Just got back from a short trip to Macau. Loved it. We completely avoided all the casino-Vegas-glitz, and just enjoyed the black and white tiled sidewalks and squares, the pastel-colored colonial buildings, the Portuguese ambience.  We stayed on the tip of the island of Coloane, at a hotel overlooking the beach; a 20-minute walk from a sleepy little village with a great bakery and cafe in one direction, and from a beach with a fabulous restaurant in the other.  The beach itself was not in great shape--a typhoon came through about 3 weeks previously and half the beach's sand had been displaced up to the boardwalk, and there were chunks of concrete and rebar scattered all over the beach, along with plenty of debris.  



[caption id="attachment_152" align="aligncenter" width="225" caption="looking through an arch at Senado Square"]looking through an arch at Senado Square[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_154" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Igreja de San Francisco Xavier"]Igreja de San Francisco Xavier[/caption]

Some highlights:

 1. The room. We lucked into this, not really planning to have such a nice space.  But the balcony meant that even though Finn goes to sleep early, we could enjoy a take-out dinner and a bottle of wine, overlooking the ocean and listening to the waves crash.  Needless to say, we didn't feel one bit deprived. 

[caption id="attachment_135" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="the balcony of room 213, pousada de coloane"]the balcony of room 213, pousada de coloane[/caption]

2. Lord Stowe's egg tarts, served at the aforementioned bakery and cafes (two! in a town of a few thousand! How's that for monopoly...) We walked to the cafe each morning, breakfasting on coffee, homemade yogurt drizzled with honey, and the famous egg tarts.  They are so much better than anything we've had in HK--a flaky, puff-pastry crust, with a smooth, custardy filling, bruleed on top.  Custard is easy to overcook, and out of all the tarts we ate, each was perfectly cooked with only one exception (this one was a bit closer to scrambled eggs, but good nonetheless).

[caption id="attachment_136" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="breaking fast at Lord Stowe's"][/caption]

3. Fernando's Restaurant, on Hac Sa Beach. This Portuguese place surpassed our expectations.  We had a fabulous salad, with slices of height-of-August tomatoes. Truly the best tomatoes we've had in HK--brilliant red, sweet, juicy flavor.  Matt had a garlicky pork dish--the pork slices were thinner and more well-cooked than most Americans would like, but the meat was incredibly flavorful.  Tasted like the essence of pork.  I had grilled chicken that was a revelation--light, delicate, crispy skin, incredibly moist meat that again really tasted like chicken.  Both of our meats were served on top of a plate of fries--crisp outside, soft and tender inside, perfect for soaking up the meat's juices.  We also had a great Port. beer (Super Bock) that cost the same as a can of soda.  And the cost for all this--$196 HK dollars, which is about $25 US.  And the portions were huge--we were stuffed.  We wanted dessert, an egg pudding that I imagine is like flan, but Finn was getting cranky so we called it quits. 

4. This little dairy bar in Macau proper.  The Leitaria i Son serves milk from a local dairy, blended with various fruits or other flavors.  It felt sort of like a diner, and sort of like something you'd find at the State Fair, except instead of maple mIlk you get mango milk. We stopped in both coming and going from Coloane to Macau, and the milk is delish.  We tried banana, pineapple, and almond, and deliberated long over papaya and ginger.  Would have gotten mango in a second except that they were out.


[caption id="attachment_142" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Matt enjoying almond milk"]Matt enjoying almond milk[/caption]


[caption id="attachment_145" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="trays of milk custard in the window"]trays of milk custard in the window[/caption]

Overall it was a great vacation, and that's including the fact that Matt was sick one day, Finn was sick the other and he didn't sleep one of the nights.  I think we learned some things about traveling with an infant: invest in the room, since you'll be spending lots of time there; an expanse of dark cloth is useful for blocking light and preserving the baby's sleep, both in the pushchair and in the hotel room; accept that the baby will limit your activities, but will also open you to experiences you wouldn't otherwise have.  Finn is such a magnet for attention, that we inevitably end up in conversations with locals, getting tips on places to eat, public restrooms that have changing facilities, etc.

1 comment:

nan carroll said...

This is so much fun to hear from you and the pictures are fabulous!!!
We miss you,