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keep your face to the sun, and the shadows will fall behind you

So originally Mike was only suppose to hang out in Hong Kong for about two weeks, but he was just enjoying himself so much he extended his stay! Yay! Now he is here until April 1. We chose this date because we have dark days at the end of March, where we have a full week off, then the next week is rehearsals for the new cast. We are currently in the workings of a trip during the week I am off, but I won't spoil the surprise till it is officially worked out. 

So for the last day of Chinese New Year (Feb 15), the park downstairs of my apartment had a lantern festival.It was not as awesome as it sounds, but it was pretty, and gave us a good excuse to go explore. 
That same night, I showed Mike and Tina all about Chinese BBQ, and they loved it almost as much as I did.

In fact, Tina liked it so much, she even brought home left overs.....aka sweet potatoes in a glove because there was no baggie...

I had a chiropractor appointment in Tai Wai again this week, and we made the journey worth our while by checking out the 10,000 Buddhas in Sha Tin. The temple was built by a Buddhist layman named Yuet Kai in 1949. Kai carried the buildings materials personally from the foot of the mountain along with his disciples, and it took eight years to complete the buildings and another ten years to finish the 12,800 Buddha statues! (in Cantonese “ten thousand” simply refers to a figurative very large number) His body now lies in one of the temples. The journey up to the monastery is a spectacle in itself! There is a long series of steps up the mountain, all laid with large golden Buddha statues all showcasing a different pose and meaning. The stairs wrap and wind around corners, until you reach the very top and the monastery is revealed! There are giant Buddhas, small Buddhas, towers full of Buddhas, Temples full of Buddhas, dressed Buddhas, naked Buddhas, and lots of places to light incense. Aparently the monastery is not actually a monastery, and is run by a few lay persons, but they have done a great job with upkeep.

The top right I referred to as Dumble-Buddha and the bottom right was Beast Buddha.
Once we actually got to the top (since it was a pretty long, all uphill walk) there was a big temple and it was literally covered from top to bottom in little Buddhas.We weren't allowed to take pictures in it, so unfortunately I can't show you. Also at the top was some other beautiful works. 
There was also this really cool canopy area of trees with monkeys playing and eating! I was really excited about it cause I have not seen the wild monkeys here yet. 
If Hong Kong is known for anything, it should be known for its' malls. They are everywhere! There is a mall pretty much at every MTR stop also. We headed to the Sha Tin mall since it was so close. While there, we discovered this awesome place called Snoopy's World. It was basically a giant Peanuts themed playground, but they had this mini canoe ride thing that we decided to check it out.
Since I went to Tai O a few months ago, Michael has not stopped talking about wanting to go. He finally had his opportunity this week and we even got to see the pink (white) dolphins! The dolphins are a pearly white color, but in the sunlight I guess are suppose to look pink. It was pretty amazing because they were so close to our boat.
 After the boat ride, we took a little stroll around the town, and stumbled upon a hiking path we decided to take. It turned out to be worth the uphill climb. We found a really beautiful view of where we had just been in the boat, and saw even more dolphins (even though it is really hard to see in the picture).

(one of the dolphins is where the little white spot is in the boat picture)
Last but not least, anyone who has been to Tai O know it wouldn't be complete without one of these pictures...
Mike made the brave attempt to come to Disney once again and watch one of my shows during my standby day. After the show, we played in the park. I was particularly excited to go to Toy Story Land because they currently have mango Dole whip!
 We also did some things in Fantasyland like Cinderella's Carousel, the teacups, and Mickey's Philharmagic. 

We also made a little pit stop at the castle to say hi to my very special friend Princess Aurora.

Finally we went to Tomorrowland where I learned to drive on the right side of the car (so weird!).

Last night we decided to adventuring out in Yuen Long/Long Ping in Yoho town (where I decided people live when they decide the pirates life is for them, obviously). Walking around we found a lot of little stores and street vendors. We also were very much a spectacle due to a lack of white people. We found this super cute little "Italian" place to have dinner at, where we ate what we called "man sized chef boyardee". 

I just began my winter classes, and I have been trying to keep up with assignments and reading, but boy is it hard. I am currently enrolled in College Writing 2 and Human Resource Management. Between both classes I have about 300 pages of reading every 5 days, three papers to write once a week, and discussion board posts every day. Sometimes I just need a swiss cake roll break ...and apparently so does Mike.

As for an update from the Fantasyland.... 
The new face girls have arrived, and although I have not met them yet, I have only heard good things. It is really insane to me that we have been here for 5 months, and pretty soon some of my track mates will be leaving. I really do love my job, and I am extremely grateful to get paid for what I love to do. I am sitting at work right now as standby listening to "The Golden Mickeys" play on the intercom trying to remember to soak it all in. This is a once in a lifetime experience and I am really glad I get to experience it for another six months. Hong Kong is really beginning to feel like my home. 

On a sadder note, a friend of mine from Bedford passed away a few days ago. Bryan was so young, like many others, and with such a heavy heart, I send lots of prayers to his family and friends back in Michigan.

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