Sunday, November 26, 2023

Back in HK, Off to Singapore, Back in HK, Happy Thanksgiving!

I finished my travels in the US and returned to HK last Sunday morning (effectively losing my Saturday - so odd how that works)!  And I have been enjoying the lovely Hong Kong fall weather and being back with the kids.  I've taken to dropping the kids off at school as much as possible in the morning.  Hard to believe we are in Christmas holiday season!
The kids have been a delight.  
Lola was fighting a bad ear infection but finally thankfully over it.  We have been working a lot on her spelling, reading and writing. I'm so proud of her. 
The boys are admittedly still pretty bad at tennis, but their soccer skills have noticeably improved.  They continue to live each other and be each other's best friends, except when they hate each other and are not BFFs.
Before I returned from the US, the kids enjoyed a fun day celebrating Singapore in Central. 
After I returned, I still had to go to Singapore, for possibly the shortest trip ever, landing and arriving at my hotel at 1:30 AM and departing the next day after a day of meetings on an 8:15PM flight.  My hotel had a beautiful open roof pool and view, and so did the client's offices, of downtown Singapore.
Upon my return to Hong Kong, we went to get the kids' return permit for China, went to two Thanksgiving parties, and generally tried to enjoy our weekend.  I also planned their birthday parties (more detail on that soon). The weather has been glorious. We have been going to the Aberdeen Boat Club a lot.   I turn 40 tomorrow and I am still not sure how I feel about it. 

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Chicago and Palo Alto

It has been something of a whirlwind but I just finished my 2 week US road show and I am so grateful to be in Hong Kong.  After New York City I was in Chicago for 2 days and then Palo Alto before I flew back.

Every where I go I am always on the lookout for planes, mainly because I know my boys love them so.

Chicago turned out to be a tough city for me to visit.  I could appreciate its beauty and the downtown as well as the river, and it put on its absolute best mid November show for me, but honestly as I stepped foot in the loop and heard the clatter of the El overhead, and felt the shadow of the big buildings in the business district looming, and wandered through Millenium Park and revisited old haunts on North Michigan Avenue, I couldn't help but be transported again and again to when I was a law school student, traipsing through these very same streets, full of hope but also anxiety about the future, dreading and hating law school but forcing myself through it through sheer force of will.  I briefly flirted with the idea of going down to Hyde Park to see the law school but couldn't stomach it.  I am immensely grateful to the law school for the opportunity and the education and the avenues it gave me, and happy with the friendships and connections I made, but I certainly did not enjoy the experience itself.  I think these feelings were also triply magnified because I had not set foot in the city in nearly 15 years, so I had no opportunity to make other memories there.  On this trip thankfully I could still take great delight in the city's architectural majesty, though that last picture of the Trump tower is more because I cannot believe he needed his name on that building in such an ostentatious manner.  Really?

I did get to do a quick spell of shopping with my friend Maia, and then met up with Maia and Lauren at a delicious middle Eastern restaurant, Sifra, for dinner.  That was amazing.  Every time on this trip I have seen old friends, colleagues and classmates I am struck by how emotional and sentimental I get.
That was wonderful.  The rest of my stay was occupied with a lot of meetings, enjoying the bright, light filled and spacious offices on Wacker, and a nice corporate dinner event at a steakhouse on North LaSalle.

Then I left for California, which was really lovely.  I also don't think I have been in Palo Alto in 13 or 15 some odd years, and I had never really spent much time there.  I stayed right next to Stanford and enjoyed the contrast of the smaller office and NorCal atmosphere.  The city also rained and was cloudy almost all 3 days I was there, so in marked contrast to the midwest - but I still had a really enjoyable time. I also had a bunch of meetings and met with some (really!) old friends which was amazing.  Funnily enough I didn't feel compelled to take my phone out to take any pictures - I guess it didn't feel like there was much to take pictures of, and the place I really wanted to (Facebook's campus) was strictly off limits.

Here, me and one of my oldest friends. So happy I got to hang out with her, meet her kids, and see her hubby and home! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

In Shanghai and then Catching up with the Family Back in HK

So following my trip to Singapore, I was in Shanghai last week.  While in transit on my trip I thought of the kids whenever I saw something that I thought they would like.  Like big planes and the view from the runway when taking off.  
The view from my hotel room.
The Halloween treat that the hotel brought to my room.
The Bund on a beautiful afternoon.  
A very cool exterior wall on the art gallery at one of our client's buildings.
The very fancy, borderline gaudy rococo interior of a hotel where I had lunch.
The view from the Shanghai office.
The moon on a clear night after a firm alumni dinner.
The big plane for my flight home.
Then it was an early morning flight out on Thursday morning to catch a client lunch (bless the efficiency of the HK airport and transport system!) followed by weekend  hanging out with the kids and Michael before my big trip to the U.S.

Here, the boys sporting their new Veja sneakers that I bought them:
Views from the Ritz on top of the ICC following ice skating:
The weather was glorious all weekend.  We went to Middle Island on Saturday for dinner. 
We all went to the American Club on Sunday, where we explored the garden and tried to play cornholes before swimming.