Monday, June 20, 2011

Viva Macau!

This weekend, my little Hong Kong group took a side trip to a nearby island called Macau. Like Hong Kong, Macau is a special administrative region of China with its own government and currency. We were told that Macau was the “Las Vegas of China,” and we were so excited to find out if the rumors were true! I packed up my most “Vegasy” outfit and a pair of black heels, and hit the road with nothing more than my means of transportation to the island planned out.

Bad news first. Macao didn’t even compare to Vegas. NOT EVEN CLOSE. I’ve decided that there really is no place like the strip. But that’s ok…thanks to USC frat life I get to live it up in Vegas multiple times a year!! Who could complain?!

Good news. Aside from the fact that Macao was not what we had expected, I had an INCREDIBLE weekend of food, friends, and much needed relaxation. This weekend provided some of my favorite memories so far, and I can't wait to go back!!

Saturday morning, Margaux and I woke up early to catch the 9 am ferry in Kowloon. We grabbed a quick coffee and we were on our way! Thank goodness for Margaux’s coworker Meiling, who met us at the dock that morning. Meiling and her friend Emily decided to take a day trip to Macau to celebrate Meiling’s birthday, and we were so lucky to be in the company of the two girls! Meiling knew exactly where to take us for lunch and the best ways to get around the city. 

On the ferry to Macau!
I learned that Macau used to be a Portuguese colony. Most of the locals spoke Portuguese even better than Cantonese, which was a bit of a surprise. I found that I could understand a few words here and there with my small knowledge of Spanish. It was so fun!

We tasted all the traditional Macao dishes and had a great time walking through the streets of Taipa! Then we ventured to the other side of the island to see the ruins of St. Paul and the old cannons. We walked and walked and walked but there was so much to see!

Here’s a taste of the incredible things I got to see in Macau:

The Venetian in Macau!

It looked exactly the same!! Copy cats...

A traditional Macanese desert. It tasted like frozen cool whip and graham cracker crumbs...yum!

Having fun in the gardens of Taipa!

The line to get a pork chop sandwhich...they were popular!

After waiting for nearly 30minutes, I present to you....The Famous Macanese Sandwhich.
Walking the streets.
The beautiful Ruins of St. Paul's.

I LOVED looking at the ruins! So much history...

At the Fortaleza do Monte.

"Why would they point the cannons at the hotels?!"- Margaux suffering from heat craze
(It happens to us a lot...)

The historical Museum of Macau.

Exploring the museum!

The beginning of the "strip" of Macau!

Fight on!
 Side note: So everyone knows I'm obsessed with weddings. Surprise, surprise...nothing's changed over here in Asia!! And it just so happens that I happened to see FOUR different brides on Saturday!! So of course I had to take photos. I thought they were pretty funny...I think you'll like them. :)

Bride #1
Say yes to the dress right?! (My futile attempt at sarcasm...)
Bride #2
Bride #3
And Bride #4!!

Around 7:00 Margaux and I returned to the City of Dreams. Back in the hotel room (or should I say suite?!) we finally met up with the rest of the group to get ready to go out for Jamie’s 21st birthday!

I love suites.
The living room!
The night was perfect. We had such a wonderful dinner at a Portuguese restaurant called Fernando’s. I WAS SO FULL. But it was so worth it.

All the girls before dinner <3
Jamie's Birthday cake!
The Portuguese version of the egg tart. Flakey and delicious. YUM!

Finallyyyy we got to experience a little bit of that Vegas feel people had warned us about. But just a little. Macao is a cleaner, quieter version of Sin City, complete with grand casinos and elaborate architecture. We had a great time walking through all the hotels and taking photos with all the rest of the tourists. Unfortunately there was no M&M factory…

Macau at night!
After dinner we continued celebrating in the Venetian before calling it a night and heading back to the hotel. We were all exhausted from our very long day of exploration and fun!

Drinks at the Venetian.

Happy Birthday Jamie!!!
The end of the night...pure exhaustion!

Sunday was absolutely unreal. I know that every day of my summer is like a vacation, but this was a REAL vacation, and I loved every minute. We woke up and immediately went to the pool to soak up some sun and relax. After 3 solid weeks of working and adventure, it felt so good. We ordered smoothies and salads (YUM!) and stayed by the pool until it was time to get on the ferry back to HK. The breeze was beautiful and the sun was shining; I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect morning! I was very sad when I had to leave.

The best day ever.

BUT…my fun wasn’t over yet!! As soon as I returned to HK, I had to get ready to go to a dinner at my boss’s house in Kowloon Tong. He invited me to his family dinner on Father’s Day Sunday! It was so sweet! His “house” was just a tad bigger than I expected…

This is only HALF of his house.

I was spoiled with a delicious Indian dinner in a beautiful home of caring and generous people. What more could I ask for?

All in all, this weekend was amazing, and I must say, returning to work this morning was a little difficult. Good thing I still have 5 more weekends of fun to look forward to!!

Only bitter note in my mess of happy comments and exclamation points (sorry, I know I tend to overdo it a little!!) – this week my baby sister graduates from High School. I’m so so so so sad that I can’t be there, and so far that is the only negative thing I can think of regarding my time in HK. Devin – I love you so much and you make me so proud! I think about you all the time and I know you’re going to have a wonderful week filled with lots of laughter and great memories. I miss you Devi! CONGRATS ON GRADUATING LIL SIS!

Now that I’ve written another novel (I doubt anyone even makes it down this far), I guess I should get some sleep... Until next time! xo

1 comment:

  1. Kelly Tate - You are quite the legit blogger! The writing is energetic; the stories are entertaining. I see a future here...

    Love and miss ya - Jody