Friday, December 14, 2018

October 19, 2018:The Parisian Macao

My dream destination is Paris, France which is my favorite city in the whole world. The last time I was there was in 2001. So when I turned 50 and I didn't have the means to go to Paris, I decided on the next best (nearer) thing - Macau! We have been going to Macau as a side trip from HK for several years now. Its latest attraction was The Parisian Macao with a miniature Eiffel Tower in front of its majestic hotel. So yes, I got to realize a dream - to climb the Eiffel Tower - even if it was just a replica. The original Eiffel Tower was only a backdrop in my numerous pictures in Paris. We never got the chance to go to the top because we didn't have the patience nor the time to line up for hours. Naturally, there are many other activities to do in the City of Lights, than stand in line!
Pictures of my 50th birthday spent in The Parisian Macao.

Chinese fare for birthday lunch

After lunch it was time to see le Tour Eiifel

The elevator to get to the top/viewing deck

snack time -Belgian waffles,speculoos & orange juice
in Liege which is a town in Belgium

Capped the day with French cuisine for dinner at La Brasserie
Looking back it seems we spent the entire day, my birthday inside The Parisian. It was a fun filled day and I am really grateful to my generous sister dearest for my "French" treat.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Today, I am 50 years and a month old

Yes so a month ago, I turned 50. In my very fertile imagination, I had plans of traveling to some distant shores, exotic places like Istanbul (Turkey) and Marrakech (Morocco) came to mind. But in reality, plans don't come to fruition, right? 

Days leading to my birthday were filled with visits to clinics and hospitals accompanying my sister for her medical check ups. Her list of ailments are numerous but when her endocrinologist referred her to a cardiologist because it seemed like she might have a blocked artery, I prayed as hard as I could for HIS saving grace to intercede and heal her.

To make the long.endless.sleepless.nights story short, the cardiologist gave a full diet regiment to strictly follow and more medicines to address her condition. No heart procedures (angiogram, angioplasty) were necessary as the 2D Echogram and the treadmill stress test revealed she has a thick artery wall which restricts oxygen in her bloodstream and her arteries are not blocked.

Her current concern, though is the chronic pain she suffers in her Achilles tendon. She has a condition called Haglund's deformity, where the tendon around her ankle and heel is severely swollen. An injury she incurred several months ago which was left untreated due to her busy work schedule. She walks with a limp as it hurts when she puts pressure on her right foot. I tagged along for several of her PT (physical therapy) and shockwave therapy sessions, as ordered by a rehabilitation doctor. 

With all of these health woes plaguing my one and only sister dearest, celebrating my 5th decade existence on this earth was the farthest thing on my mind.


During one of her PT sessions, she asked me what I wanted to do for my milestone birthday, I just shrugged and couldn't really think of anything, celebratory wise. I was more concerned about her injury and certainly DO NOT blame her for shelving my travel plans. It is what it is and of course, family members' (good) health must and always come first.


She suggested I go back with her to celebrate it in the land of dumplings and dimsum. I thought long and hard about it and agreed because primarily I felt she needed a  helping hand.  We searched for cheap flights, I told the hubby I will be away from Oct. 17-29, 2018. He said 'ok', well it isn't like he had a choice into the matter, I was merely informing him not asking for his permission. Heh!

How does 50, feel?
I don't notice any immediate and drastic change, I still feel the same. I believe, you are only as old as you allow yourself to be, right? 
I feel lighter because I exercise 2-3 times a week, which in my opinion is why I still get my monthly visitor on the dot, like a very precise Swiss clock.
I try to eat right, (well not always) there are numerous cheat days, I tell you!
I am surrounded with a supportive family. (my parents, sister and the hubby).
But the best thing is keeping a positive outlook, be it in love, family matters and well, life in general. Stress and worries (not that we can really live without them) will only add wrinkles to my already wrinkled face. I am proud to say I earned them and wear them with a badge of honor on my now 50 year old face.

I leave with a stanza from one of my favorite songs, The Story:
All of these lines across my face
Tell you the story of who I am
So many stories of where I've been

And how I got to where I am
But these stories don't mean anything
When you've got no one to tell them to
It's true, I was made for you.
The 'you' in the above stanza refers to anybody and not necessarily the hubby. Well you get my point, I hope.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Tai Kwun: Centre for Heritage and Arts

I visited HK (Oct. 17 - 29, 2018) for an unplanned, last-moment-decision for several reasons:
(1) I was turning 50 so I wanted to travel.
(2) My sister needed help with her chronic foot injury which limited her mobility.
(3) I wanted to experience that city state during the 10th month of the year.

The weather was pleasant: not too hot so no sweating, not too cold either to merit wearing a jacket. We dined at most of the restaurants on sister dearest's bucket list, went outlet stores shopping, went to Macau (will post about it, soon) and managed to sneak in a visit to a cultural & heritage site.

Tai Kwun is among the newest spots to visit as it incorporates a rich cultural heritage with modernism. It is located in the Central Police station compound which was restored and comprises three monuments - the former Central Police station, the Central Magistracy and the Victoria Prison. There are also many restaurants within the complex and it has developed into a vibrant night life spot for locals and expats.

It is readily accessible through the mid-levels escalator which was how we reached the place, one early evening just before 7 P.M.  It was interesting to explore the Victoria Prison and learn about the different methods of torture and punishment for the criminals. It took us almost two hours to fully appreciate this complex. A short show featuring performing to music was amusing to witness as we were about to leave the premises.

Good place to visit for everyone who wants to try a different experience.