Happy New Year!

As we rang in 2014, I never could have imagined where life would take us by the end of the year.

Pete and I moved into our apartment on December 15th.  It’s a modern 3 bedroom/ 2 bath in a high rise in the Mid-Levels and is really working out well for us.  The layout reminds us a lot of our place in Michigan, so feels like home.  We did a lot of cleaning out when  packing up our home in Chicago and are having fun picking out some new pieces.  Basic housewares are quite expensive, even thought most of them are made less than a hundred miles away.  I’m finding we have more options at better prices by ordering from the States and having things shipped.  I’m currently waiting for a large order from Overstock.com to arrive.  All of our belongings arrived in tact on the 24th.  Here’s a picture of our first dinner in the place at a table our landlord loaned us while we waited for our shipment.

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Rather than sit around in an empty apartment, I decided to join Pete in Shanghai the week before Christmas.  The first day, I did a tour that took me to the Shanghai  Museum, a pearl market, the Jade Buddha Temple, lunch at The Bund, a silk market and a tea ceremony.  It was a great way to familiarize myself with the city.  Pete and I enjoyed two nice dinners out and stayed in a lovely hotel.

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Our landlords live just a few blocks away from us and invited us to join them for church and dinner with their family on Christmas Eve.  Their two college aged daughters were home from school in the U.S. and family friends from Manila, Poland and England were there.  It gave us a taste for what an international experience this really is.

We spent Christmas day unpacking and getting organized.  A colleague of Pete’s and his wife invited us for dinner that night.  There were 8 of us sharing a traditional Christmas dinner purchased from the Mandarin Oriental.

We attended a concert by the Hong Kong Symphony (New Year’s in Vienna) on New Year’s Eve before going to our favorite Belgian place to ring in the new year.  The concert was in Kowloon where people gather for the fireworks on Victoria Harbor.  I have never seen so many people in one place.  They certainly know a lot about crowd control here.  Initially, we thought it would be fun to hang out for the celebration but it quickly became clear we’d be more comfortable a little closer to home.  Maybe next year.

Pete was able to spend two full weeks in Hong Kong.  He hadn’t been here for more than about 4 days in a row since our arrival.  It looks like he’ll be gone a few days each week for the next 3 weeks.  We’ll then head to Singapore for a long weekend at the end of the month.

I’ll post photos of our place when all the furniture is in and pictures have been hung.  Of course, the best way to find out what it’s like is to COME FOR A VISIT!

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