Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Happy Easter friends.
I wish the world was like the picture above hugs and teamwork no matter the color of your fur! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

China Lite (Shanghai)

Thursday March 12th was our first full day in Shanghai and it was a whirlwind of activity. We headed to Starbucks first for a taste of home plus a little China twist.  We had coffee and Red Bean Scones plus cheesy bread. Yum!

First stop, the wet market to see China's fresh foods and get a behind the scenes look at shopping in Shanghai.

All types of seasonings were on displayed, along with some dried fish and tiny shrimp.

The meat was openly displayed and evidently chicken feet, pigs feet, and chickens with their heads still on are all the rage!

 Dozens of kinds of rice which is weird because we were served very little rice while in China. 
It is considered a filler food and bad manners to serve it first as you should serve the "good" dishes first. 

All manner and types of vegetables, some familiar and some not so much.

Next off to a yummy lunch with drinks at Gingers by the Park. Kelsey had some yummy soup. We sat outside of the balcony as it was a lovely warm day. We had drinks with lunch and ended with dessert and tea/coffee.

Next on the agenda......Jing An Temple in Shanghai.....

This is the tower where you toss your coin up to make a wish...the higher your coin lands on the tower the closer it is to heaven and the more likely it is to come true.

We bought some incense to light and send our wishes to heaven....

 You place it on the alter...I call it an alter....I'm not sure what they call it.

This was a lovely temple with many rooms containing statues and kneeling places for meditation and prayer. We walked around for awhile and then headed to Yu Garden, another famous place in Shanghai.

Yu Garden nestled in the busy city of Shanghai is a place of beauty and quiet reflection. I loved the little trees, fish and rocks.

After Yu Garden we walked through a city market street. It was bustling with people, filled with the aromas of street vendors and colorful lanterns. We bought a lemon custard tart and also an onion pancake, both were yummy.

Street view and onion pancake

 Next up....we planned to walk along the bund while it was lite up at night but alas we ended up enjoying the view while having drinks and relaxing at a bar on the top of the Hyatt....appropriately called The Vue. So much fun and the view was breath taking,

This is an actual photo Kelsey took. It was a feast for the eyes and I kept looking and looking hardly believing it was real.

We had drinks with ice cube lights in them, so yummy and pretty too. 

Best of all the comfy patio sofa to lounge on while enjoying it all. A nice rest for our sore feet. We sat with our feet in the hot tub for a bit too and met a new friend, a young flight attendant from Swiss Air.

                                                               What a fun fun evening!

                                   That beautiful view was the best ending to a wonderful day!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Leaving on a Jet Plane (China)

We arrived at Lambert Airport well ahead of our scheduled flight to Chicago. As we were checking our bags, the clerk asked us if we were flying to China via Chicago to which we answered yes. She looked at us oddly,

"Aww yeah, you aren't flying out of Chicago today."

I just stared at her like "what the heck."

Evidently, unbeknownst to us, Chicago was getting eight inches of snow and therefore all flights out of O'Hare International Airport were cancelled. Panic (Ok, just for a second) Then we were rerouted to San Fransisco.Thus begun the long long trip to Shanghai China.

The flight to California was an hour later than our original flight to Chicago and we had a slightly longer layover there thus making our arrival in Shanghai a bit later than expected. Thanks to Facebook I was able to relay our change in plans to Rhonda and all was right with the world again!

Even though it was early afternoon our time the flight attendants preceded to feed us then turned off all the lights, put on a movie and basically told us to shut the window blinds and go to sleep. But not before we got our first taste of China. Green Tea Gelato....I didn't think it was all that great but had I known the other desserts we would encounter on the trip I would have appreciated it more!

 When we arrived (like 12 hours later but a full day later due to international date line) it was much easier navigating the airport than I thought it would be. We made it through the doors and there was Rhonda (a sight for sore eyes) and her driver Evan. We hopped in the car and he took us to a local noodle place that he had suggested, Boy was he right! The noodles were delicious (that is after I managed to get them onto those darn chopsticks!

We were super tired but it was so great talking with Rhonda. She is a FABULOUS host and tour guide. A real wealth of information and it makes seeing the local sights so much more interesting because we got a real inside look into the city.

Our first advice from Rhonda was to rest our chopsticks on our bowl rather than just stick them in the bowl/food. Evidently doing so means "death" and is considered bad luck. Who knew!  As we would come to discover there is a lot of focus on wishes and luck in the Chinese culture. (They probably need it to maneuver those darn chopsticks)

We headed to Rhonda's house in the largest city in the world, home to 24 million documented people, and that's not counting all the undocumented people, of which there are plenty. Evidently if you live in any other area of China you are not allowed to travel freely and live wherever you want, therefore many come to Shanghai to work but they are not really allowed to have homes or cars while in the city. Many of these undocumented workers live in makeshift homes. I stared out the car window at high rise after high rise, apartments for millions and millions of people.


They all seem the same...beige or gray....the city landscape is not colorful at all....

The only tidbits of color are the pieces of laundry hung out to dry on the balconies or on rods outside the windows.

I feel asleep quickly but found myself wide awake at 3:00 am waiting for a full day of adventure in this ancient country. 

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Thursday March 12th was our first full day in Shanghai and it was a whirlwind of activity. We headed to Starbucks first for a taste of home ...