O M G…. those of you that have followed Kids Love Travel for a while now know that we don’t have the best track record when it comes to the spring holiday and the health of our family. We have been to Thailand with a very sick Flo (pneumonia), to Winterberg with a sick Lotte (flu) and last year in Cape Verde we had 2 sick kids (respiratory infection) and a sick me on our way back in the plane. For some reason this always happens during the spring holiday. For our Hong Kong city trip I did my very best trying to keep us as healthy as possible: more fruit and vegetables, an early bedtime for all of us, working out more, all kinds of homeopathically drinks for boosting resistance, you name it… but to no avail!
No! Not again…
Saturday evening Flo caught a high fever all of a sudden, going straight to 39.7 degrees from nothing. Lotte started that same night. Both had real flu symptoms; high fever, headaches, muscle strain, sore throat, the works! Luckily they got a little better on Tuesday and were back to school on Wednesday. What a relief one would think, but alas… So guess what happens when one gets coughed on by their loved ones for three days straight?
Exactly, you get sick yourself. On Tuesday Kev and I are in bed with the same flu symptoms, what a mess. Super high fever, super headache, muscle strain, a sore throat and just feeling like sleeping for a week, hoping to wake up good old at the end of it, but unfortunately that was not an option as we had to leave for Hong Kong this Friday! We had the whole family checked up by the doctor to make sure we were fit enough to fly and we were, luckily. So off we go!
On the way to Schiphol
When the alarm sounds at 7 o’clock in the morning the first thing I hear is a loud “boink”. It’s Floris jumping out of his high sleeper, followed by a loud “Hong Kong!!” Flo is feeling up to it! I feel I still need a little ‘getting into’ to be honest. Not being in Hong Kong but rather getting there. I still have a fever and managed to get a bit of stomach flu during the night to go along with it, what a week! We pack the last of our stuff and the taxi to Schiphol is ready at 9 o’clock. It’s great to see our Hong Kong city trip gets off to an early start for the kids as we get into the taxi. Proud as can be they take a seat and fasten their seatbelts; off to Schiphol!
Checking in and stuff…
We arrive at Schiphol three hours in advance which is great as it gives us all the time we need. Our first stop is the “Seal & Go”. Not because we need our suitcases sealed but because I forget a locket for one of the suitcases. I quickly buy a new one as it doesn’t feel right travelling with an unlocked suitcase. The check in goes remarkably well and the friendly lady at the desk even changes our seats so the four of us can sit next to each other.
As quick as the check in went, as slow is security. It’s the last Friday before the spring holiday so I’m guessing the reason why it’s so happily crowded is because there are more people going on holiday than usual during this period. Luckily the kids behave just splendidly, even lifting their arms during the body scan, and in 45 minutes we make it behind customs. So what’s next? What we always do, off to Nemo! At Holland Boulevard there is a playground for the kids with climbing and swinging facilities and a mini Nemo. The kids are big fans! The two of us have a drink and get comfy in a nice chair while Flo and Lotte go and play.
Then it’s off to the gate; G4 to be exact. I make a quick pit stop at the duty free store to buy my favorite perfume. At the gate travelers with little kids get to board first which I think is great as I have lots to install on the plane so it gives me extra time to do so.
We say hello to the friendly steward of Cathay Pacific as we board and walk to our seats. Flo at the window, Lotte in the middle chair, me at the isle and Kev, the lucky bastard, on the other side of the isle.
Ready for take-off
Flo and Lotte are playing “Guess Who?” when we are taxiing to the runway. It’s so cool that the plane has a camera mounted at the bottom giving us a great view of what’s happening down there. During takeoff the kids can’t take their eyes off of this very cool feature! When the “fasten your seatbelt” light goes off the first thing Lotte asks is; “Mummy, are we there?!” “Uhm no, just 12.5 hours to go sweetie!” But hey, we’re seated just fine, let the city trip to Hong commence!
Fairly soon a snack is being served, peanuts, much to Lotte’s satisfaction. The dinner is still a bit of a challenge for our terrible eaters. They get a lovely filled pasta, a cold pasta salad and a mars bar. Take a wild guess as to what gets eaten first ;). When desert is being served, a vanilla scoop, Lotte is fast asleep. Flo is awake and his day just keeps getting better with this treat. My dinner turns out to be a real treat for the taste buds too, I’m having a vegan black bean masala.
It’s great to see Lotte taking a nap so soon. I’m always a bit jealous when I watch her laying there all stretched out in her seat. A nice advantage of flying when you’re still so little. She wakes up after two hours so it’s time for some entertainment! I have filled their backpacks with all kinds of stuff; games, pencils, color books, stickers, iPads, headphones, rice waffles, apples, cucumbers, bread sticks, crackers and a pack of Oreo biscuits. But the entertainment system of Cathay is terrific! They have great deal to offer kids and soon Flo is watching Ice Age and Lotte Frozen of course.
At 19.00 hours it’s bedtime and would you believe it, the kids fall asleep straight away!! Only to wake when we land during which the camera mounted on the bottom of the plane gives us a spectacular view!
We made it!
After flying 10:45 hours, a little less than expected, we arrive at Hong Kong Airport! The kids have been absolute treats! We do notice we’re all a little tired from the few hours’ sleep and the long flight though.
At Hong Kong airport everything goes very fast and we can even take a separate queue at customs because we are travelling with young kids. When we get outside we are faced with a difficult decision: do we take the red, blue or green taxi?! Apparently each color takes you to a different destination. We need to go to Hong Kong Island and therefore need to take a red one. The blue ones take you to Lantau Island and the green ones to the New Territories.
There we are, in the taxi. Our Hong Kong city trip has now TRULY started!
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This article “Ready for take-off: Hong Kong city trip!” is sponsored by Cathay Pacific.