After our brilliant visit to Disneyland a few days ago, Hong Kong's other big theme park had a lot to live up to. "Ocean Park" opened nearly 30 years before Disney and, to be honest, it showed. We made the best of the day but there were frequent disappointments and long queues for everything. JD found that nearly all the rides required him to be older or taller. We did find one roller coaster which let him on [see bottom left - we are circled in red] but even that entailed queueing for over an hour. The shows were not a patch on Disney's epics either [though I managed to take part in a kung fu demo - see bottom right].
Heavy rain showers and large crowds didn't help the atmosphere. We finished off the trip with a cable car ride and their large aquarium, which turned out to be the highlights.
We spent today in Hong Kong Park, a very nice, if small and hilly, place. There's a free aviary full of wild birds which, though wild, were surprisingly unconcerned by the line of people wandering through their enormous cage and a multi-level children's play area with a 10m long slide which JD loved. When it started to rain late afternoon, we slid into a Pizza Hut and had a cheese fondue, something Ava and JD hadn't experienced before, but really enjoyed.
Ava, JD and I crossed the border from Shenzhen (Mainland China) to Hong Kong yesterday. We had feared long queues with the onset of Spring Festival, but it was fairly quiet. One of the main reasons to visit Hong Kong was to take JD to Disneyland. He's not a big fan of the classic shows (Mickey Mouse, Jungle Book etc) but he does love Winnie the Pooh and, especially, Toy Story.
Despite a poor weather forecast, we enjoyed a dry and sunny day there today. There were plenty of rides which JD could do(despite his lowly one metre stature) and he loved them all.
Ava's favourite ride was "Small, small world" [photo below, right], and with the lack of queues for it, we rode it twice in a row.
The highlight for me was meeting R2D2 - a long-term childhood favourite and for JD it was meeting Woody from Toy Story. "But was he the real one?" was JD's constant refrain as we headed home!
JD had lots of fun at his friend Kaiya's birthday party yesterday. He took great delight in trying to smash the piñata open and was very disciplined about not using his hands to eat the crisps-on-a-string! He left with his pass-the-parcel prize safely tucked in his pocket - an eraser! He's not see a real one before, although he regularly uses the eraser icon on the iPad, so he made the connection quite quickly.
I was delighted to be invited to Robert's School's Spring Festival Meal today. Although I only work for the school periodically they still treat me as "part of the family" and it was great to meet up with past colleagues. JD was on his best behaviour, chatting politely with folk, helping to hand out the raffle prizes and playing with balloons with the other children. It was a delicious meal with every table having a hot pot and barbecue plate, plus an all-you-can-eat (and drink) buffet.
I rewatched the film "Oblivion" yesterday. What a quality movie! It looks amazing and there are some very clever and thought-provoking themes in there too. Hard sci-fi, that’s my thing. You can keep your superhero and fantasy blockbusters. Give me Tom Cruise, androids and spaceships any day.
I also got to see "Star Wars: Rogue One" in 3D at the cinema (having watched a poor quality download a month ago). A great film which leads right into the first Star Wars movie, which I must have watched about 20 times in my youth.
I've spent most of this week doing demonstration classes in various Kindergartens in and around Kunming on behalf of my old employers at Robert's School. It's not really the age-group I'm best with but, as it was the same lesson six times over, it got fairly good by the end. There was a big difference in the look, resources and students' ability levels between the various schools, with the private ones in the city centre looking spotless with focused and talented students. The countryside schools, less so. It was a fascinating, if exhausting, week.
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