It’s a Small World, After All

About 11 year ago, my husband and I had just moved to Charlotte for him to start a new job after graduate school.  We were standing in line at the DMV and noticed another couple next to us.  He happened to also be reading the Wall Street Journal and she happened to also be rather visibly pregnant like me.  When you’re waiting in line for hours at the DMV, that’s more than enough reason to venture into an introduction and we quickly discovered that the men were starting jobs at the same company that week, that we were both due with our first babies within days of each other and that we’d bought our first homes within miles of each other.

Our first friends in North Carolina were officially made.

There were several corporate functions over the years, and many of us who happened to be pregnant together, and so we formed a little playgroup of sorts.  Except all new Moms know that “playgroup” for newborns means a lot of diapers, burping and occasional wine.  It was all quite nice.

Over the years, we both moved to different houses further away, and the husbands went to different groups at the office, but we’d all enjoy bumping into each other in town and catching up.  And eventually we moved to Connecticut.

And then, we both made the rather unusual choice to become Expats in Asia.  Us in Tokyo and them in Hong Kong.  And because our summer home this year was Kiawah, we also got to see them there, as it’s one of their Happy Places, too.  And suddenly, we were all back in each others’ lives again!

So last weekend, when The Cuties had a couple of days off school but my husband couldn’t get off work, I opted to take my first solo international trip and take our friends up on their generous offer of Hong Kong hospitality.

I can’t decide who had more fun: the kids or the adults.  It was so great watching our children together, giggling and playing and then stopping and asking each other serious questions about what each others’ lives were like in a similar but different foreign country.

The Cuties and I took a quick Bon Voyage photo to send to Daddy before the airplane took off!

When these two were infants, us Moms spent many hours at Starbucks with them snoozing in the strollers.  Now look how big they are on their own coffee date!  {OK, it’s really more of a hot chocolate and biscotti kind of treat, but look how cute it’s served}

After lunch and a visit to Stanley Market, we took all five kiddos and got a private room for foot rubs.  They were totally into it.

And for dinner, we had delicious Peking Duck at a floating restaurant.  I was blown away that Little Cutie didn’t even flinch when it was served with the head completely intact on the platter.

The next day, we went up to The Peak, where we saw an amazing view of Hong Kong and then rode the funicular down {we didn’t even know about funicular trams before moving to Asia and now we’ve ridden two of them ~ who knew!}.

And since none of us had ever been to one, we took all of the kids to the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum while there.  The kids had a blast checking everyone out and posing for pictures with all the statues.  This wasn’t necessarily the most realistic, but y’all know she’s one of my favorites!

That night we got an adorable shot of all the kids and began a tradition of asking all the waiters to sing Happy Birthday to Big Cutie at dinner since this is officially her birthday month.  Then we went around the table to see how many languages we could do it in between the group.  The kids definitely outshone the adults.

For our last full day, we crammed as much sight-seeing in as possible and made it to Man Mo Temple, a Wet Market, Hollywood Road and ate traditional Dim Sum.  Not bad with an 8 and 10-year-old in tow.

We had such a lovely time, and our friends were fabulous hosts and tour guides.  I hope we’ll get the chance to reciprocate in Tokyo soon as The Cuties have big plans.

Now, would one of you please come over and unpack the suitcases, do the laundry and hide the Shanghai Tang purchase from my husband?  😉

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2 Responses to It’s a Small World, After All

  1. Kay says:

    Wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Tokyo Jinja says:

    Very pleased to made it to the Tang! Great shots of the Man Mo temple too!

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