2009 Our Trip Back To the USA

We flew from Shanghai to Hong Kong where we stayed again at the Regal Riverside in Shatin (that hotel had kept our 2 additional suitcases in storage for us). The Shanghai Airlines flight was uneventful. The coolest thing was taking the A41 public bus from the airport to the Regal Riverside. All we had to do was use the underpass to walk across the street to the hotel from the bus stop. It cost US$3 for the two of us!

We went to our favorite breakfast eateries in our neighborhood and they were just as good as we remembered them (Our absolute favorite is Chelsea Noodle Club/Chelsea Kee, 35 Kong Pui St. (near Yuen Chau Kok Park and the Regal Riverside Hotel; in front of a sign that says Yi Shing Square), Shatin, N. T. for dim sum but we also like the other eateries on the opposite side of the Yi Shing Square for congee and donuts and a hot cereal called my-po or something like that.) The restaurant we chose to go to for dinner was one where we had had a delicious crispy-skinned baby pig a month earlier. We weren't impressed with the duck we had on our second visit there (Fook Choi Seafood Restaurant, Shop 141-154, 1/F, City One Plaza, Shatin, N.T., Tel. 2648-6868).

We spent our day in Hong Kong going to the gym at the Regal Riverside and then re-packing our suitcases to make sure that we were (more or less) around 20 kilos per suitcase for each of our 4 checked suitcases (the limit of Cathay Pacific). We were to carry two "carry ons": one computer case each and one plastic "Chinese red and white plaid bag" each (you know the one, don't you? They come in huge size variations and usually Asians have them at airports.) We call it our frugality chic bag and we bought 2 of them in Hong Kong for HK$10 each or a little over $1.25 each.

Cathay Pacific checked all of our luggage with no extra charge and United didn't give us any problems when we re-checked our luggage after customs in S.F. The Cathay Pacific flight was actually nice. Dimitri watched Kevin Spacey's new film Shrink and liked it. Audre slept.

We arrived in Denver and stayed at the airport La Quinta for a special promotional rate of $62! (La Quinta Inns & Suites, Denver Airport/DIA, 6801 Tower Rd., Denver, CO 80149, tel. 303-371-0888, e-mail: LQ098dos@laquinta.com, web: LQ.com, room 279). It was a large room that accommodated us and all of our luggage (as well as all of our purchases in Denver that we planned to take to the Vail Valley). It had a coffee maker in the room as well as a fridge. La Quinta has a buffet breakfast included in the rate and a machine where a guest can make really, really good waffles himself. There is a gym too (that we didn't have time to use). What a deal!

After doing our shopping in Denver we headed to the Vail Valley for our 5 months of skiing during the winter of 2009-2010. This is our Tenth Entire Season Skiing Somewhere in the World and our second season skiing in the Vail Valley!

On our way out of Denver on the I-70 we saw our first sign announcing a section of road work was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act US economic stimulus plan in the Denver area September 10, 2009. We didn't see much other evidence of the economic meltdown and the government's efforts. In a sense, however, the reason we returned to the Vail Valley is because we were able to cut our rent down this season by more than half. Click here to read about our 2009-2010 accommodations. Had it been necessary to spend the same amount for rent this season that we had to pay during the 2008-09 season, we would have done something different.

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