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it's time to move on my dear....

WOW! Can I just say how unbelievably overwhelmed with love I feel right now. As I write this post, I am currently about 7 hours into my flight back to Orlando and it has taken me to this point to finally be able to catch up on all the pictures that have been posted, texts, messages, and statues I have been tagged in, in the last 24 hours. So before I tell you about my final shows, let me back up a bit to about a week before.

Mostly my week has consisted of a few days of work, a few scattered goodbyes, and a whole lot of errands to run. The most difficult task I had to get done was paying my taxes here in Hong Kong. Keeping in mind I have only learned how to do this in the States once prior, you can imagine the confusion and frustration. Luckily there is a tax treaty between Hong Kong and the USA so I only have to pay taxes there and not twice, however, let me tell you, it is a pretty penny. I was warned about this ahead of time and thankfully saved way more than I needed so I was pretty happy (other than spending an entire day wandering around government buildings with a protest happening outside). So placed a big check mark on the to do list and moved on to closing my bank account and packing. I got my flight info about 4 days before my actual flight and began preparing. I also made one final pit stop at the protest sight to see if anything new was going on, but sadly most of the people have gone back to work now and it is just a lot of blocked off streets with many signs.

Although some may say the umbrella revolution was not a success, I say there is still time and I hope that the Hong Kong people will get to experience what we often take for granted.

Beginning the goodbyes, I had my final farewell dinner with Ivan and Mavis and of course we had one of my favorites, Japanese ramen. We went to the most peculiar place though where you sat in your own private little cubical type thing and to order you had to pull the blinds up and ring your doorbell for the server. Also, the bathroom was awesome because in the sink was automatic water, soap, and a hand dryer! It sounds super weird explaining it now, but just trust me….it was cool.

After we went and had green tea ice cream. It was surprisingly pretty tasty.

Mavis and Ivan's treat

Next and probably one of my hardest goodbyes was to my babies. My turtles and I have become a little family and when I took them to their new home, I cried the entire taxi ride. They are happily living with Matthew and he is taking good care of them. They already have started eating right away and are enjoying playing on the carpet, as well as having so many people to talk to them in Cantonese (which I seriously think they were used to hearing). Don’t worry my dear Lumiere and Cogsworth, mommy will come back for you one day.

On Friday evening, some of my closest friends and I went to Yuen Long one last time for BBQ. We spent the night laughing, cooking, and just enjoying each other’s company before having to part ways.

Finally, the day came. It was Saturday and time for my final three shows. I had already cried on the bus to work, as soon as I got to work, and did not seem like it was going to be stopping any time soon. The 4pm show was Ivenise last show to be friends with Ariel and as I watched her from backstage I had to fight to keep it together. When the time came for the very last one, 6:15 show, I was heart broken. I know this was something I chose and you think I would be more prepared for it, but I definitely was not. As we came out for opening I was already teary eyed because I saw so many familiar faces of cast members and super fans all cheering on every move we made. Friendship I tried my best to just relax and enjoy my last time having to do that cardio workout, and same with Mulan. I also was chuckling because there was a fan holding a sign in the front that said “we love you cassidy” and it made me smile. When it came time to sing, I really had to focus and could not look at a single face or I would lose it. I thankfully was able to keep it together till I changed into my gown, but from there, it was all down hill. My lovely Beast had a special message for me and I could not stop crying the entire scene. Finale I also was bawling pretty much the entire song. I am so not excited to see the pictures the fans took of this show cause I am sure Belle looks like a wreck haha. After the show, hugs were given, pictures were taken, and goodbyes were said. Ivenise and I headed out into the park to meet who we thought would be a few fans. Every one of our super fans was there (about 20+ people). It was amazing. They started clapping and we continued to cry. We took many, many photos and received so many special things from them. To any of you who are reading this, thank you so so so much for making my time at The Golden Mickeys so special. I love every single picture, kiss, and hand heart  you have sent me. You guys are the absolute best.

thank you chelsea

thank you felix

thank you maggie

thank you tangerine

thank you bell 
thank you desmond, meow, and michael

and a big thank you to my GM family
And finally, to my girl Belle. My first Disney audition I ever went to (about…4 years ago now I think?) was for this special girl, and I will never forget the casting director telling me I would probably not ever be put in this role based on my look not being quite right. Who would have ever thought that this could be? Belle will forever be near and dear to my heart, and I will never forget the opportunities she has now given me.

As for you Hong Kong, well, I always said the #1 place in the world I would not want to go is China. How wrong I was. I had no idea that the Chinese culture would captivate my heart in so many ways. Most importantly, on this journey I have learned so much about myself and I truly believe I am going home a different person.  Just a few of the lessons I have learned and will be taking home with me are as follows……

-how to read military time -The importance of physical warm ups -to always wear closed toes/walking shoes always (especially when at the wet market) -how to mtr surf (ride the subway without holding on to anything) -how to get through a show with a bloody lip after punching myself in the face during Mulan (more than once) -how to respond to the name Lynn at the doctors (my middle name is Lynn and I think it is the only part of my name they can pronounce/is semi familiar.. When in doubt they just call me missy) -how to eat my entire meal at McDonald's with only one ketchup packet (because for some reason they are extremely stingy about it) -how to handle celebrity status (this is when people want to take pictures with you or are just staring at you because you are white) - patience with people playing games on their phone with the sound on while riding public transportation -carry stickers around as a reward for children whose parents force their child to talk to you because their child might know how to speak English better than they can and want you to have a conversation but the child is too shy (clearly this happened a lot) -paying off my school loans and now live debt free -how to recognize when someone is driving the car and the passenger (since it's all opposite) -how to change from winter wear to a ball gown in 12 seconds or less -improved so much on my make up skills (since i grew up with a mom and three older sisters always doing it for me I had never really learned myself) -how to hail a cab -how to use the squatty potty (squatty potty is the mainland China toilet which is basically a hole in the ground) -speak basic sentences of Cantonese (I would honestly say I am at an elementary conversational level now) -how to stretch your wrist to avoid getting carpal tunnel from using chop sticks at every meal -the word "dessert" usually means something consisting of either green tea or fruit or both -anticipate that all popcorn will be caramel not butter (including but not limited to movie theater popcorn) -how to ignore the Chinese subtitles on the screen during movies and on tv -gain the will power to allow myself to change my clothes about 25 times a day (that's the hardest part of the show honestly) - how to pick the seaweed out of all of my meals (because for some reason it is in every dish) -how to avoid eating the bones in any meat dish you order (nothing is boneless. Nothing.) -bring tissues. No matter where you are. -recognize certain songs in Cantonese/ mandarin -constantly converting whether it's degrees Celsius, kilometers, or a new currency -how to not lose the $1, $2, $5, and $10 coins -avoid the moldy food at park n shop (cause for some reason they can get away with selling it) -wiggle my way onto full elevators especially ones no one has pushed any buttons on (for some reason mainlanders don't really know how to use the elevator) -how to pack yourself like a sardine onto the mtr during rush hour -how to navigate around a country without internet or google -toleration of drinking warm water (since no one seems to ever have ice cubes) -patience when explaining repeatedly what something means when someone doesn't understand due to culture difference (like knock knock jokes... Have you ever tried to explain what those are? So simple you think right?? Wrong.) - how to cram a year worth of clothes, shoes, accessories, pictures, fan gifts, memories, and your life into two 50 lb suitcases

To anyone who has made my time in Hong Kong just a little better, I thank you. Thank you for welcoming me, thank you for teaching me, but mostly thank you for making me a part of your culture and families. Thank you for the last 371 days of my amazing adventure.

And they all lived happily ever after…..

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