Monday, December 2, 2013

Hong Kong - Birthday Celebrations

Day 2 of Hong Kong was Sara’s 23rd Birthday! It was a day full of celebration, friend time, delicious food and more sightseeing. There was only one mission for the day – giving Sara a wonderful birthday celebration!

Katie’s older sister, Caroline, arrived late Thursday night for a 10 day trip. They joined Sara and I for our tourist excursion of the day, Victoria Peak. The plan was originally to hike the 2-hour trail up to the peak, but after a late start and laziness we took the peak tram, a very steep vertical ascent up the mountain.

Victoria Peak provides the most spectacular views of Hong Kong! Sitting at 552 meters, it is the highest point on Hong Kong Island. The peak tram drops you off at the souvenir shop, of course, inside the Peak Tower. After winding our way up level after level of escalators, we made it to the Sky View on top of the Peak Tower.

We picked a prime spot for our photo shoot with the magnificent views. We couldn't have asked for a more picture perfect day. I mistakenly wore a knit skirt, so there was a little Marilyn Monroe action going on! Whoops! But we had so much fun trying to tame our hair in the windstorm while trying to get the perfect pictures. Then being total products of the 21st century, we stood in a circle and all Instagrammed our favorite shots of the view!

Panoramic View from the Top of Peak Tower

Finally, the perfect shot!
It's too bright and windy!
The birthday girl!
View from the other side of the peak.

The Peak Tower is full of restaurants, shops, and other tourist attractions. After walking around a bit, we decided we weren’t in the shopping mood. Besides, we had a birthday lunch to attend!

Peak Tower

Sara found a Spanish tapas restaurant, Tapeos, around the corner from her place, which she’d been dying to try. Since both of us studied abroad in Spain there was no way we were going to miss reliving those days by indulging in delicious Spanish food. It’s like I died and went to heaven. There was sangria, warm break with olive oil, chorizo, goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, Spanish tortilla, clams and last but not least, churros con chocolate. Unfortunately, we arrived at 2:20pm and the kitchen closed at 3pm or else we would have ordered much more! Oh well, the food we had was delectably satisfying. Spain just knows how to do food!

Chorizo with tomatoes and deliciousness! 
Red Onion, Tomato, Goat Cheese Salad
Me and the Birthday Girl!
Churros con Chocolate!
Afterwards, Caroline, Katie and I headed around the block, up the steepest hill to the Botanical and Zoological Gardens. We stared off in the bird section but quickly learned Caroline’s phobia of them so we found the monkeys and mammals. It was nothing compared to the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., which I grew up visiting. However, it’s pretty remarkable this free exhibit of monkeys, birds, reptiles and other small mammals exists among huge skyscrapers in the middle of Hong Kong Island!

That night we celebrated Sara’s birthday with the Methodist missionaries, dorm mates by getting NY style pizza and beer and having fellowship on top of the IFC mall rooftop. Sara said it was one of the best birthdays she’s ever had. Success!!

Libby, one of Methodist missionaries, and I found out we have a good, mutual friend. Small World!
Thanks for reading!

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