5 on Friday

Time is just flying. I feel like all I talk about lately is my move to the States, but moving to the other side of the world is a big deal! I might be headed back home, but I’ve lived here for just long enough that there are lots of things to cancel and arrange before I take that 15 hour flight in a couple weeks.

Luckily, the stars have aligned to give me time to enjoy myself before I leave. Without me even asking, my workplace scheduled me a FIVE DAY WEEKEND! Because we stay open on holidays, we are assigned “alternative holidays” – more or less random days off to make up for the holidays we have to work. The scheduler decided to be super nice and sandwich alternative holidays around my weekend, giving me five days off in a row. Plus, one of my alternative holidays actually falls on the real holiday it’s supposed to make up for, which means that Nick will have the day off too! Awesome timing.

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Enough with the bragging about my awesome stay-cation, it’s time for 5 on Friday!

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1. Off to the races. One of the top things on my HK bucket list was to make it to the races at Happy Valley one last time. I took care of that this Wednesday when Nick and I joined one of his friends to bet on some horses and enjoy the warm night air. I’ve never been a huge gambler, but the minimum bet at Happy Valley is only 20 HKD (about 3 USD), so it’s not a very intimidating wager. The atmosphere feels like a high school football game with the bright lights (check out the picture above) and spectators doing a lot of socializing and very little race watching. To top it all off, I won around 300 HKD, so I left a very happy girl.

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2. Bachelorette Fun! Another one of my friends is getting married this weekend, which means we had another bachelorette party last night! Everyone brought lingerie or a nightgown for the bride, and I think she now has the world’s most extensive underwear collection. The best part was the arrival of Kat, a Hong Kong friend who moved six months ago and is back in town for the wedding (that’s her on the left). I’m super excited for the wedding on Sunday. What is it about weddings that is just so much fun?

20131011-121622.jpg3. City Living. Since I have so many days off this week, I get to spend extra time in the city. I snapped this shot this morning while I was walking to the grocery store. I’m really gonna miss seeing signs like this one on a regular basis. It’s easy to take for granted the weathered East-meets-West feel of Hong Kong, but on a beautiful morning like today, the sights just pop out and beg to be photographed. If only I were a better photographer!

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4. What’s Cookin’? I’m back in the kitchen! I have been seriously lax when it comes to experimenting with new recipes recently, mostly owing to my reintroduction of gluten and wanting to eat all of my old favorites (Bagels! Croissants!). I finally started playing around with some fall salads this week, and came up up with the gem above! I’ll be posting the recipe later this week, so be sure to check back!

20131011-150600.jpg5.  Oriental Glamour. I really wanted to buy a cheongsam as a wearable souvenir and reminder of my time in Hong Kong, but I just couldn’t take the plunge. The affordable ones I found didn’t fit quite right, and the one above, while beautiful, was a bit out of my price range even before the necessary alterations. I’m still on the market for one, but it’s no longer the determined search I originally set out on. At least I snapped a picture of the dress before I left the store! Some might disagree with me, but I think the cheongsam is such a timeless look. The cut is so flattering, especially when they’re tailored just right. Maybe I’ll just have to find one in San Francisco. :)

That’s all for now! How was your week?