Tuesday, July 21, 2015


After spending some days in Hong Kong, I joined my parents on a trip to my dad's dream destination, the Maldives!  I had seen so many stunning images of the place over the years that I was pretty excited to tag along!  It truly is beautiful there.  We only visited the small island, one of the almost 1200, that our resort was located on, but the water and white sand were absolutely incredible!
The island was lush and was beautifully landscaped and maintained.
Loved passing this arched banyan tree every day.
Sorry to post so many photos, but I found it hard to choose.  It was a small island that you could walk across it in about 10 minutes.  I felt like I was in a beach version of Smurf Village!  The water bungalows extended into the unbelievable turquoise waters.
Lounging on the deck of our water bungalow.  Not too shabby!  Before we got on the plane, the forecast was for 2 hours of sunshine over our 4 days.  After arriving in the darkness of night, we were pleasantly surprised to awake to bright sunshine and the most amazing colour of water I had ever seen.  So spoiled to have had direct access to warm clear waters just steps from our beds.  Besides meal times, we spent almost all of our time here, outside on the back deck of our bungalow,.
The moon was amazing and bright.
Fell asleep to the sound of the lightly lapping waves.
We had dinner here every night... got dark quite early so we couldn't see the water, but you could hear it!
Path to our water bungalow.
Some of the seating (or the bedding) at one of the restaurants.
Another killer sunset!
Complete with pink cotton candy clouds.

More sunset snaps!
Yes, same view... as I mentioned, we were pretty much planted in one spot for 4 days!
Gahhhhhh, so wish I was back there!
Loved all the foliage... and plants that we don't see in these parts!  Loved pink/green colour combo.
My Dad dipping his toes in.  Each bungalow was a semi, with two separate suites.  Never met our neighbours, but heard a lot of hysterical screaming in fear of the water!  Most other guests at the hotel were from China and spoke Mandarin, which I do not understand any of.  Must learn a few words one day!
Took my phone out in the water at low tide early in the morning.  Held it above my head with a death grip on it as I waded out gingerly.
On this afternoon the clouds rolled in quickly over minutes before it rained torrentially for the rest of the night.

Blew me away that the sky could be so dark and the water still so vibrant.
So many fish and sea creatures of all sorts... I have never swam in waters with so many surrounding me.  One of these big guys that were about 18 inches long nipped my thumb!  Brought a disposable underwater camera.  Still have to take it in to be developed!
Yes, more of the same!  I couldn't get enough!
Cloudy day.
Palm trees at dusk.  Glowing blue skies.
Frozen Bracelet in warm climate!
Such a peaceful moment to be out in the water, all by myself staring out at the horizon.  I could do that all day!

And quickly, four days in paradise wrapped up, and we flew back to the busy hub bub of Hong Kong.   Hong Kong Part II will be coming up!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Hong Kong, part I

Recently I had the opportunity to join family on a trip to Hong Kong and the Maldives.  Saw a lot of great scenery, both natural and man made, and sure ate more that my fair share of delectable meals! Thought I would share some of the photos.  I think I will do it in three parts.  
Here's Hong Kong, part I!
Moody view upon landing.
 From airport straight to delicious dim sum.  Somehow so much better when in HK.
 Wish we still had more of these traditional dim sum carts in Toronto.
The rainy days at least made for some pretty cool photos.
 Seeing beauty in mundane things.
 A little parkette. I was amazed at the trees.  Check out the roots!  It seems a lot of the trees in HK grow like this.  It's the nature of a city emerging on a mountain, I suppose.
 Planned to shop shop shop, but came home with little and mostly browsed browsed browsed.
 One of the many feasts we had.
 The most delicious crab on sticky rice.
My cousin and I took care of all of this. No one else was willing to get their hands dirty.
I was amazed over and over again how so many tall buildings and such a dense population can co-exist with so much lush greenery.
I was almost getting S.A.D.  Should have packed some vitamin Ds!  Rained almost continuously for the first week I was there.  Gloomy skies over the amazing skyline!
Some of Hong Kong's iconic towers.
So many things to see in every little nook.
These little tiny vendors are wondrous!  I can't believe how much they can cram in such a small retail space.  They are just a little counter inside a box that opens up in the front.  Perfect little street side retail location.
We headed up towards the Peak, only to be unable to see 20 feet in front of the car part way up.  So we left and returned this day.  Still foggy, but it gradually cleared up to reveal a great view.  I kind of liked the added drama of low hanging fog.  Made it look like a scene from a movie.

Snapped a bunch of pics of the harbour view from our high perch.
Loved the pastel coloured buildings and the foliage peeking through!
Lychee from a street vendor.
Green Waffle for a green waffle! The regular brown waffle was better!
Wet market or gaai si full of fruit and veg!
A former police station in Central is revitalized and turned into retail environment with shops, galleries and restaurants.
Trinket shops full of collectables.  I think this was on Hollywood Road.
The Pawn, a bar and restaurant restored from a colonial pawn shop.  I was really happy to see that there seemed to be a trend in maintaining, restoring and re-purposing historical buildings.
One of the only things I bought! Some outrageously sparkly crystal encrusted sandals for super cheap.  They are now filling my home with the overwhelming scent of PVC from China, but they sure are fun!

Took the Star Ferry across the harbour on a sweltering day.  It was worth it to catch these great views.
Visited 1881 Heritage, a former Marine Police Headquarters on the Kowloon side.  It is another Victorian Era building that has been restored and repurposed to a hotel, shopping centre and exhibition space.  Many of the original details have been restored. 
Love seeing the mix of old world + new world and tradition + technology in Hong Kong.  Wish I could write more for each photo... More photos to come in two more parts!

Hope your weekend was peachy!




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