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MONDAY, JANUARY 22, 2007 -- We're back finally with reports & pics from December. It's taken me forever to edit the zillions of digicam images that Marti & I accumulated in just a few weeks. Remember when photos came in film rolls of 24, 36 or 64 snapshots? I'm starting to believe that those were the good old days.

In any event, below you'll find a collection of pictures from Marti's business trip to Hong Kong with her introductory comments. Then there's a slide show of more December adventures. Enjoy!

What luck: British Telecom sent me on a business trip to Hong Kong! This was my first visit to Asia since I was born in Tokyo and left at the age of 7 months. I arrived on Saturday 2 December and checked into my 14th-floor hotel room with a view of Victoria Harbor and Kowloon. The Grey Line tour of Hong Kong Island that I took that afternoon took me to the Man Mo temple, Victoria Peak to see the skyline from the highest point, Aberdeen fishing village -- where the fishing families live on sampans near the world's largest floating restaurant -- the TSL jewelry factory and Stanley Market, where I did some Christmas shopping. My Hong Kong colleagues said I'd gone to places they'd never been!

I was surprised at the number of Western brands I saw, not just the luxury ones like Louis Vuitton that I expected but such mundane ones as Burger King and 7-11. The symbol of Hong Kong -- and the image on the Starbuck's souvenir mug (!) -- is the pink camellia.

I tried dim sum Saturday night and dined in a seafood restaurant on Sunday, where I got to see some other customers pick out their main course from the aquarium.

Monday I worked at the BT office, then my colleague Simon Chau and his lovely wife Shirley took me out for a delicious supper in an industrial neighborhood and shopping in the Ladies' Street night market.

Tuesday Simon and I escorted BT senior managers at the ITU Telecom World conference. That evening we participated in the BT VIP Forum on the 21st Century Network, the event we had been preparing for months and the reason for my trip -- a major success, I'm happy to say.

When I left at the end of the workday on Wednesday, I looked forward to my reunion with Phil in Paris, but I was a little sad to have to leave such a fabulous city. I hope we get to go together one of these days.

Here's a montage of photos from my trip . . .

Our Christmas season got off to a rollicking start with Paris visits by pals from Chicago & Hilton Head . . . then Marti & I were off to Montreal, where we chilled in a luxe suite in the Old Quarter & saw longtime friends . . . we drove into New York, stayed overnight with my Aunt Katie near Lake George, continued on to Charlottesville VA . . . there we helped Marti's dad celebrate his 85th birthday with his gang & enjoyed an early Christmas . . . next stop was Washington DC, where our friends Linda & Shujaat hooked us up with the four-room Senate suite at the Capital Hilton . . . we gathered more than two dozen of our DC-area buds for a Sunday brunch downtown . . . that night we hosted a few folks at an after party at our swank digs . . . then it was off to Manhattan where we hung out with our NYC krew, went to Radio City Musical Hall for the Christmas Spectacular, saw the exhibition of Spanish painters at the Guggenheim & ate ourselves silly everywhere from the Galaxy Diner to Nobu 57 . . . back to Montreal for a hockey game with our homies & a killer smoked meat sandwich just before our flight home to Paris . . . Marti & I went to church at the American Cathedral on Christmas Eve, then enjoyed a relaxing (thank goodness) Christmas Day dinner with fellow American expats Des & Mike . . . we were thrilled to be able to get together with so many of our longtime friends in December . . . I can't namecheck each of you here, but you're most likely in the photos below . . . you all look so marvelous . . . check yourselves out!

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