HONG KONG, CHINA
Okay so Hong Kong! Not technically under China but for sake of caterogization it is listed there. Anyway... Rachael and I landed into Hong Kong pretty late. We caught a cute lil' red taxi into downtown. We are 99% positivie the taxi driver was high but hey we arrived to the hotel safely so no complaints!!! And as far as hotel, the Afflecks let us book a room at the downtown Hilton in Hong Kong - talk about high class! When we were checking in the front desk manager told us that if we were going to be in the lobby we needed to dress nicer. We just laughed and rolled our eyes - I mean he was talking to girls who had been backpacking Asia for the past month. All we had left were stinky old dirty clothes! The next morning we were searing for an ATM in our hotel when we discovered that in the basement of our hotel was a GIANT shopping center with the nicest stores! They had a Zara - naturally, Rachael and I went a little shopping crazy! Clean clothes!!!! Right after we bought all of these wonderful things we ran upstairs and changed out of the nasty crap we were wearing. Literally felt soooo amazing to have clean clothes on haha. After our unexpected shopping spree we headed out on the town to Oddies Foodies on Gough Street for these delux ice cream cones. The layout of Hong Kong is super confusing and the streets are not well laid out. It took a minute to get there but using a combo of public transportaiton (so nice to be in a subway system again!), taxis, and walking we finally made it! The delux ice cream cones were soooo divine. So far Hong Kong had been treating us well! After our breakfast for dessert endeavor we headed over to The Ladies Market. We got lots of nice purses, watches, shoes and gifts! For dinner we went to Ho Lee Fook. It was this super hip place that everyone who has ever visited Hong Kong recommended. Well after dinner Rachael and I joined that group because we 100% recommended it as well! It was so good! It was really fun to be a in a bustling Hong Kong restaurant too - and the name is just so so great too haha. After we wanted dessert again so we traveled out and ended up at a Japanese shaved ice shack, Shari-Shari, just outside of Hong Kong's version of Times Square. Then, before the night was over we ran over to The Temple Street market to check it out and get a few more last minute gifts. That night we ended it watching The Bachelor in our nice hotel robes in a comfy comfy bed. The next morning we had breakfast on the top floor of the hotel that overlooks the entire Hong Kong bay - mindblowing beautiful I tell ya! Before heading to the airport we went to the Ma Mo Temple for a bit more of a traditional cultural experience in Hong Kong. On our way to the airport we stopped by The Shanghai Market. We headed to the airport early because Rachael's plane left at 2PM. My plane didn't depart until 8PM that night. But, I didn't really want to hang out in Hong Kong with my giant backpack by myself and I found out that the airport had a Joe and the Juice (my fav cafe from Denmark), so I figured I would just hang out there while I waited for my flight to leave. Rachael and I got all checked in and had lunch at Joe and the Juice before she had to catch her terminal to the other airport wing to board her flight to Shanghai and then from Shanghai to LAX and then home to SLC. We got her on her shuttle and then I headed back to the food court to chill and wait. About an hour later, Rachael calls me in a worry. Her flight to Shanghai was delayed meaning she would likely miss her flight to LAX. I told her it would be fine and that she would just have to hurry - but not to panic. Right as I am about to board my flight, Rachael calls me again but this time in complete tears. She had gotten onto her flight to Shanghai just fine but when they landed in Shanghai they made the passengers wait on the plane for an hour until a terminal dock opened up for the passengers to get off. As a result she had missed her flight to LAX and the next flight going out to LAX wasnt until the next night - over 24 hours away! It was a giant mess. Rachael documented the entire thing on her Snapchat Story. It made you wanna cry because you felt so bad for her but also laugh so hard becasue of the chain of events. All within those next few hours, Rachael had started her period in a country that doesnt have tampons. She ended up bleeding through everything and onto everything, was qurrantined in the sketchiest hotel (she didnt have a visa to enter the country so they were very strict about where she stayed), ate the awful hotel version of Hong Kong's top ramen using cold water from her hotel sink. And she was all by herself too- which can feel soooo scary at times when in a foreign country! I ended up spending that same night in the San Francisco airport by myself. But I was able to take a shower and get some sleep so I felt like I was living large. I felt so bad for Rachael but we both ended up getting home safely and eating Cafe Rio within 24 hours of landing in SLC. All was right in the world once again! Hong Kong, you were fabulous. Shanghai, you were not. xx, m.