Clarissa Day in Boston

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In the fall, we decided that we wanted to attend at least one day of PAX East 2020. Held in Boston at the end of winter, we had not been since Tim won tickets when I was pregnant with Clarissa in 2013.

Eight hours plus stops is a long time to drive with a five month old so we decided to stop halfway in New Jersey. We had lunch at Shady Maple on our way through Pennsylvania. Then we spent the night with Tim’s Aunt Paula.

We deemed Friday Clarissa Day and did several activities that we knew Clarissa would enjoy. The high was in the 30s for the day and very windy, so we put Tiffany in her snowsuit every time we went outside.

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We went online to LAZ Parking and reserved a parking spot at the Dock Square Garage. We then walked a couple of blocks to the New England Aquarium where the Northern Fur Sealswere outside. This guy was asleep but the rest were awake and ready to greet us.

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The aquarium was good. But we have seen better ones in Asia. There was a live presentation at the coral reef at the top. We did see a lot of different tanks that were clean and vibrant.

Clarissa was able to touch a sea star, sea urchin, hermit crab, horse shoe crab, and oyster upstairs. She also got pretty wet touching some sting rays. The sharks never came by for her to pet. She wasn’t super impressed with the gift shop so she did not buy anything there.

We chose our particular parking garage because Hard Rock Cafe was on the first floor. We ate there for lunch. The service was okay but the food was great.

Next we headed to Assembly Row to check out Legoland Discovery Center. We have been to the Tokyo location, but Clarissa was two and doesn’t remember. There was free public parking for up to three hours so we decided to do that.

I was impressed that Clarissa chose to do a ride. She enjoyed it so much that she did it twice, once with Mommy and once with Daddy. She liked the VR roller coaster as well. I think we all enjoyed seeing the major sights in Boston as a Lego city. Clarissa and I took a class while Tiffany napped in the stroller and made a Lego panda. We also made Lego race cars and actually raced them on a track. There were a couple of play places and also a big clock where every half hour a dragon would pop out and sing “Rock Around the Clock.” Clarissa really enjoyed that and would dance every time.

We contemplated visiting Carlo’s Bakery on our drive but saw some interesting reviews and decided to skip it. Instead we headed to Mike’s Pastry which is supposed to have the best desserts in Boston. We had them pack a box for us of like 15 different things that we wanted to try. It will take us a week to eat it all, but they have all been pretty good so far. I’m not sure that it’s the best dessert that I’ve ever tasted. But if you want pastries in Boston, I would check out one of their locations.

We ate at Legal on the Mystic for dinner. Clarissa had a cheese pizza but Tim and I enjoyed some excellent seafood.

We ended the day at Burlington Mall. Clarissa has been wanting to try Build-A-Bear and so we decided that vacation was the perfect time to check it out. There was a sale of buy one, get one for $10 so Clarissa ended up with both Toothless and Luna. The girl that worked there was great with Clarissa. She got to help stuff her dragons, kissed the heart that went inside them, and give them their first bath.

Monday in Central Hong Kong

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Clarissa slept in on Monday so we got a later start than we thought we would. We took the MTR to Central Station and followed the signs to the Peak Tram. It was probably a 20 minute walk, and most of it was uphill.

We bought tickets online at a discount and thought that we would be able to skip the long line forming. Nope. We waited in line for over an hour to take the tram up to Victoria Peak.

Our tickets included admission to the Sky Terrance 428 (428 meters above sea level). We took several flights of escalators to the top and were not disappointed. The views of the Harbor from Victoria Peak were amazing.

There was a big heart at the top. Clarissa had a fun photo shoot with that. She even took a picture herself. (I will give you a hint, it’s the one with the fingers in the picture…)

After seeing the view, we had lunch at Fujiyama Mama a few floors down. Our view was still beautiful and the food was delicious. Tim had a sampler of four kinds of sushi and I had California roll with edamame. Clarissa wouldn’t eat the sushi itself, but loved the fish eggs on the outside.

On our way to the exit, they had a 3D art area, which reminded me of the Trick Eye Museum that everyone goes to in Seoul. It was free so we decided to check it out. Tim was the photographer and Clarissa and I had a great time being silly.

Then, we headed toward Clarissa’s most anticipated activity of the day, the chocolate museum! The Art of Chocolate was located across the street from the Peak Tram terminal. We found a cool shop to buy souvenirs on our way there.

We bought tickets online for admission to the museum and unlimited chocolate tasting. The museum looks small on the outside, but we probably spent 20 minutes looking at these sculptures made of chocolate. I was surprised at how detailed they were. All of them had signs with history, ingredients, and ended by saying that you could order each edible creation. Clarissa kept saying, “It’s so beautiful!” I wonder if she would enjoy visiting an art museum?

At the end were some items made of chocolate that you could touch and play with. I even found the letters for all of our names.

There was a gift shop where you could make your own edible creation or buy one pre-made.

There were a few samples of milk chocolate and white chocolate at the end. We were going to be disappointed that we paid for unlimited chocolate tasting until the girl came over and told us to sit down.

She brought out two trays of chocolate. There were nine different flavors to try. She instructed us which order to try them (we were to end with the dark chocolate). She brought us a pitcher of water, three cups, three plates, and three spoons. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Clarissa’s favorite was the strawberry, I liked the salted carmel, and Tim liked the combination white and milk chocolate best.

The wait to go down the tram was not as long as the line to go up. We headed back down the hill to central Hong Kong. Tim navigated us to Landmark Mall. We saw a few toy stores and a book store. We even found a store called Oliver’s Delicatessen that reminded us of Whole Foods. We were excited to find a few things we can’t get in Korea. Tim picked out his birthday cake flavor and I bought a mix for gluten free gingerbread for Christmas.

Then, we headed to Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. We had to go uphill again and there were plenty of stairs. We tried three different streets before Tim decided to push the stroller in the street while Clarissa and I took the steps.

We splurged and got special drinks with our meals, which were all delicious. Clarissa loves to dance to the music.

We headed to Causeway Bay and Tim found something at Razer, a gaming store. It was 7:00 so we decided to make our way to the Symphony of Lights at 8:00. It was complicated to find our way there. We made it just in time. The light show is supposed to be in the Guinness Book of World Records. But we were honestly disappointed. There was music and a few lasers. But that was it.

It was cool to see the Victoria Harbour at night though. There were some boats lit up in different colors that went by.