We made it! We arrived in Hong Kong yesterday afternoon, actually about 2 hours earlier than we planned. Our plane took off and landed early, and so we were able to get on a connecting train earlier than expected. That's always nice when you're traveling! We were only on the road from 7:20 am until 4pm instead of 7:20am to 6pm, like we had originally planned.
The older girls did great during the travel, were (fairly) obedient and entertained themselves, as well as sticking close to Mommy and Daddy which is always important when going through new places, customs and immigration, and getting into taxi queues. They were troopers! I'm sorry to say, however, that Christin had the unhappiest day of her life. It began well; she ate a good breakfast at 6am and then was just ready to fall asleep when we got in the first taxi of the day to take us out to the airport. That was all right on schedule. But then, 30 minutes later after arriving at our airport, she was awakened by the change in movement, and just couldn't get back to sleep. Most of the time she was happy, but then when she started fussing I tried to feed her and she refused, absolutely refused!
I was baffled. I had never faced this before with Clara Anne or Chloe and I didn't know what to do. I tried soothing her, and then offering to nurse again; I tried forcing her head into position, which only made her madder, and I tried begging and pleading with her! Nothing was working. Surprisingly, she was still fairly happy despite the fact that she hadn't eaten. Any more attempts on my part to make her nurse elicited a fresh round of angry crying.
She refused to nurse all through the flight, and then as we took a taxi to the train station and went through customs, etc, and then got on the train, she fussed on and off but nothing too serious. I tried again as soon as we were settled on the train, with no success. We finally arrived in Hong Kong, got into another taxi and by this time she had had enough: she was tired, hungry, and mad. We arrived at our flat at 4 ish with her loudly voicing her displeasure the whole way.
I tried again to nurse her and she refused, madder than ever. By now I was feeling VERY uncomfortably overfull of milk. She had not eaten since 6am. I put her down to sleep and I got into a hot shower to try and relieve some of the pain, praying all the while that when she woke up she would be ready to eat. (Of course I did not pack my pump for this trip since I haven't needed it since the first few days after she was born!)
And sure enough, about 2 hours later, she woke up, and smiled at me the sweetest smile, as if to say, "What were you worried about, Mommy? Oh, was I unhappy today? I've forgotten all about it! I feel great now!" She then nursed well and went down for the night, sleeping until 6:30 this morning with no problems.
Whew! Glad that didn't last any longer!
We had a full day today, beginning with McDonald's breakfast. What is it about McDonald's breakfast that is so yummy and satisfying?! We then took the bus down to the Harbor City Mall and spent a significant amount of time playing/looking around Toys'R Us, a couple of bookstores, and buying a stroller. John took the girls to play at an indoor arcade/play area while I fed Christin and then we had a late lunch at Triple O's (thanks Sandra for introducing us--I did have the blueberry milkshake and yes, it was fabulous!). Clara Anne fell asleep on the bus on the way home, and when we had to wake her for the final walk to our apartment she was stumbling around as if in a dream. Despite the late hour, we put both of the girls down for naps when we got home at 4:15, and they slept until I woke them at 7:30! We had a light supper and then they went back to bed at 9. I think we really tired them out today! (It didn't help them that they were awake at 6:15 this morning despite the long travel day yesterday. Maybe tomorrow morning they'll sleep later!)
As we exited the mall and made our way to the bus, toting a large package, three kids, a side bag, and the new stroller, John summed it up well: "Ah, Hong Kong. Convenient, but grueling." It's true, there is excellent infrastructure in HK--great subway system, fast buses, it always seems so convenient to get places. But yet, transit in HK always seems to take longer and more energy than we expect. I think the bus ride from the mall back to our place was nearly an hour, definitely an hour with the walk at the end. Plus we're always toting things, even if we didn't purchase anything we still have our kids! Today for a good bit I had Christin in the Baby Bjorn, John had Chloe in the Ergo and Clara was riding on his shoulders! It was a sight to see.
So, we're off to a good start here. On a side note, the furnished flat we're staying in is the same one we lived in for almost 3 months while waiting for Clara Anne to be born, then after she was born and my parents came to visit. Lots of nostalgia associated with this place!
The plan is to go to Disneyland on Monday. The girls are already excited! Check back next week for pictures!