Saturday, May 08, 2004

Well, we've been back in the UK for a week now and it feels like we've never been away :(

Our last week in HK was fun - we went to Lamma Island with my Dad for a lovely seafood lunch and then a sedate stroll. On Thursday, we had our 3rd (and probably best) afternoon tea with Gail at the Conrad hotel - very civilised and perfect bite-sized portions of everything.

We then all did another walk around the Peak on Friday afternoon - it was another one of those "gentle strolls that wasn't", having walked halfway down the peak and then practically all the way back up, when a path that Daddy was expecting didn't turn out to be there.

It was good to do a few of the "touristy" things, especially as it's the end of an era with my Dad and Gail moving to Italy this Summer. We'll still go back to HK - I have to go every 3 years to keep my Permanent ID card - but it will definitely feel odd staying in a hotel and being proper tourists.

So we're now back in London. We had a whistle-stop tour up to Nottingham and to see the family this week to show off the wedding album.

Can't say it's good to be back - it feels very strange and not like home yet but we're going to do some of the nice London things and try and get back into the swing of things. My poor husband starts back at work on Monday but I have got till the end of June until I am due back - excellent planning on my part! - but with having to change my name on absolutely everything and a few other mini projects planned, I should have plenty to keep me busy.

So we'll sign off for now - no more travel updates until the next time.........

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Having spent most of our time in HK so far being lazy blobs or swanning round shopping and doing afternoon tea, we thought we should do something a bit more active yesterday and decided to go and visit the big buddha at Lantau yesterday and then do a gentle walk down to the beach.

It's an hour long ferry ride and then a 40 minute bus journey up to the temple/buddha - it's a pretty spectacular sight when you arrive and there were some great photo opportunities but I realised as soon as I got my camera out, that depite having charged the batteries, I had forgotten to put in a memory card so couldn't take any photos :(

Anyway, my Dad had said there was a pleasant walk round the side of Lantau Peak and down to the beach, which we thought we'd do, so we started off on the track and got to a bit of a crossroads, where on the map one trail lead off downhill to the right but seemed to go in the opposite direction to the beach we wanted and the other went to the beach but skirted seemingly round the side of the peak. So we opted for that one, given that it also said it was only 5.5km.

An hour later and having only covered just over 1km but up a VERY steep incline - we were almost at the top of the Peak itself and walking in dense cloud with 10m visibility. I only had some birkenstock sandals on and we had about 200ml of water left between us. We also couldn't see the path or where it led to and were completely knackered having walked up a squillion stone "steps", so reluctantly we decided to go back where we came from and then got the bus back down to the ferry!! It was a fun day but a bit more strenuous than we expected. On return to Central, we went for a nice dinner and a few drinks to recover.

Today, I signed my first offical document as Mrs. Woodward to get my name changed on my HK ID card - I hadn't had time to practise my new signature so I am now stuck using the spazzy one I had to sign on the form. We're off to Lamma Island tomorrow for lunch and another gentle walk (hopefully) before a final day or two of shopping and then it's back home on Saturday evening.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

We have had a great first week of marriage....staying at my parents in HK, with my husband in bed ill for some of the week (and two expensive visits to the doctors)!!

Actually it has been fun - really nice to be able to chill out and unpack our bags for more than 2-3 days and not have to rush around seeing and doing the sights of the city. We've done a fair bit of shopping - there's not as much as in the past in terms of cheap, good work clothes but it's still great for cheap but good quality casual clothes, contact lenses, cheap glasses and other bits and bobs.

Jonathan has had a throat/chest infection and conjunctivitis, hence the doctor visits but hopefully should be fit for next week. Daniel and I have been hitting the shops big time (well, Daniel has - with his 14 new shirts, 4 pairs of trousers plus a few more items) and we all went for afternoon tea at the Peninsular Hotel on Thursday afternoon, which was very civilised and yummy.

My Dad took us all out for a great meal last night - to celebrate our 1st anniversary - it was excellent food and a fun night. Next week, we're going to do the touristy things - climb up to the big buddha on Lantau, ride the Peak Tram, go over to Cheung Chau. It's the last year my Dad and Gail will be here before moving to Italy this Summer, so we're planning to make the most of it and shop, shop, shop!!

One more week to go before we'll be heading back home to the UK - not looking forward to it but at least I still have 2 more months off work.

Friday, April 16, 2004

We did it..................I am now a "Mrs"!!!!

We had an absolutely beautiful day yesterday. We were staying in the Park Hyatt (with an amazing view of the Opera House and a huge room with walk-in dressing room and 24 hour butler) - all courtesy of Daniel - which was a master stroke, as they were brilliant when I kept phoning them up in the morning in a flap, asking where my hairdresser, the flowers, the manicurist etc. were!!

The venue - the Sydney Botanical Gardens, with a view of both the Opera House and Bridge was perfect and it was a warm, sunny day so it looked gorgeous. After a short ceremony, we had champagne and choc-covered strawberries and endless photos before jumping in a taxi to head to the harbour.

We then spent 4 hours on a private boat cruising the harbour with drinks and canapes before heading back to the hotels for a couple of hours before dinner at Wildfire at Circular Quay. Despite a problem in the kitchen with all their grills breaking down, the food was excellent.

It was a really magical and special day - with no stress at all (apart from a few nerves in the morning - and the fact that I lay awake for hours the night before unable to sleep and really trying hard not to get cross) and surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed being a bride for the day with all that fuss and pampering!!!

We're now at Sydney airport, waiting to fly to HK with my Dad, Gail and Daniel. I just had my first "my husband is..." experience at the Tax Refund desk - VERY VERY weird!!!!

Sunday, April 11, 2004

Happy Easter!

We are now in Sydney and the countdown to the wedding day has really begun.

We arrived late Friday evening and checked into our very own apartment for the next 4 days until we move on to our mystery wedding present hotel (thanks to Daniel) for the wedding night.

Due to the Easter holidays, most of the shops are closed today, but as back home everything will be open again on Monday, so I'm off to buy a suit and a few other last minute bits and pieces.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

1 week to go......

.....till 'W' day!!!! Yes, we have taken the plunge and are getting married next Thursday in Sydney at the Botanical Gardens.

SUPER excited and we have been using the time in Brisbane to get sorted for it. I have now got my dress and shoes, we've got both rings and all we need now are the "accessories". In preparation, I have had a facial today, which was absolute bliss - so nice to be pampered for a bit after smothering my skin in all the horrible DEET, suncream and mossie stuff over the last few weeks. I'm having a haircut tomorrow and I think, courtesy of my lovely stepsister in Singapore, I might be in for some more pampering treats next week too!!

Kenny (chief bridesmaid) and my brother arrive in Sydney on Saturday, Jonathan's parents and brother arrive on Monday and my Dad & Gail arrive on the morning of the wedding!! It is all far too exciting.....

Daniel has booked us into a surprise hotel for the night before and after the wedding and my Dad has organised a boat to take us out onto the harbour for the afternoon with canapes and drinks and then we're all going for dinner in the evening, to where Daniel has described as "the place to go"....typical!

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Well, that was the end of our "beach" holiday for now. We stayed on Hamilton Island last night, which was a real treat - felt like a "proper" tropical island holiday. The island is chock-a-block with wild cockatoos and lorikeets - the big white birds with a yellow crest and the small brightly coloured (red, blue, green, purple and yellow) ones. They fly all over the place and land on your balcony looking for food - it's strange but fun to see tropical birds, which we keep in cages flying about wildly on the island.

Hamilton Island is pretty heavily developed but everything runs so smoothly that it's hard not to relax. We weren't too impressed at having to pay a further $8 each to use the gym so went for a run instead. I think we actually could have stayed in the Whitsundays for longer - it is such a beautiful place and there's lots to do.

We flew to Brisbane this morning and are now based in one place for 5 days, which is a novelty. I have even treated myself and booked a Clarins facial on Wednesday for some pampering. No major plans while we're here - we're giving Fraser Island a miss this time but we may go to Moreton Island for a day, which is similar but closer to Brisbane and quieter apparently. Got a few things to sort out while we're here, so it'll be good to just potter around.

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