Thursday, May 31, 2007

May is the Time For Guests and More Guests

We had no idea that May would be such a great month for coming to Beijing.

On Tuesday night we had dinner with some of Michael's relatives who are in town for about a week. We met his uncle Steve, aunt Nancy, their daughter Katie and her friend Amanda at a lovely private restaurant. They had just arrived in Beijing the day before and were great sports about staying out for dinner so we could spend time visiting.

And then as another great surprise we found out that two of my relatives, a brother and sister, were in town too. Jonathon is teaching down in Xian but came up to Beijing to see his sister Brianne who is taking a class in town. We were able to have dinner with them and Jonathon's friend Kelly tonight. We all came back to our apartment afterwards to talk and hang out and take the picture on the left.

Though she hasn't said anything, we know that Laura is secretly really impressed that we have brought so many family members in just to meet her.
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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A Day at the Great Wall

As may have been mentioned in previous posts, sometimes driving in China is an adventure. On this particular day, the driving adventure was assisted by the fact that not only were the directions incomplete, the road signs would randomly stop providing English subtitles and only give the options at critical turns in Chinese. Normally, when the navigator does not read Chinese, this is a problem. But not today! That's right, in the scant time spent reading and re-reading the woefully inadequate directions, Laura not only managed to memorize 3 of the characters you see in big red paint on the left, she was also able to pick them out on signs rushing past us as we circled the roundabout... again. (Look kids, Big Ben).

But safely and speedily did we indeed get to Mutianyu, our chosen section of the Great Wall. And it was a beautiful day! We were also there early enough that we had the wall almost to ourselves, as you can see by the lack of random strangers in the background.

We even had enough space to enjoy a bit of a snack while relaxing in the shade up there. We enjoyed some lychees, oranges, and a spicy popcorn/nut mix that was created for last Saturday's dinner (and about which we have not yet blogged). The lychees (or litchi) are the green things in Cara's right hand. Apparently their lighter color indicates that they are from the Mauritius family.

The last thing we checked out before leaving the wall was some sign that said "Stalactite Cave". Expecting nothing of the sort, we checked out a small opening at the bottom of the hill and found this!
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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Guests Meeting Guests

It turns out that this is prime time to visit Beijing. Maxine and Jill from my home town were in China staying with a Mary, also from my home town. Just before the two travelers headed home we all got together for lunch.

To the left is Maxine with the fish head from the special Mandarin fish they wanted to try as their last meal.

Below is our whole group: Back row - Cara, Maxine, Laura; Front row - Mary, Jill
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Monday, May 28, 2007

Due to overwhelming viewer demand

Laura has forced me to put up the following picture which she took for just such a purpose. So for your viewing enjoyment: The BellyDweller: Moose, 7.5 months

ps. Point of interest, this picture was actually taken while blogging. Well actually, blogging was interrupted in order to take the pic, but you get the idea.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Laura is Here!

All the way from Florida, this week we have Laura! Here she is giving tummy lovin' to Roxanne (it was hard to capture Roxanne's purrs, but trust us, she was very very happy.)

Since I no longer have that obnoxious work thing to go to, Laura will have a personal guide all week :)

Monday, May 21, 2007

The month of May

Here are the things that are new in our lives:

Had a great visit with my mom and aunt (pictures will be coming eventually - really)

I had my last day of work today (still need to stop in and show folks the growing belly and the little one when she shows up, but no more working hours)

Finished the 5th class out of my 18 class MBA schedule

Was thrown a surprise baby shower by my coworkers (I'm at 7+ months now!)

Expecting our next visitor this Friday!