Thursday, November 29, 2007
My Dad loves kids and he fell in love with this little one. This is one of Xiao Yang's nephews.
Angus feeling very comfortable at the Yang's place.
Da Yang is one of the best cooks we know in China. We love an invitation to eat her food.
Da Yang and Xiao Yang, they are cousins on their fathers side.
Gemma getting ready for the feast!
A little maj jong action for Gemma and Angus.
Liu Bin always enjoys our days out to the Yang's house. Here he is playing maj jong.
Dad relaxing outside with the old ladies.
Da Yang, her husband and daughter Bi Yang. Gemma and Angus LOVE Bi Yang!
We finally had the pleasure of meeting one of Xiao Yang's brothers that we had never met before because he was always working. Here is in the Yang siblings with their mother. Their father spends most of his time at home because he had a stroke years ago and is confined to the house. Xiao Yang is the oldest of the lot.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Our imported American turkey.
This year we celebrated Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving! The last couple of years we have had kind of different Thanksgiving celebrations, so it was very nice to be at home and cooking our traditional dishes. I was also very happy to have my Dad with us and to cook for him. We had some special guests too! Our friend Carin from South Africa joined us for her very first Thanksgiving dinner and AJ, Maggie and George Pill joined us while Cyndi was back in the U.S. preparing to have her 3rd baby.
Here we are at the table.
The food on the table.
I do really miss Thanksgiving in the U.S. I love that I could choose what kind of turkey I buy and they type of bread I use in my stuffing. I could buy fresh cranberries!!! Having Thanksgiving in China however pushed me to make something from scratch that I would ordinarily buy. I made homemade whole wheat dinner rolls from scratch and I have to say they were quite tasty. It even encouraged my Dad to whip up some when he returned to Nebraska.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
My Dad, Jonny and I with the Marines that work at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu.
Last Saturday we had the pleasure of attending the U.S. Marine Corps Ball for the 3rd year in Chengdu. My Dad was really excited to go because he was in the Air Force and he enjoys all things military (with the exception of wars). Here are a few photos from the evening.
Dad and Jonny getting ready for dinner.
This year the Ball was at the Crowne Plaza in downtown Chengdu. I usually don't get too excited for the food at these things because they Chinafy Western food, but I have to say the food was excellent that evening. They even imported U.S. sirloins for the meal.
Me and Isabel
Here are the Marines leaving the room after their performance.
David back in the 'Du.
Friday, November 23, 2007
In the afternoon I had a spa voucher to the Shangri-la Chi Spa for a Chi Balance Treatment. The spa is inside the Shangri-la Hotel, is gorgeous and decorated beautifully with a Tibetan theme. I have actually never been to such a beautifully decorated spa in my life. I had a nice foot bath followed by a shower.
We had dinner reservation at 6:30 pm and we had invited a few friends to dinner including our friends Carin and Barry Jones and Catherine Platt and Ethan Golding and the most special guest my Dad. We ate at my favorite restaurant in town called Tandoor. I think this is my most favorite Indian restaurant in the world! We had a beautiful spread with all of my favorite dishes. I eat there so frequently the guys that work there know exactly what I like. Jonny also got a cake for me which was a nice touch.
After dinner we joined up with a bunch of our friends who put together a rickshaw pub crawl they named "Pimp my Rickshaw". Here are a few photos of the night.
Here I am pimpin' up my rickshaw.
Jonny and me sharing a rickshaw for a minute although we were on separate teams. Notice the balloons!!!
Our friends Barry and Carin.
Jonny's other love AJ!
Once again things went horribly wrong with our pub crawl. The rickshaw drivers ran up a 960 rmb dinner tab at one of the restaurants along the way and expected us to pay. It is almost virtually impossible to do something like this and we ended up parting ways with them and they had to pay the bill.
We ended up taking taxis to some of our other hang outs, but everywhere was to loud and smoky. We ended up having shao kao outside of Cafe Paname and it was delicious! Too bad it was almost 3 am!!!
Yummy, shao kao!!!
It was a great birthday and I am looking forward to my 40th in a couple years!
Monday, November 19, 2007
On Monday we woke up to dreary weather. It was raining in Beijing and it looked like our trip to the wall was going to be quite wet. We didn't let a little rain get us down and we headed to the wall for a day of hiking. We went to Mutianyu because it is my favorite place by Beijing to see the wall plus it doesn't hurt that there is a fabulous restaurant in the Mutianyu Village.
Here are some snapshots of our hike.
Gemma and Dad enjoying their first trip to the Wall.
You can tell that the day we were at the Wall there was quite a lot of pollution in the air. The fall colors were quite beautiful though.
Gemma really enjoyed her visit to the Wall. Here she is posing for one of the many photos I took of her that day.
My favorite picture of the day.
We had the pleasure of taking the toboggan to the bottom of the Wall. Gemma was a bit nervous about going down this way, but we were able to go together. I have never heard Gemma laugh so hard! I thought I would share the video so you can hear for yourselves! (Luckily they just allowed YouTube back in China!)
Gemma sleeping after her hike.
When we returned from the Wall we did a little more shopping at the Silk Market. We were also able to go see the Chinese acrobats at the Chaoyang Theatre. Unfortunately both my Dad and I forgot our cameras, so no pictures. It was the highlight of Gemma's trip to Beijing and I now think she wants to be an acrobat!
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Our second attempt to go to the Forbidden City was a success, but our attempt to go to the Mao masoleum failed. There were about 500 Chinese people lined up to go in and pay their respects to the former leader of China and it was also freezing, so much to my dad's chagrin we gave it a miss. The Forbidden City is one of my favorite sight seeing spots in China. I believe it was one of my Dad's also. Here are some of our photos of our day.
Dad and Gemma with the gorgeous red doors.
One of my favorite pictures of red doors.
Here are some pictures of the renovation done to the Forbidden City in preparation for the Beijing Olympics.
Here we are in the Forbidden City! Don't we look cold! Gemma and I are sporting our new Beijing Olympic hats we bought from the street vender for 15 rmb for two ($2)!
While we were going to the Forbidden City I called our friend Owen and we had the pleasure of him and Xavier joining us for lunch. We went to one of the most famous Beijing Duck restaurants in Beijing called Li Qun's Kao Ya.
Here is my Dad giving the Beijing Duck a try. Beijing Duck consists of sliced roast duck which you put on a thin pancake with cucumbers, some type of onion that is similar to a green onion, and house sauce. It is absolutely delicious!!!
Here is all of the food we ordered. We had a set menu with lots of different dishes.
After our lunch Owen and Xavier took us to the airport to go back to Chengdu. Here is a picture of Gemma and Xavier before we went back to the 'Du.