According to Four Square / Swarm, it had been a good 4 months since I had been to the Changi airport for a trip overseas. That’s probably about right, and it really felt like such a long time since we’ve gone anywhere! That’s the price to pay for having a child. With baby Ethan approaching 2.5 months now, we decided to test him out on a short flight to Hong Kong to see how he handles flying. It was only a 3 hours flight with United Airlines, so it’s definitely ‘short’ relatively speaking. Fortunately, it was no drama at all, and Ethan handled it much better than what I had seen of other babies. The truth is though.. he basically slept through it, attached to mummy’s boobs the entire 3 hours… 🙂
Anyway, the whole 4 day weekend turned out to be a very pleasant and positive experience for all of us. Some of the highlights included..
1. The Stay at Ritz Carlton
Where do I start.. this is probably one of THE BEST hotel I have ever stayed in (it was also the most expensive one too). We chose it for the convenient location (accessible by train straight from airport), and for the view of Hong Kong given it was known for being the ‘highest’ hotel in the world. So there were plenty of photos of the view!
It’s not every day that you can actually just look out the window (at least from our room in 117-06), and can point out every spot that you visited that day from your hotel room. Apart from the view, baby Ethan seemed to have enjoyed his daily bath in the bath tub…
And plenty of father and son time at the big spa pool on level 118
It’s probably also the first time we had seen him lie on the hotel bed staring at the ceiling quietly, without crying at all for at least 10 minutes! Aside from the excellent view, and facilities, the hotel staff were well and truly super accommodative to our requests. Baby crib? Sure. Change of room? Sure. Super late checkout? Sure. Free ride in hotel’s club car to the train station? Sure. I can’t remember the last time I paid more for a hotel and actually felt like I got more ‘service’ out of them.
2. Fun with Food
It’s sad to say, we had never actually been to a true ‘Michelin star’ restaurant in our 35 years of live. That’s partly because there are no official Michelin star restaurants in Singapore (although plenty of Michelin star chefs have restaurants in Singapore, like Joel Robuchon, Ding Tai Fung, Tim Ho Wan etc etc), and the fact that we were just too cheapskate to spend the $$ on Michelin star restaurants in Melbourne. So, we could now say that we have been to at least 3 Michelin star restaurants in Hong Kong, including Yun Kee, Lei Garden and Tin Lung Heen. Were the food actually great? Hmm.. that’s probably a separate question. I can’t say they were all good.. but Tin Lung Heen had some nice food worth remembering..
Apart from that.. the roasted goose that I had at Yun Kee was probably not to die for, but it’s certainly not bad!
3. Shopping For Wife
Shopping was inevitable given that the hotel we stayed at was on top of Elements mall. For the record, the only thing I actually bought for myself during the 4 day weekend was a cheap SGD$30 HDMI-VGA Converter cable (geeky toy for my laptop). That was it. Totally different story for my wife. To start with, she got herself the new iPhone 6! With the new iPhone released just 2-3 weeks earlier, we thought we were going to be able to get one at the official Apple store in Hong Kong. It was not meant to be. It was just too damn hard to reserve one with very limited number of phones released every day. We eventually found a store at Pacific Place (Admiralty station) which had some in stock, with no lines and a very small premium price (we paid about SGD$30 more than retail price in Apple Store).
Oh.. she also got herself a Chanel bag!
I say no more…
4. Lots of bonding time with baby Ethan
It’s probably the first time that Ethan spent more time with Daddy in the Ergobaby than with mummy for a change..
It was also the most time spent together as a family, with plenty of smiles…
Hard to describe the feeling when you see your own child smile at you.. All in all.. as my wife said it.. the 4 days trip actually felt like a holiday than some of the longer trips we did earlier this year without the baby.
Oh.. and yes.. I forgot to mention that Hong Kong was and still is currently on the news for pro-democracy protest by students. So it was definitely not the best of times to travel there. There weren’t any violence reported on the news, so we went for it anyway, given we were planning to stay in the hotel most of time (What else can you do with a 2.5 months old baby?). Our experience was that the protesters didn’t actually protest much at all during the day, and only come in numbers during the evening (when it’s not so hot). But some streets around ‘Central’ and ‘Mongkok’ were definitely closed when we walked around those area. Walking around on Sunday was particular interesting, as it was also the Filipino maid’s day off. Instead of the usual ‘hangout’ spot, they now have the closed streets to hangout on, with pumped up music!
Got to love that. Reminds us of Lucky Plaza in Singapore.
Anyway, both me and my wife had been to Hong Kong before, and a lot of the places were already slipping out of our memories. It was certainly a good refresher, and a good test for baby Ethan as well. Since he ‘passed the test’, we can only assume that we can do more holidays like this going forward!