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Macanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Oh My

Over the weekend, we ditched the PRC (Peoples Republic of China) and hitched a ferry to Macau.  Claimed by the Portuguese until 1999, it is now a SAR (Special Administrative Region), which means that it has its own government, currency, legal system, and official language (among many other things).  SO, (and same with Hong Kong, which is also a SAR), you’re in China, but not in China at all.  There are times when you almost feel like you’re in Portugal.  Except when you’re in Casino land, which makes up a vast majority of the region and is the staple of the Macanese economy.  As such, there are also times when you feel like you’re in Las Vegas.  One can take a gondola ride on a canal at the Venetian and gamble the night away at the MGM Grand (though, I’ve been told, that instead of cocktail carts, there are milk carts).

We opted to stay away from the high rise city and booked a room at the Westin Resort Macau.  We hoped for better beach weather, which would have made the location AMAZING, but as it was, it was still great.  Though the room smelled like a cross between a cadaver and a humid paradise, there was a familiar tropical mustiness that wasn’t altogether unpleasant.  Otherwise, the hotel was nice (the littles spent, oh, I don’t know, a few hours, staring at the coy fish and turtles in the lobby) and the grounds were lovely.  The kids got to take late night strolls on the beach and I got to pretend that I was actually in a remote place, away from people and things.

The above and below photos both exemplify our life quite well.  Above:  Safari watching, Daddy doing something he shouldn’t be, and Denali ready to jump in and help.  Below: Safari holding a large piece of bamboo, ready as ever, to explore.

One of the best parts of the location, as it turned out, was a famous little Portuguese restaurant that was a 15 minute beach walk away, Fernando’s.  After a double baby break down as we arrived (it’s not very often that we encounter hunger induced break downs, but we didn’t plan our arrival so well, and found ourselves eating dinner at 8pm – and lunch was at about noon – oops), we drank delish Sangria and ordered an assortment of Portuguese food.  Surprise, surprise, little miss monster devoured the on-the-bone chicken we ordered (strange kid, that one), while the mister monster helped Dad and I eat the rest.

Because the weather was inclement, we spent much of our Saturday inside, which got no complaints from the munchkins because it landed them here, Kid’s City.  And though it was full of spectacularly fun activities for them, this is where I kept finding Denali:

and here:

Then, after eating dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe (for the VERY FIRST time, might I add) and seeing Akon with his entourage there (NO, clearly, I’m not cool enough to actually have known who he was.  We had to ask our server, to which we responded, who?.  To which he responded, he sings I Just Had Sex (a spoof, I believe)… and Smack That.  OH, right, THAT’S why I don’t know who he is.), we went to find our seats at The House of Dancing Water to enjoy the kid’s FIRST full length live performance.  One point five hours of pure bliss was had by all.  As per usual, it’s been reaffirmed that I MUST become a trapeze artist, or I WILL die a regretful woman.  I like to think that Safari and Denali were instilled with similar ambitions, mostly so we can become a gypsy circus family, but I think they both liked the motocross dudes the best.

However, I DO think that Safari now wants to be a mermaid.  This is a digital aquarium at the City of Dreams.

Sunday’s weather was a bit fairer, so as planned, we ventured around the Portuguese areas in the northern part of Macau.  Namely, Sonado Square and the Ruins of St. Paul (but got lost for a good bit and ended up walking something like 11 miles that day, so we got to see a fair bit of the city in general).

So, we got to eat food from Portugal (the kids like the egg tarts the best), in Macau, which is part of China.  Considering what an easy ferry ride it is from Shekou (where we live), it’s a journey that is ABSOLUTELY worth it.  If, however, one does not live a 70 minute ferry ride away, I’m not sure it’d be worth the journey.  That is, if you have 2 toddlers and can’t gamble or stay out late dancing.