Hello fellow world travelers,
Friday was a very long day for me. I called in to do my Live radio show The Traveling Eye @ 1am my time in MACAU/11am in Chicago. Needless to say I went to bed immediately afterwards. Joao Rodigues, the Media and Marketing Manager for Macau Government Tourism joined as our special guest.
Saturday morning I woke up with the sun and ready to start a new day fresh and rested. Starting with the most important meal of the day. Breakfast. I love breakfast when I travel internationally because they are always so lavish. Ignoring the omelet bar I went for a Chinese breakfast. Noodle soup made to order with Chinese cabbage and steamed dumplings. Dumplings are like wonderfully wrapped presents. I never know what’s inside, I just bite and enjoy. I have to admit that I became weak for bacon, although I had to ask them to crisp it for me. It’s an American thing.
Our first stop was the Camoes Garden Park, named after “the great Portuguese poet Luis Vaz de Camoes.” Locals gather in the park for their morning exercise, family time and card games. The cards are not your typical cards and I’ll have to get back to you on what they are and what game they were playing. The men and their card games, I have to say card players here are very serious about their game and did not want any interference. I tried to approach them but they gave me such a look that I decided to keep my distance. I even flashed my sweetest smile but that didn’t work either. One gentleman did give me half of a smile, but it was by no means an invitation so I decided to leave them alone. In another part of the park we watched some beautiful senior ladies doing Tai Chi to music. They were very inviting and asked us to join in. I have to say these beautiful senior ladies gave me a run for my money. I tried to follow along as much as I could with their routine. It looks easier than it is. Tai Chi is about having great muscle control, balance and flexibility. The easiest one was a repetitious dance that I have named Chinese Tai Chi Electric Slide. We turned to the side and swung our hips to the right and then to the left, then you turn around and kick your left leg forward, then your right leg forward. You wave your hands left and right then swing your hips to the left then to the right and repeat. The next dance became more challenging. They added a large fan. Along with the Tai Chi movements you flick your wrist to open the fan with a POP. Throughout the process you open and close the fan, move front to back, side to side, forwards and backwards and up and down. At one point my legs were crossed as I knelt down all the way to the ground, then without any assistance from your hands you stand up, all while following the music and continuing on to the next move. These ladies do it so effortlessly, are very limber and in shape. It’s beautiful to watch and a lot of fun to try. This experience makes me want to find a Tai Chi class at home.
After our fabulous Tai Chi we headed to the UNESCO World Heritage Site and Historic Centre of Macau. Boy this place was crowded. The Ruins of St. Paul are perched above the city center at the top of very steep steps. It’s a great vantage point to people watch and get a feel of the city. This part for the city is a great place to stroll and taste the local midday fare. Almond cookies, all sorts of jerky and other delights. A lot of the shops give samples.
These were the highlights of my day. The two things I enjoyed the most.
After lunch at the MGM Grand, some free time to explore and ZAIA, a performance of Cirque du Soleil, we went to the quaint, Michelin recommended Antonio Restaurant. Antonio’s is an authentic Portuguese Restaurant owned by Antonio, who greets each of his diners as if they are old friends. He does special orders; he’ll sit with you and make you feel like you are in his home and did I mention that the food is excellent! It is, along with the history of the restaurant and how Antonio came to Macau. He simply wanted a simpler and stress free life. Our special treat was having Champagne opened with a samurai sword and Antonio making crepe Suzette’s table side. What a fantastic way to end the evening.
Until next time…
Ja’Vonne Harley, Co-Host, The Traveling Eye
President, Advantage International