Before Natalie broke her wrist we had intended upon staying in Hong Kong for a week and had mapped out an entire list of cool things to explore, eat, hike and see. Now that Nat was an invalid, we were limited on our activities and movement. The only upside to a broken member of our team is that Nat’s amazing mother took pity on our situation and booked us a nice room in a real hotel so that we didn’t have to go climbing up bunk beds in hostels. Our gorgeous hotel had a rooftop bar and even offered a free welcome drink. We were living the high life!
So one thing we may have failed to mention anywhere on this blog is that one of Ross’ favorite things to do when we visit new places and lets be real, when we do anything, is to catch Pokémon, yes we are both 30 in case you were wondering. Ross has become a “Pokémon Master Trainer” on our trip and has caught a Pokémon in about every single location we have been in. In case you are not familiar with the game, there are certain Pokémon that can only be found in specific locations around the world and Ross has been on a mission to catch them all, literally. In Hong Kong the special Pokemon is the Farfetch’d. Since we were no longer going to Japan, Hong Kong was the only place that these mystical little creatures could be found. On the super swanky bus ride from the airport to the hotel, one of these Pokemon showed up on Ross’ game and he almost wanted to get out of the bus to go chase it. Unfortunately this was not an option as we were not close to our hotel, however it gave him hope that there were definitely these virtual creatures out and about in Hong Kong.
There is no way of putting into words how huge Hong Kong is and how many buildings there are in this giant metropolis. For lack of a better description, it puts San Francisco and New York if side-by-side to shame. According to Wikipedia, Hong Kong has 317 towering skyscrapers over 150 meters in height. It also has a great public transportation system. Since we only had less than 24 hours to explore the city, we asked our front desk (yes, so fancy to have a front desk) the best places to eat dumplings. She recommended a place across town so we explored the super clean and super efficient subway system. After some confusion, we found the dumpling place we were looking for – no surprises here, it was closed and the owner practically laughed at us for thinking that it might still be open. Verging on hangry, we Googled another dumpling place close by, at this time anything would do. After our fill of delicious dumplings we continued to wander around the city towards the city’s famous piers that look out onto the harbor. Our original plan was a to take a boat ride across the city at sunset and with Nat’s arm starting to throb we quickly abandoned it to drink wine on a rooftop and watch the sun set over the skyscrapers. As the sun began to dip below the horizon, one by one the buildings began to light up like lights on the McCalisters’ street in Home Alone.
When we got back to the hotel, after walking around 10 kilometers and grabbing ice cream for dinner, Nat crashed into bed and took some much needed pain killers, one thing we have to give Asia kudos for is that the only medicine they sent us home with was the equivalent of Tylenol. Ross on the other hand decided to give the Farfetch’d one last try. After about three hours of walking in circles, literally, he came home empty handed.
The next day was one of those butt pucker days for standby travelers. Our flight looked amazing to Los Angeles with many empty seats and perhaps even a chance of getting business class but as the day went on and an early Chicago flight was delayed over four hours the seats started to slowly disappear. We went from having a great shot to having no chance at all. We called Nat’s mom and dad to trouble-shoot what to do next and they suggested trying for the Chicago flight (and over shooting LA by a good four hours) to stay at Nat’s sister’s house for the night. It wasn’t a bad idea and after six hours in the airport, we just wanted to get home. Thankfully and super luckily the standby Gods were on our side. Not only did we get on the flight but we got two seats sitting next to each other in business and the added bonus of saying hi to Nat’s sister and her husband. We also got another pimped out wheelchair ride to and from our gate! Home again home again, one way or another.