These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activities.
My in-laws arrived at the end of February and the six of us whirled off to a weekend in Kyoto. When we came back, we celebrated my father-in-law’s birthday followed by E’s birthday the day after. After spending a week with them, they left for Hong Kong and we attended (semi-co-hosted) a belated birthday party for E and her best friend, Charlotte. The following few days after were filled with massive decluttering as I tried to gather things to give away at her school’s White Elephant sale. All while battling really bad allergies (hay fever).
Then, last Friday, E’s class held a birthday party for March birthdays which I prepared for the night before. The crazy thing was that we had a flight leaving Tokyo that same day so as soon as the class party was over, the four of us left to finish packing and head for our flight out to Hong Kong.
Yes, we spend a weekend in Hong Kong. 68 hours to be exact.
Sometimes I find it weird how I say that we’re spending a weekend overseas like it’s no big deal. It’s like
“So what did you do this weekend?”
“Oh, you know, we went to Hong Kong.”
Sure, it’s only a 4 hour flight but it’s not exactly a hop, skip and a jump from Tokyo and it’s not like the airfare is chump change either.
Still, the people we got to spend time with made the short trip worth the stress of traveling. We were in Hong Kong for the weekend to see my in-laws before they went back to the US, to see my grandmother, to see Jason’s grandparents, and to meet up with our friends who moved to Hong Kong last September.
It was a very busy 68 hours spent there.
I’m actually really glad that we were able to go on this trip. My grandmother has been asking me to visit her in Hong Kong for several years but the timing was always off. I was pregnant and then had K. She was taking care of my grandfather who was really ill with Alzheimer’s and was spending her time going back and forth between California and Hong Kong.
My grandfather passed away 2 years ago and with K being a little older, we were able to go this year to visit her. It made her incredibly happy to have us there with her, especially because we stayed at her house. She got to know Jason a bit more and absolutely adored the kids. She and I also chatted a lot, something that doesn’t happen that often since she only gets to see us once or twice a year during Christmas and there’s always a lot of people talking to her at family get togethers.
It was also really great seeing Jason’s grandparents. I’ve met them only 3 times ever. E met them once when she was 2, which was 4 years ago. This was the first time they’ve met K.
Jason’s grandparents haven’t left Hong Kong in many years, ever since their health started failing them. His grandfather suffers from damages to his nerves caused by untreated shingles and his grandmother has Alzheimer’s. She also fell and hit her head 2 years ago which rendered her incapable of moving or speaking anymore. They’ve only seen pictures of the kids so they were incredibly happy to see their great-grandchildren in person. I sometimes wish that we could visit with them more since I find that young kids have a positive effect on older people.
We were also really happy that we could meet up with our good friends, Sarah Jane, Frank, and their sons, Robin and Finley.
Robin and E were classmates while Finley and K were in the same daycare. Our families met through E’s school and became really good friends along with a few other moms and their families. They moved to Hong Kong last September for work reasons and we’ve kept in touch with them.
It’s really weird how we haven’t seen each other in 6 months but still carried on as if we’ve seen each other recently. We had a nice lunch with them and then headed out to the park so that the kids could run around a bit. Sarah Jane and I caught up on the latest happenings with our friends back in Tokyo and talked about how things have been in both our lives. I’ve never fully grasped how much I missed her presence here in Tokyo until we saw her and her family.
I know that there are several other moms in our little circle who would love to meet up with her again and hopefully, we’ll see her again soon, in Hong Kong or in Tokyo.
And finally, of course, we were happy to see my in-laws again before we went our ways back home. Their trip out to visit us this year has been a really good one. We got to travel with them outside of Tokyo twice this time and they got to spend a lot of time with the kids. The girls absolutely adore their grandparents and loved playing with them and seeing them so often. I’m sure my in-laws also enjoyed the time they spent with the kids too. E and K are very lucky to have grandparents who love them and would travel long distances at their age to come spend time with them.
It was fun visiting Hong Kong, even for just a weekend. I always have a soft spot for the city since I spent my childhood summers there visiting my grandparents when I was young. The city changed a lot but at the same time still feels familiar. I don’t think I can ever move and live there especially after living in Tokyo for so many years but I’m always open to the idea of visiting!