Friday, June 29, 2012


We have had a very wet and rainy spell these past few weeks, although today is sunny and bright. One day last week after another day of rain and overcast, the sun broke through and a rainbow starched from Victoria Harbor to the Peak.

Most rainbows appear in an instant then quickly fade. This one lasted for nearly twenty minutes. As time passed it came closer and closer till the buildings were awash with color.

My friend Vesper who has lived in Hong Kong most of her life told me it is the first rainbow she has seen in over twenty years. She may have missed some, but they are a very rare occurrence here and we were so lucky to catch the show.

Hong Kong by Night

In our first space here we were surrounded by tall buildings and the moon was something rarely seen. Now we can enjoy the moon on a regular basis and believe me we do. 

During the last full moon we had a night where the clouds allowed us to play hide and seek with the man in the moon. With the city sparkling below it was magical. These photos need no explanation. Simply enjoy.

The Apartment

Well I am finally back to posting after a long hiatus. So much has happened in the past two months. We returned to Grand Rapids for a month so that Ken could undergo surgery for prostate cancer. I am happy to report that thanks to Dr. Manny Menon and the incredible staff of the Vattikuti Urological Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit all is well and the outlook is bright. 

The surgery was better than textbook and he is back at work and looking to start jogging again any day now. If we could just get the humidity to drop a bit it would help a lot. 

At the same time as Ken's surgery, my nephew Matthew passed away at the age of 30. It is always difficult to loose someone, but even more so when the person is so young. Juggling Ken's surgery and recovery with a trip to New Jersey for the funeral was quite stressful. But thanks to help from several sources (most especially Kyle, Shayne and my folks who drove to Atlantic City for my flights) I was able to see that Ken was well cared for and I could take a few days to be with the family at such a difficult time.

Following a few week of recovery state side, we boarded a plane bound for Hong Kong and returned to our second home. Just prior to leaving for GR we managed to get all of the sorting and organizing finished. The only thing left was getting the artwork hung. Now that has been taken care of thanks to Mr. Fu. The walls beneath the plaster throughout the flat are concrete so hammering in a nail is not and option. So here goes the grand tour.

First thing every morning I walk into the main room and watch the sun rise over Victoria Harbor.

Even on a cloudy day the view is stunning.

The main area of the apartment is arranged into our living room...

dining room...

reading nook...

and bar.

The bar area is actually the breakfast nook, but with the views right by the dining table we have yet to eat at this one.

The office has windows on two sides and gets lots of use each day.

We have a guest bedroom for those of you who might be inclined to see the sights in person.

And since closets are non existent in this flat, we have turned the smallest bedroom into a closet+. I use the plus sign because it also houses our condenser dryer and hair station. The flat came with an all-in-one washer/dryer which is really not the best option. It washes very well but the drying takes way longer than necessary. Our wonderful landlords provided us with a brand new condenser dryer. It works just like a fixed dryer but works on water extraction and thus needs no venting. After each load you just empty the water reservoir. Another HK quirk is the fact that electrical outlets are not code in any bathroom. Therefore, we have a hair station where we can plug in the dryer, curling iron, etc. This tiny room has become quite useful.

The master bedroom is very restful and secluded from the rest of the flat. It is up two steps and at the very back of the space. Once again our landlords generously provided us with a huge double wardrobe to help contain all of our "stuff."

There are three full baths and a powder room in the main living areas. The bathrooms are small but nicely done, so Ken and I each have our own which leaves one for our guests. 

The kitchen is small but very usable. Behind it is the helper's room and helper's bathroom which we have turned into a pantry and storage space for suitcases, christmas tree, etc. It is a very big space for Hong Kong and we are so lucky to be in this building. But the best reason for this flat fits the old adage location, location, location. We are a few meters from the giant escalator system which is the longest in the world. It stretches from the harbor to one level above us which is about half way up the mountain. It eliminates the need for a car completely. And we love not needing a car.

So there it is, our home in Hong Kong.