How does one decide where to go and what to see?  Hubby likes mountains so my first 2 choices were the Canadian Rockies and the Smokey Mountains.  

I had always wanted to see Vancouver and New Orleans so they went on the list.  

We promised our good friends Ann and Charlie that if we ever came to the states, we would pay them a visit, so Florida was most definitely on the list.  

We had our young 15yro son Jesse with us this time so we also had to consider his needs.

Our holiday was coming together.  I wanted to end the holiday somewhere in the Caribbean.  That is where VT and some off the beaten path tips came in handy.  The choice?  
Belize and Cay Caulker.

We decided on flying with the No.1 airline at the time - Cathay Pacific.  So Hong Kong was added into the mix.

There are too many highlights to mention here.  When you are on holidays there is always something new and exciting around every corner.

Speaking of new and interesting.  We caught the bus up to Grouse Mountain in Vancouver.  Here the mist was so thick that we couldn't see more than 3 foot in front of our feet. 
What fun!! 😄

Eeek!  Is that bear tracks to the?!!!
Seeing raccoons for the first time was cool!  And a cute resident squirrel called Sammy.  Oh and the amazing howler monkeys in Belize!!  Wow!!  And not to forget this cute toucan at the fun Belize Zoo.

The Rocky Mountains were a real highlight. Pity we didn't see snow.  Well actually we did at the Icefields but we couldn't stop to feel it.

Then there's the fall colours.   Tip - this is the best time to go to Canada & US!

We had plenty of action!!

Mixing with the locals was fun.   
Check out my New Orleans and Orlando 

So grab a drink or 3 and some snacks and enjoy the ride.




In planning our big trip I chose Cathay Pacific as they had a good deal and Hong Kong seemed like a good place to take a break both going and coming back so that the long haul could be broken up.

Not too impressed with Cathay so won't choose them again.
More about that later.

We didn't get to do much in Hong Kong as both times we were there it rained. In fact we got the tail end of a big cat 5 typhoon.

Favourite things that we did do was Ocean Park and the Avenue of Stars Walk.   And of course shopping and enjoying the food and not to mention the lovely views overlooking Hong Kong with the big buildings and junks slowly sailing up and down.

 Food.  We enjoy tasting the local food and beer.  Hong Kong offered us plenty of that.

Once we enjoyed a local treat and beer at a pub whilst people watching.  This included watching the local scaffolders working on the building next door. 

These dudes were sitting on flimsy bamboo beams tying them off whilst smoking.  The most unheard thing I have ever heard of lol.

Video below.  


We tried 2 hotels in KL.  

First we stayed at the Harbour Grand in Kowloon which is on the water front with a view over Hong Kong and not far from the avenue of stars.   

This is a prime hotel for weddings. We saw a couple during our stay.  It is close to star ferry over to HK and they have a free shuttle service to the Avenue of Stars.

  Breakky is not included in the price and too expensive.

On the way back we stayed at the Crowne Plaza East Kowloon.  This was a much better stay.  
Transport into Hong Kong is right there on the MTR.  Shopping centre is also right there.

  Bed was comfy and the club room afternoon hi-tea and evening drinks well worth it. I would stay here again next time.
We woke up one morning and enjoyed watching the ladies exercise including fine fan dancing.  How relaxing.  

It didn't rain the day we went to Ocean Park.  Be prepared for big queues. We booked and paid through the hotel and they provided us with the easiest way to get there - MTR and bus.  
I am a rollercoaster fan so both young Jesse and I took the hair-raising rollercoaster which loops overlooking the water.


Avenue of the Stars was fun.   In between showers.  I kind of felt like a star Haha. Check out the kid doing a selfie with a dude called Jackie Chan.


To get around use the octopus card.  We got ours at the MTR station and you can top them up there.

As I said at the outset, Cathay Pacific wasn't good to us.  We were not seated together despite having booked early.  Our flight out of HK was delayed due to the typhoon and waiting for a connecting flight from China.  We learnt about this later but they made us wait over 2 hours without notice as to why the delay.

Coming back, those that had e-tickets were notified of a change of flight time - 2 hours early.  Because we booked through a 3rd party, we did not get notice and consequently our party and a couple of others had to fly on JAL via Japan to Hong Kong.  And Cathay at the time was No.1 airline!!??

Never again!  Singapore air is by far superior!



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