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-   -   A Wife's Tale...DCA-ORD-HKG on UA in Y (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/1175664-wifes-tale-dca-ord-hkg-ua-y.html)

IADRefugee Jan 23, 11 11:40 am

A Wife's Tale...DCA-ORD-HKG on UA in Y + HKG and Macau!
 
Hello Flyer Talkers,

As the California born wife (hence the name) of IADtowhere, I've been encouraged to join this absorbing online world he's discovered. So as the obliging lady I am, I present to you...

Hong Kong: The Wife's Perspective

The trip began when we decided to plan a weeklong anniversary trip over Thanksgiving. Neither of us had been to Asia, and we agreed that Hong Kong would be the perfect introductory city. We had acquired vouchers from an overnight bump on an IAD to EWR flight, and once we found the tickets we drove to the airport to buy them. Now it might sound logical to go to the airport to buy international tickets with vouchers, but we have a history of airport visits. My husband will go to the airport for ANYTHING. "Let's go check in for our flight" - that is tomorrow...and up online. "Let's go get dinner." "Let's go watch planes." He really knows how to show his lady a good time. (But I admit, it's sweet to see the boy in him, so I oblige.)

Now with the dates set and tickets bought, we just had to play the waiting game.

Two months later, we boarded the first leg of our flight - United economy plus DCA to ORD. From there we flew direct to Hong Kong - United economy plus ORD to HKG. The seats were comfy for my flexible 5'9" but a bit tight for all 6'4" of my husband - as his cramped leg picture will attest. While on layover in Chicago, we purchased one day passes for the Red Carpet Club - only after the next flight were we going to get free Star Alliance Gold access. The club was quite full, but I like free cheese squares and he likes free drinks, so we settled in and then indulged in a bit of the bubbly to toast our anniversary - hooray for marriage! I will simply segue by saying that I had no trouble sleeping on the next flight. So for the next 16 hours, my sleeping, eating and episodes of Modern Family (on my iPod as I have recently forsaken my favorite airlines and their little personal TVs for my husband's pursuit of elite status) were only interrupted by a mid-flight walk to the back window of the 747. We stretched out then huddled together to admire the open sky and sneak in glimpses of Russia as we flew over the clouds and down the globe into our final destination.

A quick note on food - I got the low calorie meal (Though my figure was probably deceived by this choice...it was in for a week of betrayal.) and he got the Hindu meal. If you're going for flavor, skip mine. My husband's meal was two for three - great snack and dinner, unsavory breakfast. His taste buds are warming up to adventure, mine will politely decline bland. The dining highlight was our bowl of noodles and almond cookie. Aside from being quite tasty it confirmed to me and my bubbling enthusiasm that we uninitiated Americans were officially going to Asia!


http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/...g/95eec21f.jpg
DCA at 6AM

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/...g/2d755b6e.jpg
View from the RCC - our plane to HKG!

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/...g/59377e2f.jpg
Spacious legroom

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/...g/c04222f6.jpg
Lovely view on a walk to the back



Soon to come: The Arrival and the First Night (Bathrooms with automatically defogging mirrors!)

violist Jan 23, 11 7:11 pm

Thanks for posting from a new perspective! Looking forward
to more.

snod08 Jan 23, 11 7:21 pm

Welcome to FT!

You get "Wife of the Century" award....for many reasons:
1. Changing your favorite airline for your hubby
2. Going to the airport with him for any reason..
3. RIDING in Y to HKG!!! That is a BIG DEAL!!^

Awesome first post. Look forward to more.

You mentioned you get lounge access on the return legs. Is that because you/he makes Star Gold with this outbound trip? Did not quite get that part.

Paint Horse Jan 23, 11 7:54 pm

Great start.

N830MH Jan 23, 11 11:26 pm

That was very short trip reports & not enough pictures. Can he try to writing more trip reports next time.

He needs try to writes more information about his flight, service, meals and etc.

VanMan Jan 24, 11 1:54 am

Great first TR, IADRefugee.

Thanks.

IADRefugee Jan 24, 11 5:56 am

Part II

Once we touched down in Hong Kong, we zipped immediately over to the airport express desk. (Side note - my first stunning, culturally sophisticated photo in Hong Kong...my husband in front of a 7 Eleven. Just guess who embarrasses who more on these trips.) While in line behind a Portuguese couple requesting tickets into Kowloon, my continual awe at the universality of the English language - their meeting point between Portuguese and Cantonese - resurfaced. The moment reminded me of a college trip to Europe on which I marveled at Italian men speaking English while trying to pick up German girls in Paris. While it might not be a romance language, English is certainly the language of connectivity. (And though the historical spread of the language isn't always the makings of a bedtime story, I still felt lucky to have popped onto this earth in a place where my native language can support me in a variety of multicultural interactions.)

Anyway, at that time only about a quarter of these thoughts penetrated my comatose haze, and the next thing I knew, my husband had our tickets and were were rolling onto the airport express train. My thoughts were as follows: "These seats are nice." "Ooo they have TVs." "They're speaking Chinese on TV." "I wonder where that person across from us is from." "Or is the proper grammar, from where is that person?" "Ooo water." "Ooo lights." 20 intellectual minutes in my just awoken mind.

Once we hit our stop, we transferred to a taxi... If the airport express was like a nudging puppy gently easing me into consciousness, then this subsequent taxi ride to the Hyatt Regency in Tsim Sha Tsui was like that sweet little puppy suddenly turning around and smacking me with it's tail and until I bolted out of bed and into the world. Suffice to say, thanks to the driving, I was fully awake by the time we reached our hotel.

We entered the Hyatt from underground, and were met by two employees as we exited our taxi. One took our bags, which made me slightly uncomfortable when he did not accompany us to check in. (Of course the bags were safely brought to our room once we began to settle in.) The other led us to reception. Our service at reception was brief and friendly, and we soon made our way to the room. It was about 8pm Hong Kong time but morning for our bodies. We had yet to eat, and I was determined to make the most of our time, so we quickly unpacked, showered, and made our way out into the city.

Once exiting on the ground level, we headed down what turned out to be the back streets away from Nathan Road and went in search of food, sim cards, and an immersion in the culture of our new city. Eventually we gained our bearings and found our way back to Nathan, continued to wander, and returned to our hotel without dinner or working sim cards, but humming with the energy of the city.

Some highlights from our walk - discovering that there are 7 Elevens on every other corner (Globalization still amazes me.), ice cream cones and a quiet walk through Kowloon Park (at that time a peaceful haven in the midst of buzzing streets of neon and people) and a corner sizzling with street food and alive with interactions.

Because I refused to eat McDonalds as our first meal and my husband was not yet ready to experiment with local restaurants, we agreed on room service upon our return. Wonton soup and (more) ice cream! (Desserts are a weakness. I wouldn't be lying if I told you I had one after every dinner...and sometimes lunch!) After eating, we took our full tummies to bed, unaware that our internal clocks would have us awake by 6am the next morning!

I woke up first. I considered waking my husband but I reconsidered when I failed to come up with a compelling argument for why he should be awake a 5:30 am. So I devoted my first hour to The Book. The Book was our Fodors travel guide, filled with more information than we could possibly put to use - though, believe me, I tried. By the third day, after pursuing nearly every shopping venture it suggested (including one that did not exist...oopsie), we agreed that The Book and I should take a break. Once in a while I conducted supervised visits, but we never regained the tender relationship we once had. But that's ok. Before we broke up, I had already written down most of it's secrets in my little blue journal. Shhhhh...

Anyway, at this time, I didn't know how unhealthy my relationship with The Book would become, so I spent an hour with it, firmed up our plans for the day - Hong Kong Heritage Museum, Sik Sik Temple, Sam's Tailor - and finally nudged my husband awake.

As we prepared to leave, we made two discoveries about the room. First, there was no iron! It turned out to be a common occurrence, but since we had just discovered it's absence, we had to come up with another de-wrinkling option. Thus, we decided to steam our clothes as we showered. It was in this self made sauna, that we made our second discovery. Automatically defogging mirrors - in the bathroom and the shower! Awesome!

Given the layout of our room, it was relatively easy to air out our steam. The closet doors were one wall of the restroom and could be opened on both sides. The main restroom mirror also slid back to reveal the bed and our lovely view of buildings and roofs. Besides serving as our de-sauna fix, the layout created a more open feel to the little room.

Once prepared, we made our way to brunch. Here my husband discovered his new favorite drink - honeydew melon juice!

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/...g/4cc6fdf9.jpg
Nathan Road at 9pm

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/...g/144f7b7e.jpg
Street Food - fish balls!

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/...g/a9260dac.jpg
7 Eleven snack selections

http://i1129.photobucket.com/albums/...g/825691a9.jpg
Pancake Colours?

This is a pretty true to life picture of our room. No firsthand pictures of this one, but I have them of the rest!
http://hongkong.tsimshatsui.hyatt.co...d=4529&start=2

The next two days of adventure and our new hotel soon to come...

Remaining itinerary:
1 more night in the Hyatt Regency
2 nights at the Grand Hyatt
1 night at the Grand Hyatt Macau
2 nights at the Intercontinental
Flights back, same plan in reverse


P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures. I have more from later parts of the trip.

IADRefugee Jan 24, 11 5:57 am

Placeholder for Part III

IADRefugee Jan 24, 11 5:58 am

Placeholder for Part IV

IADRefugee Jan 24, 11 5:58 am

Placeholder for Part V

snod08 Jan 24, 11 6:12 am

This TR got deleted?

InTokyo Jan 24, 11 6:14 am

Where is it?!

itsme Jan 24, 11 11:31 am

I'm doing this one tomorrow
 
I'm doing this itinerary tomorrow, so interested in the nittiest grittiest of details.

Which Red Carpet lounge did you use on the ORD stop before boarding for HKG? What about during HKG stop (I'm continuing to SGN, so will pass through HKG on way out and on way back)?

Anything you can suggest to make this very long flight go easier?

IADRefugee Jan 24, 11 11:53 am


Originally Posted by itsme (Post 15723693)
I'm doing this itinerary tomorrow, so interested in the nittiest grittiest of details.

Which Red Carpet lounge did you use on the ORD stop before boarding for HKG? What about during HKG stop (I'm continuing to SGN, so will pass through HKG on way out and on way back)?

Anything you can suggest to make this very long flight go easier?

Hi, so exciting that you're traveling tomorrow! Didn't have time to check out the Red Carpet Clubs in Hong Kong, but I believe we were at the one by gate C16 in Chicago. It was close to our departure gate, C18.

In terms of a better flight, make sure you're sittng a few rows back from the front of any economy section. The LCD is quite bright and makes it harder to sleep. Exit rows also become crowded with people waiting in line for the restroom. Eyeshades, earplugs, and neck pillows are helpful too. I really enjoyed my mid-flight walk, and my entertainment was a mix of shows on my iTunes, in flight movies, the Hemispheres crossword, and an absorbing book. Variety was key!

Enjoy your travels!

IADRefugee Jan 24, 11 12:04 pm


Originally Posted by snod08 (Post 15719815)
Welcome to FT!

You get "Wife of the Century" award....for many reasons:
1. Changing your favorite airline for your hubby
2. Going to the airport with him for any reason..
3. RIDING in Y to HKG!!! That is a BIG DEAL!!^

Awesome first post. Look forward to more.

You mentioned you get lounge access on the return legs. Is that because you/he makes Star Gold with this outbound trip? Did not quite get that part.


Thanks so much! I'm going to show this reply to my husband every morning.

I terms of our lounge access, I meant to say that we would both earn premier executive/star gold after the entire round trip to and from HKG.


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