We had quite an eventful trip! Our plane was struck by lightning, our flights were delayed/hovering the city due to rain, and it rained off and on for our entire trip! We had a great time though! We enjoyed Disneyland on Easter Sunday and the Easter bunny did not forget to visit Stavros in Hong Kong! The Easter bunny is impressive!
On our trip, we took a tram to Victoria Peak for some gorgeous views and we walked the Avenue of the Stars! We took a bus tour to a fishing village, which is a water town–from there we caught a boat ride to explore the village. We are amazed by the primitive ways of the locals, who weren’t too fond of the tourists. We went on an amazing 30 minute glass bottom aerial cable car ride through the mountains for one of our excursions! This was my favorite part of the trip! The ride is much longer than the other cable car rides we have been on and the glass bottom adds impressive views. We also went to the Giant Buddha as part of a tour! The weather quickly set in and hid the Giant Buddha immediately after we saw it, so we were grateful we didn’t miss our opportunity!
We joked with Jovan that while vacationing with us, he went on: a plane, train, tram, cable car, boat, bus and taxi… Pretty much, the only things we missed were helicopter rides and submarines! Here is a link to the photos if you would like to view them..share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0AbuW7Rq5bt2jClg
We stayed busy with a full schedule last weekend. We were proactive and purchased tickets to the Kid’s Christmas Party at the Millennium Hotel before tickets were sold out. We also went to the tree lighting ceremony at Hilton Hongqiao, where Stavros takes cooking lessons. We really looked forward to the party because Stavros is understanding a lot more about Christmas than ever before. He enjoys the lessons that go with his advent calendar, he loves his Christmas tree, and shows a lot of interest in Santa Claus and snowmen!
At the party, things started with a fabulous dinner followed by wonderfully delicious dessert. Next, Stavros decorated an ornament, made a Christmas card and decorated gingerbread cookies. Stavros got too tired and needed to go home for a nap before Santa arrived, so we will need to schedule another Santa sighting!… This is in the works! We thought the party was definitely worth it and will absolutely be getting tickets for the party next year as well!
After Stav’s nap, we headed out to the tree lighting ceremony at the Hilton. We wanted Miss Rita, Stav’s nanny, to see it, so we invited her along as well. The tree was beautiful, huge and fabulously decorated–we expected nothing less! The highlight of the experience, however, was seeing the gingerbread house! The gingerbread house that Stavros assisted in making is complete and is being displayed throughout the holiday season in the hotel lobby. I can’t stress enough how awesome the gingerbread house is! The house is adorned with drapes, furniture, a gift shop inside, flower pots and even wall hangings to add a homey feel! As we walked up to enter the house, we noticed that Stav’s gingerbread was at the entrance!… No surprise! The chef’s at cooking class took instant photos of each child and the kids placed the photos on their own gingerbread! Our unique little guy took the cake (or the gingerbread) on cuteness! While we were there, Stavros randomly took the stage and decided to give his first public speech! Tammer took a video on his phone–it’s just too adorable not to share, check out the link to the video here: http://youtu.be/IZ2v7lgdHJc .
Earlier today, I read the following blog post . The honesty and love made me laugh and brought me to tears. I definitely want my son to know all 25 things. Many items on the list hit so incredibly close to home, it’s uncanny. I thought I would share! (Just click the underlined “25 things” to read.)
When I graduated High School, my parents had a great party for me. It was really wonderful. It was one of the best days of my life… I know this because I think of it often, and every time it puts a smile on my face. It wasn’t lavish, it was simple. It was at the local park (Stony Creek). All of my friends were there. We played volley ball had a huge barbecue, tons of food and lots of fun. After the party my parents gave me a gift, it was a gift of money $500.00 to be exact (a LOT of money to me at the time), and a card which said something to the effect that the remainder of the first million was up to me. There was also two pieces of advice, the first was “don’t spend it all (the $500) in one place”, and the second was in the form of a book. My mother enjoys poetry, and she gave me a large book of American poetry. Of course there was a book mark included and of course it was placed strategically. This one poem has very much played a large role in shaping who I am today, and I’m sure it will influence who I become tomorrow… I just thought of sharing this with everyone in appreciation for my loving parents. It may be self serving to say that they did a good job, but they did. I hope to honor them by raising our son with the same love I was raised with. As my mother would say, to provide him a safe nest so that he may grow strong wings and fly and one day make a nest of his own… I love you mom and dad. I just wanted to thank you for all that you have given me.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
It’s been five years already! We remember every detail of our wedding day as if it were yesterday. It was an absolutely perfect day and it’s wonderful to still be certain that on this day, five years ago, we made one of the biggest and best decisions we could have made. So many things have happened in our life together already, and we are excited for what is yet to come. As we look to the future, it’s a tremendous feeling to know our 50th anniversary will be here before we know it!
Sometimes people say, “Everything changes when you get married.” Well, yes, it does. And it’s been great! When we first got married, every detail of life was entirely different than it is today. Who would have thought five years ago that we would be parents to such an incredible, one-of-a-kind little boy?! Who would have thought we would move to South America and have plans for our next move to be Asia?!… Definitely different than five years ago. Definitely different than we ever expected! But, wow!… What a journey! And there is so much more to do in this life of ours!
Happy Anniversary, My Love! I love you more today than ever and I am so grateful for this little family of ours!
Yesterday, Brazil celebrated the Corpus Christi holiday. We were invited to the zoo for something fun to do on the special day! Stavros had a blast spending the day with his friends. The most exciting part for the kids was seeing the bears! They also loved the monkeys and the birds! Stavros had fun searching for puddles to jump in–of course! The zoo is one of our favorite things to do with Stavros and it becomes even more fun as he is able to identify names and sounds of countless animals! He is beginning to identify quantity and color, which is exciting as well!
This is enough to make anyone’s day a little brighter! Thanks, Tiffany, Bo and Taylor for the incredibly sweet and thoughtful gesture! Lots of love!
Yesterday we went with some women from the Ford Bahia International group to take some treats and presents to the children at a local orphanage. When we arrived, we were greeted by some of the biggest smiles I have ever seen! The kids are all ages and many have been at the orphanage since birth. I want to give you an idea of the situations these amazing children came from: a set of perfectly healthy twins were found in a dumpster and a gorgeous little boy (about Stavros’ age) was left due to his mother’s drug addiction. The orphanage receives no help from the government and relies solely on donations from the public… people like us. They receive some food from a grocery store, but the food is mostly expired and unable to be on the shelves. My heart breaks when I think about the big hearts and curious minds of these children. Each child deserves a “chance”, which is something we can help provide–regardless of where we are.
It’s important for all of us to help–not just once, because the need continues whether we pay attention or not. There are countless ways to help and countless people who need us… SO many people need our help. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was trying to gather my thoughts and come up with ways to help these kids. Feel free to give me suggestions about ways to help these children. Also, if you’re able to help support them, it would be greatly appreciated!
They treat Stavros like a brother!… So sweet!
Donna got everyone’s attention and kept it! (Singing songs.) They LOVE her!
Yesterday was Tammer’s last day of vacation, so we decided to have a relaxing day and just stay at home and hang out together as a family! The highlights of the day were: we hung out in the pool, played at the playground, and saw several monkeys! Stavros is learning to “swim”, so the pool is exciting for us! Stavros loves the trampoline, so the playground is exciting for him! The monkeys, well, the monkeys are exciting for all three of us! It was agreat, yet bittersweet day–it is always nice having Tammer around during his vacation time, but it is always hard to have Tammer go back to work.