Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Sharon and Jerry "High Roller" Day

My new friend, Lailany, had invited me to join her and a couple other friends on a trip to Macau on Easter Saturday.  I was planning to go to Macau anyway and was happy to have someone to go with.  Lailany and Theresa were planning to stay there overnight and Eric wasn't because he has a dog to feed.  Since I didn't have a hotel room booked, I decided to go back with Eric.  So far, so good...

We planned to get an early start and meet up at 9:00.  Lailany and I met up with Eric and got on the MTR to meet Theresa at the ferry pier.  On the way there, Theresa called Eric and mentioned something about "passports" -- we all looked at each other . . . no one brought their passport with them!  We got to the pier and Theresa was swearing that she told Eric we needed our passports. Long story short -- we got TurboJet tix for 11:46 and it was 10:00.  Got back on the train and decided to meet up at Starbucks near the pier, since we all had to go our separate ways. I sprinted through the terminal to get my passport and get back -- good exercise!  The funny thing was that Lailany, Eric and I all wound up on the same train going back to the pier. We went to Starbucks to wait for Theresa (who already had her passport, but decided to go home to get something else) - we waited and waited for her! Finally decided to get to the boat since it was 11:30.

We  had just started to board when Theresa made her appearance, joking that you could board at the very last minute in spite of all the warnings that you need to be there 15 minutes in advance.

Our boat to Macau

The boat ride was fun -- high-speed ride across the bay/harbor/ocean -- we all debated that one. And then we saw the Sands in sight.  So, Macau is "supposed" to be the Vegas of Hong Kong, which is why this excursion was named for Sharon and Jerry.  Sharon and Jerry got married in Vegas last year, and, both were in Hong Kong two years ago and have been giving me all sorts of tips and suggestions -- including going to Macau.  So, this one's for you, Shar and Jer!

Vegas? Nah, it's only Macau

By this time, it is a little after 1:00, and Eric and I had return tix back for 5:20.  We figured we would get off the boat, get a cab, get lunch, go to a casino or two, have a couple of drinks, and head back to the pier.  Well, we got off the boat and then proceeded to push our way through thousands of people (and I mean, push - no one wanted to move) to the opposite end of the station where the "visitors" entry was. Of course, there were a ton of people on line and no one was moving! They weren't letting anyone in!  After about 15 minutes, they decided to start letting people in and let me tell you, we were on the SLOWEST line of all. The New Yorker in Lailany was coming out -- she was pissed and it was funny. Theresa was saying that it would take us hours to get a cab because of all the people there. I just wanted a drink! We finally had our passports stamped and were on our way. Another 20 or so minutes later, Theresa found us a bus. Theresa can speak Chinese, which was a huge time saver! We got off the bus and walked to the first gaudy hotel/casino we could find -- Hotel Lisboa.

Hotel Lisboa - Top

Hotel Lisboa - Bottom

I was desperate at this point for an Elvis sighting -- I didn't care if he was Chinese. But nope, no Elvis. However, we did see a huge casino and a bar, so we decided to eat and hang at the Lisboa (all the other suggested restaurants were booked solid because it was Easter weekend and we didn't really plan ahead). We had a very nice Chinese meal in the hotel -- ate a ton -- and then proceeded to the gambling floor.  Theresa headed straight for the tables and Eric, Lailany and I headed straight for the bar. Sipping my beer, I caught sight of the slot machines and decided to check them out. Sure enough, I found my favorite nickel slots (only these were Hong Kong nickel slots -- which amounted to LESS THAN A PENNY a game!). After spending about $15 Hong Kong on the slots, Eric and I decided we needed to get a cab back -- it was 4:45 at this point and we had a 5:20 departure.

Group pic inside Hotel Lisboa

We went outside to get a cab, and there was a line for the cabs! Unbelievable! At around 5:05, we got into a cab and told the driver to hurry. I commented to Eric that I felt like we were on "The Amazing Race" - he agreed. We got to the pier and ran inside only to find more lines (had to get our passports stamped yet again). At 5:23, our passports were stamped and we sprinted to the boat. Just made it - Theresa was right about getting there at the last minute!

While we only saw a little bit of Macau, it was still a fun day. I will definitely make a point of getting back there before I go home -- but I plan on waiting to go with Cindy when she is here in May!

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