Yesterday was tiring, so after checking and tweaking our itinerary I closed my eyes and thank the Lord for letting us arrive safely. I also prayed that I wake up early. Luckily I did woke up early, but the weather was humid that day and the air conditioned room felt a bit more comfortable than outside so we hang out for bit inside our room.
Today’s breakfast was off-the-rack from the 7Eleven store across the street. I didn’t want to walk and look further for food because dad is with me. It was good though, a local noodle brand that we don’t have back here in Manila, and a loaf of bread. It was a good breakfast.
First on our list was an easy walk along the avenue of stars. It was just a couple of stations away from Mong Kok, we weren’t really in a hurry so we walked leisurely to the station. As we exit the subway we were greeted by an outdoor installation art exhibit in front of the Hong Kong Museum of Art. I felt happy that dad seem to loosen up a bit and is starting to enjoy the trip. He candidly posed in front of the outdoor sculptures representing Man, Earth and Sky.
The museum is seamlessly connected to the Avenue of Stars so we walked just right in. We were welcomed by a stunning view of Hong Kong Island the financial heart of the former British colony. I tell you it is not that hard to admire the view. Dad walked towards the railings, with his headphones on -probably pumping his Beatles playlist from his phone- looking across the beautiful horizon. I had to call his attention repeatedly for a picture this time because apparently his music was playing to loud, but that was actually great that just means he is enjoying the moment.
There were a few people taking photos with the beautiful sky line of the Hong Kong Island on their back so it was relatively easy to get a good shot. My plan was just to walk through the entire avenue, take photos of Jackie Chang, Chow Yun Fat of course with Bruce Lee’s statue, I was wrong. You can not breeze through the Avenue of Stars. The first part was actually okay with just a few people but going towards the end part of the Avenue is a different story. There is where you’ll find the crowd favorite and yes all three of those that I mentioned earlier. You have to elbow your way to get a good photo with Bruce Lee (I mean this, I almost literally elbowed someone) I even scolded someone who looks some kind of an official photographer of a group tour. He was asking me to leave the Bruce Lee’s fence after I snapped a photo from my phone, with an unpleasant voice I replied to the guy “We are not done yet, we are still taking our photos!”. I don’t know if he got intimidated with my width – kidding lol- but he did shut up until we left.
It was really hot and humid that day and dad was commenting about the weather “Hindi pala malamig dito” (I didn’t think that it’s not cold here), I replied that it does get a little bit colder here during winter but it is summer time so it is hot. It was a challenge to walk from one end to another that I have to go on a shade for some relief.
I can see Bruce Lee from where I was standing! I hurried up and tried to snug my self through the crowd, then waved at my dad telling him to push him self through. Success! We needed really good timing to get photos of other actors and dad was pretty fast is adapting =).
It took us about three hours to finish the whole stretch. Dad had to take breaks, I had to go hide under the shades believe me the heat was exhausting.
Walking back to the train station we decided to stay for about an hour in our room to rest. Rain started drizzling and slowly build its strength. Good thing we went back. But we were suppose to go to Ngong Ping 360 and I am secretly keeping Disneyland tickets, I had to make a decision if we were to go or not. The rain just got more intense before it subsided, it was a bit too late to push through with Ngong Ping 360 to see the giant Buddah.
I remembered that dad wanted to see the electronics shopping area so back to the subway and off we go to Sham Shui Po. We searched for the street that sells second hand items but it started drizzling again. I saw the Golden Computer Plaza across the street so we hurried crossing and entered the building. I was overwhelmed with how much computer stuff was going on inside, I was saying a prayer inside my head saying I wish I have money to buy something from any of the shops.
We’ve gone several rounds around the plaza but the rain wasn’t stopping, it seem like it’s not going to happen anytime soon by the way the rain falls from the sky. But just like a miracle the rain halted as if some one closed the faucet from where all these water is coming from. I thought that the heavens was saying go on with your trip.
One of the things that is on my must do list on this trip, the one that I told my self that I have to see by hook or by crook is a visit to the happiest place on earth Disneyland. Dad doesn’t know yet where we are going so as we transfer from one line to another it became much more obvious to him so I candidly asked him if he knows he smiled and said “sa Disneyland ba?” (are we going to Disneyland?) taking his cue from the MTR signage. I smiled and said yes.
The Disney experience actually starts right after you transfer platforms and take the Disneyland. The train going from Sunny Bay station to the park are adorably decorated with Disney characters and matching Mickey Mouse windows reminding me of how I feel that the Beitou trains in Taipei are like.
Since I bought our tickets from the hotel we didn’t have to line up and cue a long line for tickets (and yeah we saved some HK$30) As soon as we got into the park we of course we took photos and took the oh so obligatory shot at the park entrance. Right after that we went straight to Space Mountain, my all time favorite ride in Disneyland Parks, to get fast pass so that we don’t have to line up that long; see Space Mountain probably is the most popular ride in all of Disneyland: Fast Pass time 8PM.
I’ve been to a Disneyland before (Anaheim) but that was a long time ago so this is kinda nostalgic for me to come back and see another Disneyland park, smaller but almost just the same since it has been patterned to the one in California.
We started with It’s A Small World, a very relaxing boat ride inside an enclosed somewhat expo type building that shows you the different cultures of the world while singing It’s A Small World in their own Language. Just for the heck of it we cued for the Tea Cups ride, while spinning on and on I figured out what ride next to take.
Disneyland was awesome and I can say that dad enjoyed it as well. Our favorite (not counting space shuttle for me) was the PhilharMagic show where you sit in a theater and watch or should I say experience the show in 4D. We got wet, smell great food and shaken right on our seats. I was actually kinda reluctant at first to see this but I guess this goes next after my all time favorite ride.
It was a good thing I was able to sneak in our water bottles because water and food is really expensive inside the park, come prepared -with money that is. There’s only one water fountain that I saw in the entire park which was in the food court at the back of Cinderella’s, we refilled our bottles evading the seemingly inevitable choice of buying small drinks with big price tags.
The parade was about to start, we rushed to the parade route and got a good spot. Just about when the music was about to cue it started drizzling and drizzling, harder and harder. I thought that it would escalate to a rain but the weather wasn’t that cruel, I guess that is why they call it Sunny Bay. It didn’t even rain there when it was like a storm was happening in Mong Kok. The parade ended but just like the Pied Piper people started following the parade, I was thinking what are they trying to do here? Anyways we have our agenda set so off we go to some more attractions.
After riding and seeing everything that we could, as darkness started to take over, we searched for a place to eat inside the park. There were several restaurants specially themed like ballrooms and space age but we opted to eat at a traditionally Chinese themed diner. The food was nothing special, well maybe I am saying this because of my culture’s affinity to the Chinese, but I still don’t think any one would be impressed with the food inside the park not to mentioned that it is over priced. we spent about HK$ 98 for a meal with drinks for each of us. Again I am not impressed, but what was I expecting it’s a park food – I should have expected over pricing.
I sneaked for a few minutes after dinner to smoke a stick and take photos of the park at night. Fifteen before eight that night I decided to go for Space Mountain. Though our fast pass says we can use it by eight the crew let us in and off we skipped the long line outside straight to the holding area for passengers waiting to board. I told dad that it’s just going to be just some fast roller coaster ride no drops or what so ever that he should be afraid of “Nasakyan ko na ‘to sa Anaheim Pa, hindi naman nakakatakot” (I’ve rode this in Anaheim it’s not scary). I was so brave in the gondola as we go up and up, I know it’s just going to be fine. I was wrong. It started out as expected but going down the coaster’s rail there were several drops! I was like… what the F was that! We survived, dad was surprisingly cool about it hahaha… well what else could he have done? He’s my kidnap victim here remember? Hahahaha!
Space Shuttle done! It was the last ride on our list. But we aren’t done yet, there’s one more thing that I deem that is a must do in Disneyland, without it I cannot say that our experience is complete. Dad uttered “Uwi na tayo!” (Let’s go back to the hotel) I replied “Hindi pa tayo tapos!” (We are not done yet). I dragged him towards main street proudly saying I know just where to position, we have to watch the fire works! Sadly the spot to best view the show was filled up by a lot of co-spectators. We managed to get a decent spot, not the best though but it works.
The fireworks display, perhaps it may be in every Disneyland that there is, may be the most magical part of a Disneyland experience. It transports people through time when dancing in the rain was just possible without shame, when running on bare feet was just alright. It triggers the nostalgia in every persons heart, trying to remind us of how life use to be just so simple. Happy.
And it was over.
We didn’t try to swim across the hundreds of people trying to get out of the park, we leisurely walked and talked about the experience. Took photos along the way. We just didn’t want to end it. But our bodies are tired from all the activities so we had to leave. Oh yeah the park was about to close. The inevitable.
At the hotel we just lay down our things and try to rest before sleeping. We were so tired that it was so hard to sleep feeling those aching muscles. While dad was resting I chanced upon my aunt who lives in the US, I thought that she would be excited to talk with dad on his first over seas trip. The internet was kinda cranky on their end so the video was cutting in and out. But the two sibling did just fine catching up with each other. The call got disconnected. We called it a day.