Alternate Realms

When we first moved here people would warn us about how hot March, April, and May could get. It never failed that they would follow up their warning with a sentence somewhat like this, “But then the rains will start and it will cool off and only be 95°-98°F.” And every single time I would think, in what alternate realm is 95° not hot??? However, after experiencing two hot seasons in this country, now I get it. Yesterday I noticed that I was oddly sweat-free and looked at my weather app to realize it was only 95° and I was comfortable. That’s what 108°F temps every day for over a month will do to you. It makes you join the alternate realm that thinks that 95°F is cool.

Mississippi August, I’m looking forward to ya!!

Thanks for following along on our journey!

Disneyland Hong Kong: Disney’s Hollywood Hotel

The question when planning a trip to Disney is always whether or not to stay at a Disney resort on the property, or to stay off property somewhere. Our opinion is that, while it may be cheaper to stay off property, we think that the convenience of being on Disney property, and having transportation to take you back and forth from the resort to the parks, makes it worth it to always stay at a Disney resort. In addition to convenience, I think that staying at a Disney property just makes the vacation feel complete with its Mickey Mouse theming throughout and the way that Disney just does everything well. Employees at Disney resorts are always so helpful and accommodating in every way and to us, staying on property, is completely worth it. Now, that being said, we do operate under the opinion that, “you just sleep there,” so we typically stay in a cheaper Disney resort.

Disneyland Hong Kong offers two resort options: the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel and Disney’s Hollywood Hotel. Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel is themed like the Grand Floridian in WDW, and while it is considerably more expensive, it is definitely more grand and has more amenities. We stayed at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, which is the cheaper of the two options, but not lacking in “Disney magic” in any way! It was a smaller resort than those at WDW, but this is to be expected considering that the Disneyland Hong Kong park is much smaller than WDW with much smaller crowds.

It’s been 2.5 years since we have done Disney, so it was so much fun seeing all of the Disney theming throughout the hotel!

The inside of the hotel rooms were quite basic, especially compared to the Princess Tiana room that we stayed in the last time we visited WDW, but after living in Asia for two years I can say that my expectations have hit an appropriate level. It had a good air-conditioner and a tv with English channels, so I was completely happy with the room! They will not allow over 4 people to stay in a room at either of the Disneyland HK resorts, so if you are a family of 5, you can expect to stay in 2 rooms. Taelyn, Hollyn and I shared this room and Scott and Lillian shared the room next door. We were told that they would be adjoining rooms, but they weren’t, and honestly we didn’t care enough to enquire further about it once we got in our rooms. Adjoining rooms are an option for larger families, though.

I didn’t get a picture of the bathroom, but it was just a basic bathroom. Nothing about it made me say, “why is it like this?” which seems to be a common question that I find myself asking as I’ve stayed in hotels in Asia. So it was a perfectly good bathroom that I didn’t find anything questioning about!

This was the view of the back of the property from the 8th floor, where our rooms were.

The lobby/front desk area had a great Hollywood feel to it! For the three days that we were there, I never saw the lobby crowded or the line backed up.

Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel has 3 restaurants and a poolside bar. We had reservations to a breakfast at The Enchanted Garden at HK Disneyland Hotel for one of our mornings, but we ended up canceling it, so I cannot give any recommendations for the restaurants at that hotel. However, Disney’s Hollywood Hotel, where we stayed, has 2 restaurants and 1 lounge and we ate at all of them throughout our stay. The two restaurants had familiar names to us: Chef Mickey and Hollywood & Dine.

Our first night we ate at the Studio lounge at the resort. They had some snack options, like popcorn, and they had full meal options as well, both Asian and Western selections. Nid ordered this shrimp fried rice with chicken satay from the Asian menu. Scott and I both had hamburgers (that were so delicious) and the kids had pizza.

We enjoyed breakfast at Chef Mickey one morning. It was so nice that it was located in our resort and we just had to walk downstairs to get there! It was a buffet like the Chef Mickey at WDW, with Asian buffet options and Western buffet options. They do recommend a reservation for Chef Mickey; however, you can make a general “breakfast” reservation for the restaurant and then show up at any time between 7:30am and 11am. I’m not sure if lunch and dinner operates that same way or if they have definite reservation times for the other meals. The website doesn’t give any information about how many or which characters will appear at your meal. From the few blogs that I read, it seemed like they used to have at least 3 characters at Chef Mickey, but during our meal, Mickey Mouse was the only character present and throughout our 3 day stay at Hollywood Hotel, I never saw another character in there greeting, so I feel like at this point Mickey is the only one. Another difference from WDW is that Mickey didn’t travel around and visit each guest’s table during the meal. Rather, you were given a card when you arrived and at any point during your meal you could take the card up to the front of the restaurant where Mickey stayed and greet him there.

This is the western buffet side with fruit, meats (bacon, ham, sausage), omelettes, waffles/pancakes, hash browns, cereal, yogurt, and a whole assortment of breads.

This is the Asian buffet side with noodles, soups, rice, dumplings, pork buns, and some things that I couldn’t identify!

Drinks and pastries.

I laughed at the difference between Nid’s plate and my plate. Hers was filled with dumplings and noodles.

And mine was filled with an omelette and breads!

We finished our meal and then greeted Mickey at the front of the restaurant on our way out.

We got to breakfast at Chef Mickey at 8:30am and took our time eating and greeting Mickey. After breakfast we went to our rooms for about 5 minutes to grab some things for the park and then we headed to the bus stop. We made it to the park right after it opened at 10:30am, so even without the characters coming around to our table as they do at WDW, it is still good to plan for this meal taking about an 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

On our other morning at the Hollywood Hotel, we had breakfast at Hollywood & Dine, which is a quick service restaurant in HK.

As with almost every other restaurant at DHK, there were Asian options and Western options. Scott and I both had the American breakfast, which was just okay. The kids had pork buns and yogurt (a mix of Asian and Western!!). Nid and her kids had noodles, soup, porridge, and dumplings. She said it was delicious!

This breakfast only took us about 30 minutes and we got to the park well before “rope drop.”

Hollywood Hotel has 1 pool that is piano shaped. It is a zero entry level pool on one side, which we always like for Hollyn. The deep side of the pool has a fun slide that the kids really enjoyed. There were life jackets available to use for free and life guards on duty. My only complaint about the pool is that when you go to the bathroom (which I have to do so, so often with Hollyn) you have to walk under this shower thing to rinse off and there is no way around it. I wasn’t doing any serious swimming, but I was forced to get wet every time I took Hollyn to the potty. I resorted to holding her over my head in a prostrate position to try to stay as dry as possible.

 

Our last evening at the resort, I walked around the property by myself for a while because it just looked so pretty at night!

We loved our stay at Disney’s Hollywood Hotel! If we ever make it to Disneyland Hong Kong again, I have no doubt that we will be booking a stay at this same hotel!

Thanks for following along on our journey!

 

Disneyland Hong Kong: That Day We Opened the Park

On our final day, we entered the park headed towards Autopia. It was the only ride that we had encountered with a wait the previous 2 days and we had put off riding it, so it was number one on our list for our final day. We had just stepped onto Main Street when 2 cast members approached us and asked if we would like for our kids to do a ribbon cutting to open the park. In my mind I envisioned our kids alongside 200 other children doing a ribbon cutting so I looked at Scott skeptically as if to ask, “Do we want to sacrifice getting to Autopia first for this ribbon cutting??” His facial expression answered back, “Whatever you want to do…” So I told the lady, “Sure, they can help with the ribbon cutting,” and they started leading us towards the center of the park. It was at the point that they started letting us past roped off areas and waiting crowds that I realized we weren’t joining 200 others in this ribbon cutting… It was just our family participating in it! Once we were on the other side of the ropes they explained what it would be like and taught our kids how to count down from 3 in Cantonese! It was so exciting!!

Loved being inside the park when it was completely empty!!

Getting all of the details!

The crowd, waiting on us to cut the ribbon!

I couldn’t resist an “empty park” selfie!

Holding up our Mickey ears!

Cinderella walked up behind us as a “special guest” right before they started the countdown!

It was such a magical day!!! We will never forget this special moment at Disneyland Hong Kong! Thanks for following along on our journey!

Disneyland Hong Kong: Parades

The nighttime parade at Disneyland Hong Kong is the “Disney Paint the Night” parade. Lillian enjoyed dancing in the street while we were waiting for the parade to begin! Everyone in this parade was lit up from head to toe!

The characters in the parade are so much fun and the lights were beautiful!

After the parade was a fireworks show over the castle!

The afternoon parade is the “Flights of Fantasy” parade. Everyone in this parade either bounced, flew, or jumped! There were bouncy shoes, trampolines, and bungee cords!

Once again, Lillian enjoyed dancing while waiting for the parade to begin. It appears that she is a ballerina by day and a hip-hop dancer by night!

Hollyn took her stroller nap during this parade.

At the beginning of the parade, some of the kids were pulled out of the crowd and given ribbons to dance in the street.

The parades at Disneyland HK were top notch!! They were so much fun and so well-done!! Thanks for following along on our journey!

Disneyland Hong Kong: Fantasyland

I feel like I have been blogging about our Disney trip forever. I guess when you have 5 different cameras going when you go on vacation, it gives you a little bit to have to sift through once you get home. In the midst of trying to wrap up my Hermeneutics class, it has just taken awhile to get it all done!

I’ll start out our adventure through Fantasyland with this blurry selfie of Lillian and me!

Walking through Fantasyland on our first day, just look at who we caught enjoying a ride on Dumbo!!!

Hollyn watched not so patiently until it was her turn to ride the “ephants!”

Who doesn’t get excited about riding such an iconic ride as Dumbo?!

Hollyn really stepped up her excited face game during our Disney trip!

Overlooking Fantasyland!

A little Fantasia!!

The belle of the ball! We stunned one of the cast members while waiting in line to see Minnie (as a side note: we really only waited in lines to see characters! There were very few lines for attractions!) because he gave Lillian one of the collectible stickers. Instead of telling him “Thank you” in English, she told him “Khop Khun Kha,” which is thank you in the language of our country in Asia. He pulled a friend over to speak our language with Lillian a little bit and they had the best time seeing the white kid who could speak an Asian language!

The carousel was just as magical as it always is!! No, I don’t know that lady, but these days everyone is willing and available for a selfie, right?!

“… maybe if we all four grab it at once….??”

Disneyland HK is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year, so there were a lot of fun photo opps boasting this!!

Mickey’s PhillharMagic will always be one of my absolute favorites!! It was EXACTLY like the one at WDW and I loved every single minute of it!

There was an area set up in Fantasyland called “Fairy Tale Forest.” They had interactive scenes set up from all of the princess movies.

At the end of the forest, we ran across this dime.

Our whole crew!!!

My brilliant husband took off one day in search of some intel. He came back and said, “follow me,” and we ended up 5th in line to see the most famous woman in all of Asia. What would I do without him?! Lemon was beside herself when she actually got to meet ELSA!!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Every Asian on the planet knows at least 3 words in English, “Let. It. Go.”

Showing Daddy how it’s done!!

Fantasyland had a show called Mickey and The Wondrous Book and it was AMAZING!! It was all of the best songs from all of the best movies! And at the end, they helped Olaf find his way back into his storybook! This show was a mix of Cantonese and English, but whichever language they happened to be talking in at the time, the alternate language would have subtitles on the screen. All of the songs were sung in English.

 

One day we caught Merlin ambling around Fantasyland!

What would a Disney park be without Small World?!

Right outside of the exit from Small World is an ice cream shop. I had a vanilla ice cream coke slush thingy and it was fantastic!

We also got to see Sofia the First in Fantasyland!! She is definitely a favorite of Lillian’s! Hollyn was a little unsure (that is a mighty big head) so I had to hold her for a picture.

Fantasyland was also home to Mad Hatter Tea Cups, and as always, this one is Daddy’s duty! Mama’s tummy can’t handle those spinning cups!!

I love the Winnie the Pooh ride so much! I’ve always been partial to it in Fantasyland at WDW and I think its because I love the Winnie the Pooh story so much! And being a reader, what’s better than riding a cart through huge books and pages while actually being in the story?!

One of our evenings in the park, we ate at Clopin’s Festival of Foods. They only had Asian food choices here, and I would say that the food was just okay.

My feet walked some pretty magical steps through fantasyland at Disneyland Hong Kong!!

I especially love this circle that says while standing in this spot, I was exactly 12,975 km away from New York. Crazy!!

Thanks for following along on our journey!!

Disneyland Hong Kong: Adventureland

I’m actually going to combine Adventureland, Mystic Point, and Grizzly Gulch in this post. Disneyland HK splits Mystic Point and Grizzly Gulch into their own sections of the park, but they are not “lands,” and there is only 1 ride in each section, so I’ll include them here.

We loved the low crowd!!!

Festival of the Lion King is located in Adventureland. There were a few small differences between this one and the Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom in WDW, but for the most part it was the same. And it was still spectacular!!

Waiting on the show to start!!

Similar to the Swiss Family Tree House in Adventureland at WDW, in HK they have Tarzan’s treehouse! We are huge fans of the Tarzan animated movie so we particularly loved walking through the treehouse! My kids enjoyed this one much more than the Swiss Family tree house at WDW.

We had to ride a raft to the treehouse.

They had tons of great scenes set up from the movie!

Baby Tarzan was in a cradle up in this tree! You couldn’t see him, but you could clearly hear his cry which turned into the Tarzan call!!

In this scene, Jane was drawing Tarzan! As she drew, the drawing would appear on this pad. This was the finished product.

This was the view of Adventureland from the top of the treehouse.

 

At the end there were some interactive play places. The kids had fun turning the professors knobs and playing with his experiments. And we all loved playing music here! Of course, Phil Collins was playing in the background and we all enjoyed singing along!!

While we rafted to Tarzan’s treehouse, Hollyn took a little nap in her stroller.

Is there anything better on Earth than this Asian, Captain Jack Sparrow?! This is, hands down, my favorite picture from our entire trip!

Adventureland had these wonderful “Liki Tikis” spitting out water and cool steam! The kids enjoyed playing in these and running freely for awhile!

Jungle River Cruise was amazing!! There were three different lines that you could choose: English, Cantonese, and Chinese.

A lot of it was similar to Jungle Cruise at WDW; however, the script was completely different. My favorite part was when our guide said, “Do you know what alligators like to eat? Human Beings. Especially little boys and little girls. So don’t jump in the water or they will bite you.”

There was also a section of explosions and fire that I told Scott reminded me a lot of Studio Backlot Tour! Nid was freaked out!! Scott said because of the Backlot remix that he enjoyed this Jungle Cruise much better than the one at WDW!

There was also a fun drum section of Adventureland that reminded me of the one at Animal Kingdom. The kiddos enjoyed banging on these for awhile one afternoon!

From Adventureland we moved on to Grizzly Gulch.

However, we were disappointed to find out that the one ride in this section, Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars (sounds like a combo of about 7 rides from the States!!!), was closed for renovation. Being one of the few real “roller coaster” type rides in the park we were all a little let down by this.

There is also a water attraction called Geyser Gulch where water spits out of the ground randomly, but it was closed as well. None of the food places in this section were open either. We did enjoy playing in the jail for a minute or two, though!

Next we come to Mystic Point, which is made up of Mystic Manor, the Garden of Wonders, and a restaurant. Now Mystic Manor we LOVED!!!

Mystic Manor is supposed to be similar to Haunted Mansion, but the similarities were few. It was not creepy at all, but rather had a few sudden movements things that made you jump. The storyline was more silly than creepy and it was very Asian! And it was seriously fun!! We probably rode it 10 times.

I included this picture because it is the only one that I have that shows the tiny strip of pink that I put in my hair before we left on the underside of my ponytail. When in Asia…

The eggs in front of Mystic Manor were AWESOME!!!

Other than our random meet up with Captain Jack, there were no formal character meet and greets in this area of the park. I’m sure characters walk through from time to time, but there were no specific places in which to greet the characters.

We had a wonderful time exploring Adventureland!! Thanks for following along on our journey!

Disneyland Hong Kong: Toy Story Land

Toy Story Land was amazing!!! We absolutely loved spending time here! The theming alone was enough to make us all get wide-eyed when we entered this section of the park!

Pii Nid was terrified by the Toy Soldier Parachute Drop, but she was brave and did it anyway! At the end of the week she was still saying that it was her favorite ride.

Lillian absolutely LOVED this one!!

There was a great view of Toy Story Land from the top!

Even Baby Hollyn got to ride the Parachute Drop (which I’m still not so sure about!!).

READY!!

Can you see those little Baby Hollyn feet barely sticking off of her chair?! Ahhhh!!!

At the end she gave a thumbs up and a “let’s do it again!!!”

Plenty of great photo opp spots in Toy Story Land!!

The Slinky Dog Spin was another one that the entire group enjoyed!

Baby Hollyn’s first Slinky Dog Spin ride.

 

I loved this popsicle stick bench!

The bigger kids (and Scott) had so much fun on RC Racer! (Scott is in the green shirt on the front row. Ton Glaa is to the right of him and Taelyn is on the far right). I think they probably rode this one 5 times during our visit to DHK!

Toy Story land had Dole Whips at Jessie’s Snack Roundup!!! They weren’t pineapple and there was no float option (like my very favorite snack at WDW), but we got the Mango and Passion Fruit twist cone and they were really good!!

There are a lot of characters that appear in Toy Story Land at Disneyland HK. While we were there we saw Woody, Jessie, and the Toy Soldiers. We also saw Lotso Bear there one day, but we were headed to another part of the park so we didn’t stand in line to see him.

Lillian, Ton Glaa and Lemon were able to  participate in the Toy Soldier training one afternoon and had so much fun!

 

Toy Story Land had some great Easter eggs!

 

Buzz was hidden up high so he was harder to spot, but we finally found him!!

From the characters to the rides, we really loved Toy Story Land!! Thanks for following along on our journey!

Disneyland Hong Kong: Tomorrowland

Disneyland Hong Kong is a smaller Disney park and seems to be geared more towards younger children. It was heavy on characters and light on roller coasters. But it did have Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, so we spent a large amount of time in this land!

Tomorrowland in HK looked very similar to Tomorrowland at WDW. It was so familiar that I just loved being there!!

Scott and Taelyn immediately ran to check out the line situation for Space Mountain. They had intended on getting fast passes (still using the paper fp system in HK), but realized that there was no wait so they just jumped right on! The rest of us stood in a short line to meet Buzz Lightyear! Hollyn was quite scared of him. She wouldn’t walk up to him by herself. She was okay taking a picture as long as I was holding her, but she never took her eyes off of him!

After meeting Buzz Lightyear, the character, we rode Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters since it was right next door and there was no wait.

Hollyn loved spinning the car while Lillian and I shot the guns!

As soon as we were finished with the ride, Scott and Taelyn were about to walk on, so we went again with them. It was so nice not having any wait times and being able to ride several times in a row if you wanted. Although, at times, I had to pull the kids away from rides so that we could make sure and do everything!!

We rode the Orbitron a few times and this was one of Holly’s favorites!!

We met Stitch, who you may remember me describing as Lillian’s kindred spirit.

We rode Autopia, and Lillian got to drive!! I had to press the pedal for her, though. I had a severe case of whiplash when we got off of this ride!

Nid’s first time “driving” a car! I loved that when we were in line for this ride a cast member asked everyone as they came through, “Do you know how to drive a car,” and if you didn’t (which is so common here!!) they would explain the pedals to you!

Taelyn did well driving her vehicle!

With the exception of Hollyn, every single person in our group was able to ride Space Mountain! Nid did not like it at all, but everyone else loved it!!

This big girl’s first ride on Space Mountain!!

Unlike WDW, this Space Mountain had a double-rider seat, so Lillian didn’t have to sit by herself when she rode! Since we’ve been back, she’s been telling everyone, “Mommy screamed like this on Space Mountain – AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

Tomorrowland had the talking, moving trash can! Lemon loved watching this guy move around, but she definitely didn’t want him close to her!

There was a fun, interactive playground called UFO Zone. The times that Nid didn’t want to go on a ride, she would let Hollyn and Lemon play there while they waited on the rest of us.

The only attraction that we didn’t make it to in Tomorrowland was Stitch Encounter. This was an interactive show similar to Turtle Talk with Crush in WDW. They had shows in English and Cantonese, and we were never around at a good time to attend an English show. I’m sad we missed it.

We ate a quick-service lunch one day at Starliner Diner. They had a good selection of Western and Asian choices.

Hollyn really liked the corn!

Living in Asia, we eat rice… a lot. I get tired of it pretty often, but I think if it was always shaped like Mickey, I’d probably love it a lot more! On this day, half of us got burgers and half of us got this chicken and rice. They were both good.

The Starliner Diner has free wifi, so several times we found ourselves parked at a table in front of the restaurant as we waited on the rest of our group to join us! If you saw any of my social media posts while we were gone, chances are good I was posting from this spot!

One day while Nid and I were sitting in front of the diner catching up on our phones, these guys stopped by and put on an entertaining show for us.

 

They had Star Wars themed eggs in Tomorrowland!

We had such a great couple of days exploring Tomorrowland!! The favorites among the big kids was Space Mountain and the favorite among the little kids was Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Thanks for following along on our journey!

Disneyland Hong Kong:Main Street USA

Entering Disneyland Hong Kong for the first time was so exciting!! There were plenty of photo opportunities on the way from the bus stops to the park entrance!

While we were there, the official park opening time was 10:30am. They would start taking tickets and letting you onto Main Street USA around 10:10am. However, from Main Street, the rest of the park was roped off until 10:30am. There was no entertainment or “rope drop” at the entrance to the park like there is at WDW. However, they did do a “ribbon cutting” on Main Street each morning before opening the ropes to the rest of the park.

Our kids entertained themselves with hand-clapping games until they started taking tickets!

They still use paper tickets at DHK. They run your ticket through the scanner and check your fingerprint when you enter.

I’ve decided that the easiest way to tell about the park is by land, so we will start with Main Street USA! Main Street in HK was surprisingly similar to Main Street at WDW except that it wasn’t nearly as crowded!! And I definitely will not be complaining about that!

After entering the park on Day 1, we picked up our park map and times guide and then headed to City Hall to check and see if they had buttons!

They didn’t have “First Visit” buttons, but they did give all of the kids these “Happy Holiday” buttons like the one Lillian is showing off below!

Main Street was so familiar and I felt like I had been transported back to the States!

They had a fun “Disney Character Egg Hunt” going on while we were there. They had these amazing painted eggs that looked like the characters scattered all through the park. Some were out in the open, like these, and some were much harder to find! The kids had a great time searching for all of the characters on their list!

Mike and Sulley eggs!!

Aurora gets to claim the castle in Hong Kong. It is way smaller than Cinderella’s castle at WDW, but no less exciting to see!

The lady of the house, herself!! I wasn’t sure what the characters would be like in Hong Kong, but if I’m being honest I have to say that this was THE BEST Aurora we have ever met. And the same could be said for a lot of the other princesses, too. They were SO GOOD!!

Sweet Snow White!!

At least Nid and Taelyn were excited to be at Disney!!

This is from the castle, looking back towards the Main Street Railway Station.

We just happened to be in the right place at the right time and were first in line to see Donald! He may have been our favorite of the entire trip! Hollyn was scared of him and kept her face covered and he had some fun teasing her!

Baymax egg!!!

Pluto! Hollyn was scared of all of the characters except for the princesses. It reminded me so much of our first trip to WDW with Taelyn, when she was wouldn’t get near characters until her last day!!

We spent the entire three days looking for the Joy and Sadness eggs, and finally, on Day 3, Lillian happened to look up and spot them on the eave of the Art of Animation building! Lillian was so excited to get to claim that find when we had looked so hard all week!

Meeting Baymax was AWESOME! Of course, both girls gave him a fist bump and said, “fa lalalala.”

The very last thing we did in the park on our final day was ride the train all the way around! It was so much fun!

We loved the view overlooking Main Street USA from the Railway Station!

Main Street was amazing and really made me feel like we were in the US!

Thanks for following along on our [Disney] journey!!

 

 

 

 

 

Things that Asia has taught me…

  1. Always shake the towel out before you wrap it around yourself.
  2. Always shake your clothes out before putting them on. (Scott learned this one the hard way with an episode involving a roach in his pant leg.)
  3. Turn the light on in a room and then wait about 5 seconds to give critters a chance to scurry away before entering the room.
  4. How to enjoy a cold shower.
  5. Heat compromises everything. Bike tires ALWAYS need air. Fan blades will shoot across the room. Ponytail elastics will break mid-day leaving your child with only one pig tail on the side of her head. Roofs don’t hold weight the way they should. (Scott learned this one the hard way with an episode involving him. Falling through the roof. And leaving a large hole. About 20 minutes before it rained. Into our house.)
  6. A reference to “seasons” here is just a lie. It’s all hot.
  7. “Clean” is relative. What I used to consider a “clean restaurant” has changed dramatically. Along with the term “restaurant,” which I now understand as a food stall on the side of a motorbike.
  8. Now when I say, “they have a nice bathroom,” it has nothing to do with cleanliness. It typically means that they have a western toilet instead of a squatty potty.
  9. Always keep a roll of toilet paper in your car.
  10. Ants. If you can’t tolerate them, you may as well go home because they aren’t going anywhere.
  11. Geckos eat the ants. Geckos eat the ants. Geckos eat the ants.
  12. I’m a nice mom in the 80-90°F range. I’m an okay mom in the 90-98°F range. I’m a terrible mom in the 99°F + range.
  13. Whatever you hang on the walls with Command Strips and hot glue during the hot season is going to melt right off during the hotter season.
  14. Diarrhea.
  15. Regardless of which way traffic is going, if you need to drive in the opposite direction, you can. If you need to drive in reverse, you can. If you need to park in the middle of the lane, you can. If you need to squeeze into a space where you don’t technically fit, you can.
  16. If you need to park your car, but it will be blocking in another parked car, you can, but you need to leave your car in neutral so that it can be pushed out of the way when the other car needs to leave.
  17. How to wear a ponytail for 2 straight years.
  18. If they say, “it’s only a little spicy,” proceed with caution.
  19. A motorbike can acceptably serve as a family vehicle. We have seen them fit a family of five with a dog.
  20. How to kill a mosquito one-handed without taking a single pause from your phone conversation.

If you’ve lived in or visited Asia for any period of time and it has taught you a few things, please feel free to share them!!!

Thanks for following along on our journey!