Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Thank you for commenting! That post was my second most commented-on post, sweet. It's always nice to see that friends are still reading my blog.

As I said, if I decide to do this haircut it will wait until we are home (January 17) but I'm feeling like chickening out again! We'll just have to see.

On an unrelated note, I can't believe Christmas is next week and I will be in Vietnam for it. Wild! It hasn't felt much like Christmas but then it decided to snow today in Shanghai and I am suddenly in the mood for hot chocolate.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and New Years!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

For Your Consideration

A couple months ago I got the itch to cut my hair real short but I chickened out. This was largely due to the fact that I do not trust anyone here to do this cut but also just because I am nervous about it. I am getting the itch again. If I decide to go through with this it will have to wait until I am home which will give me ample time to chicken out again.

I am considering something like this. Not the color, just the cut. Could I pull off a do like this? I will take your silence as a "no."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Here's to Three Years

It has been three blissful years since I married Chris. I often say, "marrying Chris was the easiest decision I ever made," and it was also the best.

Happy anniversary babe, and if you ever wonder how much I love you just remember that I moved to China for you and you'll know it's a lot.

You are THE BEST!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Philippines, Finally

The Philippines were wonderful and I am finally making time to document just how wonderful. For your viewing pleasure I have created some picture collages to illustrate to fabulousness that is the Philippines.

In Transit:
-Plane to Manila (a dump of a place) and spent a day there
-Went to see Legend of the Guardians in 3D
-Took a tiny plane to a tiny airport in Palawan
-Took a tiny boat to our resort: Club Paradise

Club Paradise (4 days):
-I got certified for diving
-Island hopping
-Lots of relaxing, snorkeling, and diving
-We were also serenaded every night at dinner by the resort band

Scuba Diving:
-Coolest thing = Cuttlefish (look them up)
-Sea turtles
-Amazing tropical fish

El Rio Y Mar (3 days):
-More amazing island hopping, snorkeling, and diving
-Some seriously huge geckos in our room

Both resorts we stayed at were on very small islands and the resort was the only thing on them. It was an incredible trip filled with sun, swimming, relaxing, and family.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Karaoke in the Park

When my parents were here we took a walk in one of the parks here and were lucky enough to hear the local talent belting out some tunes. My favorite part is the guy's friend in the background trying to help him keep time.

This is just a short clip of what lasted several minutes.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

My Mom is a Winner

Here in Shanghai when you buy something you can ask for the official receipt, it's called the fapiao. On this fapiao there is a little area you can scratch off and potentially win some cash-money. I get really excited to scratch off the silver coating but I have never won anything but my mom has the magic touch! We went out to dinner and she won 20 RMB off the receipt. The owner of the place said he had never seen anyone win in his four years of owning the place.

Way to go mom!

20 RMB = $2.99 USD

Monday, November 1, 2010

Picture of the Day

My mom snagged this picture while we were at one of the markets in Shanghai. I was bargaining with the shop owner and this was my dad's response to his asking price.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Philippines Teaser

I realize we have been home from the Philippines for several weeks now and I haven't blogged about it. I am in the process of getting all the pictures together but just to get you excited here is a little taste of what to expect.

This is my lovely husband trying out a special snorkel mask with ear cups to keep the water out of his poor infected ears.

He is irresistible.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wish List

Every few months I get a bad case of the "I hate everything I own" blues. I can't shop to my heart's content and remedy the situation so I just have to wait it out until the storm passes. I typically end up surfing the web and making wish lists of things I like; this may just fuel the fire but I also feel a little better afterward.

I've adopted the belief that my wardrobe can be way more interesting if I just invest in accessories instead of entirely new ensembles IE jewelry, scarves, belts, and hats. So here are some things I've been wishing for.

These next two aren't really accessories but I am still wishing I had some.

I know this has nothing to do with Shanghai but I promise I will have something interesting to post soon as we are going to the Philippines with some of Chris's family in a couple days!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Callings and The Bund

Quickly, I just want to say that Chris and I both got callings in our branch here and guess what? They are the exact same callings we had in our LA ward. I am teaching Sunbeams and Chris is teaching the Young Men and we are really happy about it.

A couple weekends ago we went to The Bund. FYI: Shanghai is split in two parts by the Yellow River and The Bund is the street that faces the river on our side of town. It's a fun place to walk around for the cool colonial architecture and fabulous view across the river (Pudong).


The Bund

Did you know there are A LOT of people in China? Yeah, well there are and it is really fun when you get to walk in a river of Chinese people (see below). The roads to get back to the subway were packed with people and, to make it even more exciting, there were buses and cars trying to drive on the same road. It's also really hot and humid, yummy.

Here is a picture of me just in case you miss my face.

I've adopted the Chinese ways and like to throw up a peace sign for pictures.

And here is a picture of Chris just because he is cute.

PS - Can everyone see my blog header ok?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sanya, Hainan Company Retreat

I'm sure some of you are disappointed that I haven't been blogging more regularly seeing as we are in China and probably doing some cool things. But, the truth is that most of the time life is just normal and we are saving all the "cool things" for when we have visitors. We did take a great trip last weekend to Hainan so I thought I would blog about it.

The LEK office in Shanghai does a mandatory retreat every year and we happened to be here for it and I am so glad because it was awesome! Way better than any party the LA office throws (sorry LA LEKers). Everyone from the office took a weekend trip to Hainan, which is a little island south of Hong Kong and similar to Hawaii. The hotel was gorgeous and so was the scenery.

Here we are riding the shuttle from the airport to the hotel. Riding through the towns you could tell they are very rundown but the hotel had everything we needed so there wasn't really a reason to venture out.

There were some seriously heavy rains while we were there but the weather was still warm and we didn't mind it so much.

AND, we took a little trip to the local hospital while we were there. Our first night there Chris woke me up at 4am saying he had been having some serious stomach pains for the last few hours. He decided to see if the pain would subside on its own but in the morning he wasn't feeling any better. We found out there was a nurse on staff at the hotel so she came along with a translator to check him out. We thought it was his appendix and our biggest fear was that it would burst but after some poking and prodding the nurse said it wasn't the appendix and probably not serious but suggested we still go to the hospital.

The hotel generously provided another employee to come with us to the hospital and we're so glad they did because there is no way we could have figured this place out on our own. It's hard to tell in this picture but the hospital was ummmm, not clean, I'll just say that. And not private either; in this room where Chris was examined there were at least 5 other people just waiting their turn.

This doctor also agreed that it wasn't his appendix but rather his intestine was inflamed and he suggested an infusion. They LOVE infusions at this place! When we walked upstairs there were rooms full of people hooked up to IV's just hanging out getting medicated. We weren't comfortable with this suggestion and we requested pills instead. Chris was feeling much better by the time we left the hospital but the real magic happened when we got back to the hotel and Chris saw a soccer ball. He started playing soccer as if he hadn't been in any sort of pain for the last 12 hours...strange how that happened.

Thankfully, we got to enjoy the rest of our trip without anymore hiccups. It was fabulous and I'm ready for another vacation like that.

So here is a weird China thing. We tried to watch some TV while it was raining and discovered that the government had canceled entertainment for the day in memory of those killed by the mudslide. The mudslide was a tragic event but it was still strange to us that the government had the power to cancel TV.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Everyone, I would like to introduce you to Gus, our tiny new addition. Getting a cat was not part of our China plan so let me explain how this tiny guy came into our lives.

On Tuesday night Chris and I were walking home from dinner when we saw this tiny kitty run from one bush to another. I have a MAJOR soft-spot for animals so I immediately tried to catch him but to no avail. My heart ached as we walked away and I could hear his tiny cries. Wednesday night when I was walking to meet Chris for dinner I heard a kitty meowing right in the same area as the night before. I thought this must be fate and set out to rescue him.

He was hiding in a long stretch of bushes along a busy street and I began crawling around in the dark trying to find him. I spotted him several times but couldn't catch him and people were staring but I didn't care. I soon had a group of people helping me catch him and we finally succeeded! I think most of them were so helpful because they thought it was my own cat I had lost instead of a stray. Anyways, he was terrified and clawed/bit my hand pretty good until I put him in my purse and carried him to the pet shop around the corner. Seriously, it is right around the corner from where I found him and from where we live, how fortuitous! Chris left work to help me at the pet shop and after a flea bath and buying a few essentials we took the kitty home.

He is a major scaredy cat but we are warming him up to us slowly. The petshop people said he can't be more than 2 months old but there is no way to know for sure.

I'm glad to have a little friend with me in China.
Welcome to the family little Gus.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Stroll Through the Park

Last Saturday we went to Century Park with Deborah and Stephen Skokos and Jodi and Taylor Sparks. It is a lovely park and rather large! It made me feel like I wasn't in Shanghai and I am great with that. We rented bikes and separated into groups to ride around and see the sites.

The girl bike was significantly slower so the boys quickly pulled ahead but about 10 minutes into the ride we caught up due to a flat tire on the boy's bike. They claim it happened while riding on the designated road but I have my suspicions since we saw them riding on some landscaping a few minutes prior.

Since it was a hot day and walking the bike back to the rental place seemed like an insurmountable task we lent our bike to the boys so they could bring it back like this.

Once they exchanged the bike the ladies wanted to have a try on the three-seater and we took off without looking back. The three-seater was way better than the side-by-side one! Sorry fellas for leaving you in the dust.

Part of the park had a water fountain you could run around in and it wasn't a surprise that the boys wanted to have a go.

Unfortunately the fun had to end in bloodshed after Taylor did a nosedive and sliced his chin open. The split chin resulted in a several hour adventure trying to use superglue to fix it. We have some pretty graphic pictures but I refrained from posting them except this one. This was taken mid-fiasco when superglue and paper towel made contact. And here is a link to Taylor and Jodi's blog in case you want to take a closer look at the wound.

The superglue actually worked in the end and we all had a great time at the park!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Yuyuan, Lotus Garden, Acrobats, and Game Night

We have actually done a few fun things! Last weekend we walked around Yuyuan which has a bunch of shops and a garden. Since it was night we skipped the garden but we walked around the shops and took some pictures with Haibao. He is the character created for The World Expo and he is everywhere here!

I am so grateful there are actually a few ladies here that I have become friends with and we have done several lunch dates. On Thursday a couple of us had lunch and attempted to see the Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum but it's closed for a few weeks. Whoops. But it was in a nice area with a lotus garden so we took a few pictures.

On Friday we went to see the Shanghai Acrobats with Jeremy and Mallory and it was pretty sweet! It was a little like Cirque but shorter and the acrobatics were more impressive. Fun!

Saturday night we hosted a little game night. I know, we love our games. We had a blast with everyone and I will be so sad when these people head back to the states.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Optimus Prime

Those of you that are familiar with Transformers may be wondering why I would be blogging about such a thing. But just look at the similarities in these two pictures..

Optimus Prime Me

Do you see it?
Take a closer look at what my new swim cap has written on the side.

Now you must see it!

Our apartment complex here has a pretty sweet clubhouse including karaoke rooms, a gym, squash courts, billiards, ping-pong, and a giant lap pool. Swimming sounds like a dream in the hot and humid weather here so I have decided to add it to my workout regimen. The rules for pool usage are written in Chinese but they have kindly included pictures for us foreigners and I can at least gather that a swim cap is required; hence the new Optimus Prime swim cap.

I was at the supermarket today and I thought I should at least check what they had in the swimming department and it was slim-pickins' as far as caps go. But I have no idea where a sporting goods store is and I don't want to spend a lot of money so I grabbed myself this little Optimus Prime beauty of a cap. I'm pretty pleased with my purchase.

PS - I know the picture of me is pretty great with just the swim cap and goggles but for some reason the gold chain I am sporting makes it ten times cooler.