And then the day finally arrived that the kids have been counting down to since before we even came to Hong Kong – cousin Oscar came to stay! (along with my sister and brother-in-law of course!).
In 10 months, we have collected visitors from the airport so many times now that we actually have a routine! This normally involves a relaxing train ride to the airport, grab something from Starbucks at the airport and sit and enjoy a coffee whilst waiting for our visitors to emerge. The arrivals area at Hong Kong airport is brilliantly laid out for emotional reunions. There is a big screen where you can look out for whoever you are meeting and you will see them on screen long before they see you so you can then dash to the end of the runway of barriers, position yourself at the far end of them and then, in the case of Joshua and Oscar, lunge forward so fast that your surprised guest barely has time to register you before you have catupulted yourself into their arms! I had daydreamed about that moment with such excitement for months and months and it didn’t disappoint. Of course my daydream also involved Eden but the reality was that she was at home having her afternoon schluff! I wasn’t far behind Joshua and Claire and I had an embarrasingly emotionally tight hug, getting in everyones way – who cares?!
And so the fun began! Joshua couldn’t wait to get on the Airport Express train with Oscar who showed no sign of any tiredness and put Josh to work straight away reading him books and ooing and aahhing about the train journey.
Once home, Eden was up and raring to show Oscar everything she could think of as if he was only going to be here for 5 minutes, not 10 days! The kids talk all the time on FaceTime so we weren’t really worried about them maybe not knowing each other that well. In fact it was the total opposite. Claire and Guy said that Oscar may take a bit of time to warm up & settle in which is understandable given all the excitement, new surroundings etc but it was never an issue. I think he was warmed up from the minute Joshua threw himself at him at the airport! Within minutes the 3 cousins were jumping on beds together and hiding in blankets and generally having a blast. And this basically didn’t stop for the whole 10 days.
Of course things did calm down a bit. Eden and Oscar were soon bickering and not sharing like any 2 toddlers and Joshua sensibily disappeared for some regular DS time! Eden soon cottoned on to the fact that if she said, “Oscar hit Eden” that would get a reaction out of everyone, whether he had or he hadn’t!!
For the bulk of their visit, Joshua and Eden did have to go to school but it meant that I had plenty of time to show Claire and Guy as much of Hong Kong as I could. Of course Oscar came everywhere with us. To say he was a bit of a reluctant tourist may be a bit of an understatement but what toddler would want to be strapped in a buggy all day whilst their parents and auntie had a good time?! So we ignored the protests as best we could and cracked on with seeing Hong Kong – we did loads! Claire and Guy particularly loved the island hopping, climbing the Peak, all the amazing restaurants we took them too – and THE foot massage!
We took them to our regular foot massage establishment where we’d booked a private room for the 4 of us. Claire was having a pedicure and the rest of us went for foot massages. Once we’d settled into our comfy squishy armchairs, I commented to the others that whenever we come, Dan always either gets a male therapist or a really butch heavy-handed female one whilst I always get a more stereotypical feminine therapist. As if on cue, in walked our therapists – 3 regular-looking female ones for me, Claire and Guy and the fourth one who headed straight for Dan was yet again a big scary-looking woman done up in biker gear! Poor Dan looked so confused and the 3 of us tried unsuccessfully to not collapse into hysterics! This wasn’t helped by the fact that Dan’s therapist (we named her Derek) belched loudly several times during the treatment, called Dan a ‘big man’, answered her phone and even paused the treatment to clap a mosquito to death and then continued massaging Dan’s legs without even wiping her hands! We just all had to proceed with stuffing our faces with the amazing sweets they gave us to nosh on to stop ourselves literally combusting!
Their last few days were very special with a fun-filled day spent at Ocean Park where Joshua was so excited to show Oscar all the fish in the aquarium, take him on the cable car and go on all the kiddy rides together.
We also took them to Zuma where the kids just about behaved enough for us all to enjoy the amazingness of the Sunday brunch there.
And Josh paid Oscar the ultimate compliment by giving up his Monday afternoon soccer training so he could spend a precious last few hours with his little cousin before they all left later that night.