Monkeying Around the World

Monkeying Around the World

Lil Dave’s Adventures with Ivan and Jennifer

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Banana rain

We all woke up on October 4, 2008. It was time to check out of the Marriott Courtyard. I watched while they both packed everything up in the room. I packed up my monkey bag too, and made sure that I didn’t leave any bananas behind. Ivan, Jennifer and I went to a couchsurfer’s house in Kowloon East. We were on the MTR (subway) forever to get there. Jennifer had her big ol’ backpack on the whole time. She thinks it’s a bit hard trying to put it back on. I think she’s trying to get used to the weight. I’m sure it feels like a big brick on her back. Sid invited us to meet him for dinner that night. He was going to meet a friend at the mall. We all relaxed in Sid’s apartment while he went out. We went to dinner at the Fruit Stand which is in the mall. It’s a vegetarian restaurant. Sid’s also vegetarian like Ivan. We met Sid’s friends Scott (an American guy) and Grace (a Chinese girl). It was a good time. Jennifer got a chicken steak entree with garlic sauce. She thought it didn’t have much flavor. I got sauteed bananas with a garlic sauce. Pretty good. Next, we headed to the UA Cinema to see if there was anything good playing. The theatre only plays certain movies in English. Eagle Eye was playing in about 20 minutes. Ivan was hungry and wanted to get a snack. We stopped by a place called Super Sandwich. Ivan picked out a banana, peanut butter and chicken wrap – yes that is really true! He shared some with me and Jennifer in the theatre. It was a weird combination, but anything with banana in it, is fine by me. Jennifer said she couldn’t taste the peanut butter. It was a good action packed movie.

We went with Sid to a vegetarian restaurant on October 5, 2008 for lunch. We walked around to the markets to do some shopping in Mong Kok. I liked the Goldfish Market. It had lots of different fish you could buy.

Most of them were in plastic bags just ready to be purchased. The Bird Garden was nice too. There was so many birds in cages.

It smelled weird in the garden area. We went inside a few places that were selling dogs. I really wanted to hop on one of the dogs’ backs and ride it. But, Jennifer said they wouldn’t let me. I used to ride Max (the wolf) back in Las Vegas. He didn’t seem to mind. Ivan and Jennifer thought the dogs were so cute. It was raining off and on all day. We were looking for some deals in the Ladies Market. They bought a few cool t-shirts. There’s a lot of t-shirts with monkeys on them. It started raining really bad. Ivan was searching for a umbrella for sale. We kept staying in certain outside shops since the area is covered. I can’t believe it was raining so hard. It wasn’t any fun. Ivan found a big umbrella at 7-11. We walked further on. Ivan bought a small umbrella for Jennifer. I didn’t see any monkey umbrellas for sale. I stayed nice and dry in Jennifer’s daypack. Ivan wanted to find this vegetarian restaurant for dinner. We had dinner at the Light Vegetarian Restaurant. It had vegetarian dim sum for dinner. Usually dim sum in Hong Kong stops before dinner. The food was really good. Unfortunately, the service was really slow. They would bring you two dishes or even one at a time. Then it took forever for the next entree to arrive. Ivan was getting a bit peeved. I did have a great banana dim sum. The rain had pretty much stopped. We took the MTR back to Sid’s place in Kowloon.

We left Sid’s place in the afternoon on October 6, 2008. We went to Causeway Bay and headed to Times Square. It’s a 10 story shopping mall. Ivan wanted to check out the Northface store there.

Hiding Out in the Backpacks

Hiding Out in the Backpacks

His old Berghaus backpack had a hole in it. He found a nice blue backpack. We went to meet the couchsurfer Michael. We would be staying at his house for a few nights. He walked us to his apartment. His place doesn’t have an elevator. He’s on the top floor. So, Ivan and Jennifer had to climb up 10 floors with their heavy backpacks on. That was tiring! Michael had cold beers for Ivan and Jennifer when they reached the rooftop, and some cold banana juice for me. The rooftop has a great view of the city. It also has a table with chairs, so you can sit outside and chill. Ivan, Jennifer and Michael talked for a little while. Michael recommended a few good restaurants. He said the mango pancakes were great. I did enquire as to whether there were any decent banana pancake shops nearby but I was told that no, its just mangoes. I think the chinese need to be educated on the deliciousness of banana pancakes! Michael left to go meet his dad. He was in town for business. Jennifer worked on the blog for a little while. Ivan was getting hungry. I stayed in. Ivan and Jennifer went walking around to find a restaurant for dinner. They decided for the Japanese restaurant that had an English menu. The people who worked there didn’t speak any English though. They wanted to try the mango pancakes. The dessert place was really crowded. Ivan just went inside and they got some seats. The mango pancakes were basically mangos and cream in a pancake. They enjoyed it. They walked around the area a little. The bars didn’t really interest them. They did play a fighting arcade game. They decided to head back to Michael’s place to rest. I decided to sleep on the roofop under the stars all by my little monkey self.

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The Peak celebration

On October 2nd, 2008 we went to The Peak on Hong Kong Island. It’s a high area overlooking the city. There are shops and restaurants at the top. Ivan, Jennifer and I waited in the long line to buy tickets. It was still busy because of the Chinese holiday. The guide book says the holiday lasts a week. The tram took us all the way up to The Peak.

Jen and Ivan on the tram

Jen and Ivan on the tram

The view is really nice. You do see a lot of the smog though. Jennifer said it was comparable to the smog in Los Angeles. We went up to the top on the Sky Terrace. Ivan thought the view would be better in an hour or so.

We headed to Bubba Gump Shrimp restaurant. Jennifer was going to work on a blog post on the laptop. Ivan and Jennifer each had a strong drink. There was also a nice view of the skyline and the city. We tried to go back to the Sky Terrace. But, you can only use your ticket once. I thought that was dumb. Oh well.

The line for the tram back was extremely long. Ivan thought we could walk back or take a taxi. A policeman said there was no walking down but there were taxis around the corner. It was getting dark, so I don’t think walking would be a good idea. The taxi took us to the Lan Kwai Fong area. It’s a cool area with great nightlife. It’s filled with restaurants, bars and clubs.

Ivan wanted to go to a restaurant called Life. It’s a vegetarian restaurant. We went up the longest escalator to the area. The restaurant was above the retail area downstairs. Jennifer thought it was a cozy, romantic place. I guess because it was dimly lit in the restaurant. Jennifer had a wheat pizza with mushrooms. It had a nice sized portion of rocket on top. She thought it was a bit odd. She enjoyed her pizza.

Ivan sent me home in a taxi. Unfortunately, I’m too young to enter bars. Ivan and Jennifer went in search of a bar called The Cavern. Jennifer read online about this bar and another one that had free drinks for ladies on Thursdays. They found it. Ivan asked if there was any live music for the night. There would be two bands playing. The first band was already playing. It was a band of five guys. They were really good. The band played nice rock songs like Live or Gin Blossoms. Ivan asked to see when they would be playing faster music. The band plays slower music since people still have dinner. It would be faster in an hour or so. Ivan and Jennifer walked around the area to find another bar in the meantime. They went inside Club 97. It was free cosmopolitans for ladies. The music playing inside was hip hop. Ivan ordered a fruity drink and Jennifer got a free cosmopolitan. The music wasn’t very good. They decided to go back to The Cavern. The Cavern had another band later on. It was upbeat music like We Will Survive. All the members are Filipino. Jennifer wasn’t feeling good. Her throat was sore. She didn’t feel like staying out too late. Ivan and Jennifer left around midnight and headed back to the hotel.

Ivan, Jennifer and I went out on October 3, 2008. We were celebrating Ivan’s birthday. It’s actually a month earlier. But, since Ivan and Jennifer were apart. Ivan thought they should celebrate in Hong Kong a month later. Jennifer picked out a nice dim sum restaurant to go to. We all hopped on the Star Ferry to head to Kowloon. The Jade Garden was the restaurant of choice. It had a nice view of the skyline. Jennifer and Ivan ordered like nine different dim sum items like shrimp dumplings and chicken and rice wrapped in a lotus leaf. They both enjoyed the food there. We went walking around the shops area to find some good things to buy. I saw lots of bananas.

They tasted so sweet! Yum! I wish they was more bananas everywhere.  We all went inside an arcade.  Ivan and Jennifer played against each other in a racing game.  We went to a big park. It had two cool fountains there.

I was put in a cab to go back to the hotel. I miss out on all the good fun!
Ivan and Jennifer went to the Wan Chai area. They wanted to find some good bars to hang out in. Ivan found a bar called Bell Inn. It was happy hour and the drinks were a little cheaper. He bought two San Miguel beers. San Miguel is a beer from the Philippines. Jennifer said she had never tried one before. But, of course, she had heard of it (since she is Filipino). Ivan asked the bartender if he could borrow a deck of cards. They played the card game Cheat! Ivan won the 3 out of 5 games. Jennifer said she was getting a bit drunk. They went to a bar called The Makati. Jazz music was playing inside. Ivan didn’t want to stay though. So, they left and went in search for another bar. There was some live music playing inside Club Amazonia. Jennifer thought the music was okay, nothing special. It was nice to relax though. Ivan and Jennifer sat on uncomfortable chairs just chatting and having a drink. They went back to the hotel afterwards. It was a great day!

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Lots of Walking and Fireworks

Jennifer and I had to wake up early to catch our flight to San Francisco on September 29, 2008.  It was nice because it turned out that nobody was sitting to Jennifer on the first flight.  She let me sit in the seat.  It was definitely better than being in a backpack for the whole ride.  We stopped next in Tokyo.  It was raining there.  Jennifer bought some cute little souvenirs at the airport.  Finally, we arrived in Hong Kong.  Jennifer was so tired.  She kept sleeping on all flights.  But, it was much needed since she hasn’t been sleeping much lately.  I saw Ivan at the airport first.  I don’t think Jennifer saw him because she kept walking to the exit.  We were both happy to finally be in Hong Kong and be done with flying.  It was a long day of flying like a total of 15 1/2 hours.

The taxicab took us to the hotel.  Ivan chose a nice hotel called the Marriot Courtyard.  It’s located on Hong Kong Island.  It’s a great hotel.  I don’t think this is officially backpacking yet.  It’s much too nice.
We woke up early on October 1, 2008.  It was time to go exploring the city.  Ivan had bought a cool walking tour book of Hong Kong.  Ivan, Jennifer and I walked so much in Central.  We went to this park where people show off their birds.  Nobody had birds.

But, they had a bird shop right next to it.  We took the Star Ferry to Kowloon.  It was a Chinese holiday.  There was going to be a fireworks display at night.  Jennifer also wanted to go to Kowloon.  She played a game a long time ago called Shenmue 2.  The main character went to Kowloon.  She thought it looked like a great place to go.  It was already busy near the Avenue of Stars since there was a fireworks display.  People were lined up already at 5 pm for the celebration.

Jennifer wanted to check out the Space Museum.  It’s free admission to the exhibitions on Wednesdays.  Unfortunately, it was nothing special.  Jennifer said she only stayed because it had great air conditioning.  We had been walking all day in the humid heat.  It wasn’t that hot but the humidity will get to you.  We went to find the Chung King Mansions.  It’s a big building that contains restaurants, shops and hostels.  Ivan heard about a great Indian restaurant called Everest.

After dinner, we headed to the Avenue of Stars.  It was even more crowded.  We were going to catch the 8 pm Symphony of Lights show.  It was hard to see since there was so many people there.  I only saw part of the show with Jennifer and Ivan.  I didn’t think it was that exciting.  It’s just a light display with the buildings on the Hong Kong skyline.  But, Ivan said we’d see again another night so we’d get a better view of the show.  The firework show was going to be on at 9 pm.  We just sat down near the area chatting and wasting time.  The fireworks came on.  It was soo amazing!  The fireworks were really loud.

It went right over the bay.  Jennifer said it was the best fireworks display she’s ever seen.  I saw fireworks that said Hi.  It was really worth the long wait to see these fireworks.  The fireworks went on for about 20 minutes.  I’m sure you can imagine how busy it was after the show.  Ivan, Jennifer and I were walking through the crowds on the street.  We were going to take the train back to Hong Kong Island.  Whew!  It was a busy day.  Ivan and Jennifer were both tired and their feet hurt.

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Counting down

Jennifer and I are leaving to go backpacking in four days. I can’t believe it’s finally here! We’re going to Hong Kong first for about three weeks.

Jen let me stay at my friend George’s house for a few days. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with George. He’s my best monkey friend. I’m going to miss him a lot. Jennifer is really excited. She is stressed she won’t be able to get everything done though.

George and I made banana fritters the other night. I found the recipe on the internet. The fritters turned out great. I hope I can learn how to cook more banana dishes while we’re traveling. Cooking is good fun!

George, Bart and I have a secret tree house here in Las Vegas. I haven’t even shown Jennifer where it is! We play, go on the internet and watch movies in the tree house. I’m going to miss playing with George and Bart. I’m counting down the days now. I am anxious to try some exotic bananas.

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Introduction

Hey everybody! Thank you for visiting! I’m Lil Dave the monkey. I will soon be going backpacking RTW (’round the world) with Jennifer and Ivan. Please read the About page to learn more about me, Jennifer, Ivan and my dad Dave. Jennifer and Ivan asked me to come along a few months ago. I am excited to meet new monkeys and to sample different bananas. I just don’t know if backpacking is for me. It seems a bit hard. I guess I don’t really don’t know much about it. It’s a good thing Ivan has backpacked before or we might be in trouble! I know Jennifer doesn’t have a sense of direction. I’m sure Ivan will point us in the right direction. Hope you enjoy reading about our adventures.

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