Another year flown by….

Well here we are , January 2017.  Each year I say I will be better and update more often but as you see, I have let another year slip by.  Maybe this year I will be better. I do have a reason to stay up to date this year. As most of you know, we have moved to Hong Kong.  There will be many trips, outing and adventures that we will be experiencing. It will be The Oliver Family Blog: Hong Kong Edition.

But first , let’s review our crazy 2016. I am still a paper calendar person so I get to flip through and look at each month.

January:  As I said in the last post, Emily left for South Africa on Jan 22.  I can’t believe it has been a year.

February:  There were lots of AHS swim meets and subbing. Michael went to Florida with the swim team for his last HS trip.  He had  a great time as usual.  Sarah had an interview at Tulane and Lyndon had a meeting in New Orleans so we all met up there. Marlene and Jack came to NO as well so that was really fun.

March: Lyndon and I went to South Africa to visit Emily. It was an incredible trip. They were in the middle of a drought but of course it was pouring down rain the day we arrived. We stayed at a very cute B&B in Pretoria that was directly across from where Emily was staying. Lyndon and I took a bus tour of Pretoria/Johannesburg. It was really very interesting. We saw the Apartheid Museum, different landmarks around Johannesburg, the  Hector Pieterson Soweto Uprising museum, Soweto, Nelson Mandela’s home, Kliptown and more. We went to markets and ate some great food.  Then we went to Cape   Town with Emily for a  few days. That was a beautiful trip as well.  We took a ferry to Robbben Island, where Mandela was in prison.  It was very informative, but freezing on the ferry on the way back.  We drove around the coast and went to the Cape of Good Hope.  Emily, remember the lady singing at church :)) We went to wineries in Stellenboch. I am not a drinker but it really was fun. Lyndon and Emily tasted some great wines and we of course bought many bottles. Emily had to go back before us but we still explored. Our trip up table mountain was an adventure. It was beautiful and sunny when we took the cable car up, but by the time we got to the top it was cloudy and windy.  When I say windy I am not kidding. They eventually had to shut down the mountain and sent everyone down.  Of course at the bottom it was sunny and beautiful.  They actually call it the table cloth over the mountain when the clouds set in over Table Mountain. We went back to Pretoria for a little more time with Emily before heading back home.  South Africa is really an incredibly beautiful place.  Oh and by the way, use their train system , the Gautrain, it really is clean and efficient. Emily’s blog was




April: Michael did some second visits to colleges in April and decided on University of Dayton!  Lyndon finally got to see it too.Catherine and Emily turned 21. I can’t believe how time flies.  We went down to have dinner with Catherine in NYC. Jennifer went with us too.

May: Lyndon had his work event in West Palm Beach this year. Our activities included kayaking the back waters, biking, and Lyndon did the deep sea fishing. They caught a huge fish. They brought the fish they caught back to the hotel and the chef cooked it for us. There were about 20 people at least eating the fish they caught. The chef prepared it 4 different ways. SO DELICIOUS. Lyndon and I also went to Hong Kong for a trip to look at apartments and see different areas to live in.  It makes it feel so real that we are going to move to HK.  Michael went to prom with a friend, Elena Arias Camison. They were funny because they are family friends and have know each other forever, so it was very casual.

June: What an exciting month! Michael graduated from High School.  Marlene , Jack and Dad came up for it. The day before graduation Sarah got her acceptance to Tulane School of Medicine so we had lots to celebrate. Sarah finished her year of work with City Year so I went down to NYC for their “graduation”.  On June 26 we had family day. Emily got back from South Africa on that day but had to leave for NY the next day to start her internship so we had a very limited time all together.

July:  Michael left for Nicaragua on July 2 for three weeks. Sarah and I went to Florida July 3  to celebrate Karen’s birthday. Lyndon continued back and forth to HK and NYC.  Catherine was holding down the fort in Avon.  We saw Coldplay in concert at Met Life Stadium on July 17 with the Strassners and David Magrini. Michael returned July 23 no worse for wear. He did lose a lot of weight though.  Sarah and I left on July 26 for our long drive to New Orleans.  We stopped in Birmingham to stay the night with Marlene and Jack. The next few days were spent putting together IKEA furniture.  I got really good with the screw driver and hammer.  When we first arrived in stifling hot New Orleans, Sarah’s AC in the apartment was not working. We had to get that fixed right away.  She had orientation and her white coat ceremony on July 31.  Lyndon was able to be there but had to leave right away to return to NYC then HK.  I don’t know how he does it.

August: Sarah started Med School on August 1! What a great day for her. Michael and I  left on the 18th to drive to Dayton. Lyndon was just getting back from HK so flew to Dayton to meet us. He had orientation that weekend but we moved him into his dorm, Marycrest.  It was funny that he was in the middle section of Marycrest (649)  I was in the middle section (557?)  .  Meanwhile Catherine and Emily were getting things ready to move into their apartment in the Bronx ( really right across the street from campus). I can’t even count how many trips we made to Fordham to move them in.

September:  Ok so they all are off to school and I now have to concentrate in moving to HK.  I went out the 6th – 18th.  We looked at more apartments again. Narrowing it down a little more than before.  I did some exploring on my own while Lyndon was at work. On the 22nd Catherine, Emily, Haley and I went to see Adele! She was incredible.  The next day Jennifer and I went to an Acoustic Café at the Russian Lady in Hartford and saw the XAmbassadors. (Great!)  While there Jennifer noticed that one of the Bachelorette contestants was there. I forget his name but will look and update later.

October: Octber 1 – 10 I went back to HK. Michael went home with a friend to Nashville on his Oct break.  We celebrated the last Fordham Family Weekend with the girls and their friends’ families. It has always been a great weekend whether or not the weather cooperated.  It was cold and rainy again this year but great food and friends.

November: We got to celebrate the first Dayton Family Weekend the 4th – the 6th.  I was the only one who could go but had a great time visiting with Michael and old and new friends. Michael went to his first UD Flyers basketball game on Friday night with Carla, Maryn and her friend.  We ran the 5K Saturday morning then went to the football game.  On Sunday we went to the family mass and ran into my friend from Atlanta, Mary Twiner. Her son goes to UD as well. Small world.  We were all very excited to have everyone at home for Thanksgiving. Unfortunately I had the stomach flu on Thanksgiving and did not get to run the Manchester road race with everyone. The time together was too short but so glad we had them all at home. MJ had to leave on the 29th to start her trek to Hong Kong. I left on Dec 30th.

December: I arrived in Hong Kong on Dec 1 and MJ arrived on Dec 2.  It was great to finally arrive at the apartment , even though Lyndon was not there until the next day.  Lyndon had signed us up for the church BBQ the first sunday being there. We met some people that he works with at church.  Hiking is a great pastime here and we attempted our first hike.  Oh my! It was tough. Lots of steps and very long. I think I am usually not a complainer about exercise but at one point I was tired, knees hurting, out of breath, and complaining! The upside was that the views were beautiful. I was adjusting to life in HK, trying to figure out where to get things, buying necessities, exercising, etc before the kids arrived. They were all supposed to arrive together on Dec 18 but that was not what actually happened. To make a very long story short, the weather did not cooperate. Sarah, who had the tightest connection, was the only one who made it.  Michael’s flight had battery issues along with weather and Catherine and Emily had de-icing issues. They all three missed their Dallas connection.  They were rerouted to Los Angeles so actually had a few hours to see Julie and her family.  They arrived the next day but their luggage did not.  After days of calling American Airlines, it finally arrived on Friday Dec 23.  The next day we were heading to India so just in time. While they were here in HK we went shopping, hiked the dragons back, went to the Big Buddha, went to the Tai O fishing village,Stanley Market, Light show , had a family picture taken and ate lots of great food.  Then we went to India. Did I say food?  Yes, lots of eating of great Indian food. We left Christmas eve and arrived early Christmas morning.  We visited with many family and friends. Since Sarah is training for the half marathon, we went running at Kabban Park several days. A day trip to Mysore was an interesting outing. It was so funny how people wanted selfies taken with the kids.   I think our favorite stop was at the devaraja market . It was full of colors, fruits, vegetables and flowers. For New Year’s Eve Percy took us to the Bangalore Club for their New Year’s Eve party. It was definitely something different for us.

January:  We left to head back to HK on January 2 ( early morning). Sarah had to leave that same afternoon. Guess whose luggage did not make it to NO? Yep they lost Sarah’s. It took 2 days for her to get hers.  My dad was on his way to a cruise so he came thru HK with Paula.  We had them over for brunch, walked around Repulse Bay and Stanley then  took them  out to dinner. We went to Le Garcon Saigon for Lyndon’s birthday . It was very enjoyable. I would recommend it highly.  The next day we took them to the Peak.  It was very windy and cloudy at the top but beautiful the  rest of the day.  We had a few more days with the kids so managed to do a little more sight seeing.  We went to the 10000 Buddha Monastery.  Thousands of gold buddhas! Catherine’s favorite thing to do was sitting on the deck absorbing the sunshine.They all left on Jan 8. So sad but I knew the time would come. And finally, once again…..lost luggage. I can’t believe how unlucky we have been with luggage.    Catherine, Emily and Michael spent a few more days in CT visiting with friends before they headed back to school.  I have been sick with bronchitis but am on the upswing.  Lyndon will be travelling this upcoming week and much more through the next few weeks.  I will update when I get to travel with him or if we do any more fun hikes or outings.











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