Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Happy National Day!

National Day (October 1) kicks off a week long holiday in China. Mark even had a few days off, which was great. Here's what we did...

[Side note: You'll notice that Mark isn't in very many pictures. That's cause I lost our small camera, which I used to take pictures and videos from these days, and also our trip to Macau. We are very sad.]

On Friday, we went to the Shenzhen Safari Park (aka the zoo). It was surprisingly fun. And much nicer than we expected. I learned that Chinese people can speak monkey. I had a video to prove it but it's on the lost camera :( So you'll just have to take my word for it.When it is hot (which it always is, in Shenz
hen) the guys walk around with their shirts pulled up. They also go to the bathroom outside. And I'm not talking pee. Stay classy, China.
Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Gotta love the "En
glish"I'm a celebrity!On Saturday, we went to Hong Kong. We had planned to ride the junk boat, but decided to save some cash and ride the Star Ferry instead (and we're glad we did cause it was really windy so the sails were down, and the junk didn't even look that cool). I had planned a busy day, visiting a few different tourist places, but we pretty much scrapped that and decided to visit Stanley Market, on the south-side of Hong Kong Island. This part of the island is absolutely gorgeous. Definitely the prettiest scenery we've seen in China. The taxi ride there was so beautiful and we had a fun time wandering around.The Junk BoatOn Tuesday, we went to Hong Kong again. We had to go meet with a colleague of Mark's dad, and we also visited the Nan Lian Garden (one of my favorite places) and got to go to the temple.
Empty Metro...a rare sight.

Monday, September 27, 2010

China - Finally!

Did I mention we're in China? I know you're all dying to see pictures and hear more about it, so I'll just jump right in. We've been here for about 2 months now and will actually be wrapping the trip up in just a few more weeks. It's been a blast so far. My favorite things are: the hotel staff (they are super friendly and I love being called Mrs. Mark, although most of them know my name now), everyone smiling at me and saying "Hello!", strangers taking pictures of me, babies and their crazy crotch-less pants, the amazing temples/gardens/history that we've seen, and just getting to see a place that is SO foreign to me. My least favorite things are: the squatter toilets, people hocking loogies all the time, people peeing (and occasionally pooping) in public all over the place, weird guys who just stare at me, the complete lack of personal space, smoking (everyone smokes, everywhere...it's very hard to breathe here), and spending most of my days alone. I'm pretty much by myself all day, every day (except for the weekends). I had a friend that I was able to hang out with for the first month or so, but she's back in the States now, so it's just me. I'll make plans everyday so I can get out and see everything I want to here in Shenzhen. Yes, somedays the plan is lay by the pool, but most days it's a bit more exciting.
But then again, sometimes I'll just walk down the street to Walmart. It's about a 15 minute walk, or just 1 metro stop away from our hotel. A week or so ago, when I last went, I took a few pictures. Enjoy.I love the flavors...in case you can't read the small print, these are Little Tomato Flavor, Lemon Tea Flavor and Breezy Blueberry Flavor. I also like how they're "Cool & Refreshing".And here we have BBQ Steak, Shrimp and Aromatic Crispy ChickenThe ever popular "Intense and Stimulating" Numb and Spicy Hot Pot FlavorDragon FruitDried fish...smells as good as it looks.I'll take the eel head, thanks.Rice cookersWant to get a new mattress?Love this aisle
...so random.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Summer Road Trip - The End

After leaving Niagara Falls, we started the drive home. Although it was a long drive, it really wasn't that bad. Until the tire started unraveling. But that didn't happen until we were about an hour from home, so that's good. Too bad it was when I was driving!
Anyway, we left Niagara and drove for a few hours that night. We stopped - somewhere in New York - and had some very yummy BBQ for dinner, and then stayed the night in The-Middle-
of-Nowhere, Ohio. The next morning, we realized we weren't too far from Kirtland, so we made a quick stop there. (Side note: we met a fam with 4 kids at the Kirtland Temple that was in the midst of a 2 month road trip...and I thought our trip was big!) Then Mark decided he wanted to swing by to see his sister (Nashville isn't really on the way, but whatev) so we ended up staying there for the night. On the 4th of July, we had to get up really early, so we could make it to Mark's parents for a late lunch (this is when the tire gave up...it put us a little behind schedule, but oh well). We were really glad to have Monday to relax, since when Mark returned to work on Tuesday, it became all about China!
So for a quick trip recap...we had an amazing time. Loved every place we went. I am really glad we got to visit so many awesome places together. If you ever want any tips on any of the places we went, just let me know.
And, if you haven't noticed, my "States I Haven't Visited" list (on the right side of the blog) is getting quite short. Now I just need to continue to grow the "Countries I Have Visited" one...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Summer Road Trip - Niagara Falls

After the morning at the CN Tower, we hit up Niagara Falls in the late afternoon. We arrived around 5:00 and were on the Maid of the Mist almost immediately. This was my first time to Niagara and I had a fabulous time. Who doesn't love getting soaked and taking pictures from under a poncho?! If you've never been, I'd highly recommend it. And don't forget your passport - I don't understand why anyone would go all the way here and then stay on the US side. It's WAY more spectacular from the Canada side. Hey, we've gotta give 'em something, right? :) video