet peanut- I cannot believe how lucky we are!!!
 This is Mickey's most prized picture from the Park- a mid air shot of a tiger catching a steak in mid-air.  So cool.