Moving anywhere new can be daunting. Moving ‘across the planet’, as I playfully but truthfully remind my husband Mark, is something else altogether. While our transition to Hong Kong has been rapid and exciting, it is still of course ongoing – and having close friends in the same city is, in a word, priceless.
By a balance of chance and intent, we moved here just months after one of Mark’s best friends, Teddy, and his lovely (now) wife, Jessica, did the same. True globetrotters, they relocated here most recently from Shanghai, where they met. And we couldn’t be happier! Intrepid explorers themselves, they’ve set the pace for learning about this amazing city, and we benefit both from their recently acquired knowledge and their openness to discover new places and enjoy new experiences. Teddy and Jessica have been incredibly helpful and welcoming. We’ve also now had more opportunities to watch them together – and it’s heartwarming to see how deeply in love they are.
Before we moved here, Teddy and Jessica asked us to hold 1 August, for none other than their wedding (part 1). So after only one month in our new hometown, we had the distinct pleasure of celebrating this most important of days with them, Hong Kong style.
A typical summer downpour couldn’t put a damper on the afternoon. Jessica was gorgeous in a flirty, cream-colored dress by Valentino, stunning black and gold ankle-strap d’Orsay sandals by Sergio Rossi, and of course, that sparkling diamond ring (nice work, Teddy!). Both Teddy and Mark wore pink (pants and shirt, respectively). A coordinated effort? No – these 2 men love to wear pink clothing more than any other men I’ve met. Somehow they pull it off, and as the saying goes, only real men wear pink!
The couple enjoyed a short and sweet ceremony at HK’s simple, modern City Hall Marriage Registry.
After the ceremony, we wandered over to Le Gouter Bernardaud at the IFC mall (International Finance Centre – home to one of numerous luxury shopping malls in HK) for a brief re-caffeination, tasty sliders (mini-burgers), light and airy chestnut cake, and the nicest sampling of French macarons Mark and I have tried in HK thus far (especially the rose and vanilla flavors…but I digress).
We made our way to the well-loved, scenic, and refreshingly inexpensive (about 2.50 HKD, which is about 0.30 USD) Star Ferry to shuttle us from the main Hong Kong Island to the other side of Victoria Harbour known as Kowloon. It was hinted that we were on a bit of a schedule, with a ‘little surprise’ waiting for us.
The surprise turned out to be another iconic (but new to us) HK experience, a journey aboard the traditional wooden Chinese ‘junk’ boat named Aqua Luna. Some call a ride on this boat a ‘booze cruise’, and indeed we enjoyed a glass (or two, in my case) of prosecco along the way. But I think both ‘junk’ and ‘booze cruise’ don’t do this ride justice. The Aqua Luna is quite beautiful, and the ride, charming – despite the inevitable downpour that threatened to take the ‘sunset’ out of ‘sunset cruise’ and required us to temporarily dock ourselves again nearby a few minutes after departing. No matter – in the company of great friends on such a celebratory day, we had a terrific time.
After another characteristically quick return to slightly-warmer-than-balmy but relatively clear weather, we sauntered over to the contemporary European (with heavy French inclinations) fine dining restaurant named St. George, set in the historic Hullett House. St. George is named after a patron saint of England and is designed for guests to relax and dine in a posh, British colonial setting. Turns out our timing was comically a little off, as we learned that the head chef had just left literally the day prior. However, we still enjoyed the dishes on Le Menu (their prix fixe menu), the restaurant’s friendly, refined service, and of course, plenty of hearty conversation and playful banter. Not to be understated – St. George is where Teddy and Jessica also had their first date together in HK! Kudos to Jessica, always the romantic planner.
Gastronomically satiated, we ended the evening and dropped Teddy and Jessica off, so Teddy could fulfill the tradition of carrying his beautiful bride over the threshold of their new flat in Causeway Bay. The lovely couple made final preparations for their departure the next morning to their honeymoon destination, Bali (which we heard was fabulous, as Bali tends to be!).
Mark and I were honored to be both witnesses and guests at these thoughtfully planned, intimate, and thoroughly enjoyable festivities. We cannot wait to join Teddy and Jessica during wedding part 2, when they will celebrate in the full company of family and friends near Jessica’s original hometown of Lyon, France. Waiting until 2015 for this will just give us all time to get even more excited, all over again!
Teddy and Jessica – congratulations, we’re thrilled and excited for you, and we wish you an amazing, loving, and adventurous lifetime together! Your soon-to-be-little-one will be so incredibly lucky to have you as their parents!