Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pic of the day!

So now that my big trip has settled down and we are staying put in Shanghai (at least for a week or two!) I thought I would start sharing more about my daily life here.  Fun things I see or hear and new experiences.  Definitely won't be an everyday thing but hopefully I will share more often about what it is like to actually live here and not just about living a jet-setting life.  And don't worry, I will finish updating about my trip also!

Pic of the day:
Pink Ladies?
View on the metro, no they did not all get on together and yes, one is a man.  Lol.

Monday, June 27, 2011


So now that things have settled down from my trip and my parents have gone back to Denver I finally am sitting down to write my blog.  I have been trying to get back to normal life but it takes a lot after being gone or busy for so long.  I have started a new bible study, which I think will be a lot of fun, I have finally caught up on laundry, cleaned out the fridge (there were some funky things in there), cleaned out the pantry, picked up the whole house and been to the grocery store (we were living on saltines and take-out, eek!).  So now I know that you are all very excited to hear about my trip. So here it is!

After a 12 hour flight (all by myself!)  I arrived in London, to my favorite hotel, the Hyatt Churchill.  My flight wasn't so bad because the plane wasn't full and the guy next to me moved after take-off so I had two seats to myself.  My first night in London my mom and I just went out for pizza and a walk and then met my dad and a work friend of his for drinks.  Last time I traveled with my parents we had a nice big suite with a separate room for yours truly.  This time, my dad forgot to ask for a bigger room so I got a cot in the corner and we had a Cooper slumber party.  It was only for one night though because my dad left for Spain for business and my mom and I spent the week together.  We did lots of shopping and sightseeing (let's be honest, it was mostly shopping with sightseeing on our way to another shop).
We of course hit up Harrod's which is amazing!  Even if it causes anxiety when you cannot find your way out again, I mean, is that really such a bad thing? : )
We went to the Tate Modern art museum and saw a seriously amazing exhibit.  It was a young woman who went around the world and documented different families genealogies.  Most family's were important in showing the history of where they came from and many had tragic stories to tell.  It was one of the most creative displays I have seen in a long time.
We also went to the palace and saw a princess exhibit.  They are remodeling so you couldn't take a tour like normal but they had a very abstract historical exhibit of England's princesses (which very sadly did not include Kate).
My mom and I went and saw 2 different musicals, Le Miserable and The Wizard of OZ.  Both I thought were good, the Wizard of OZ is a new musical so they definitely had a few kinks they need to work out (like recasting a few parts but we won't get into that).  The best thing about the Wizard of OZ were all the sweet little girls dressed up like Dorothy.  A few were very scared of the wicked witch, which I fully understand.  She was one of the only ones who was well cast and was very scary.

Another highlight to the London leg of our trip was meeting up with an old friend from college.  She lives in London with her husband and we were able to work it out to meet for a drink and dinner. We were together about 4 hours and we never stopped talking.  Don't you love those nights?  It was so fun.  Maybe I will talk her into guest blogging because she and her husband have had some amazing times living abroad!

So other than that we really just wondered around the city and ate a lot.  Did I mention I had Chipotle??  I can't believe they now have it in London.  Maybe I can write a letter and they will put one in Shanghai!  I don't like talking about it because now I will think about it for the next few days.  Yummm, chipotle.   Like I have mentioned before, the Mexican food here leaves much to be desired.

That is pretty much the highlights, in the middle of our London trip we took the train to Bath for a night but I will talk about that in my next blog!

I unfortunately did not take a whole lot of pics in London, I have been there so many times that it is like, Do I really need another picture of Big Ben?  But I have a ton from Bath and the rest of the trip so I will share those soon!  Enjoy!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Guest Blogger- Sarah Ming #2

So as things are settling down from my big trip and my parents hanging with us in Shanghai for a week, my cousin Sarah agreed to update us again on her summer travels and share a few funny stories from living abroad.  I promise my pics and blogs will be up soon!  Here's Sarah:

Hello all,
Time really does fly, doesn't it?  I am really enjoying my time here but unfortunately I am leaving in just two days.  I have learned during my time here that they really are on a different schedule and have a much different way of life than we do.  We often wake up, do our homework, go to class, sight see, siesta, and then eat a very late dinner.  I have been trying all kinds of different food but I have recently found a sandwich place called Bo de B that is one of my favorite sandwich places I have ever eaten.  Since I have discovered it, I have eaten there almost every day.  A sandwich is just 3.5 euro and patatas bravas (roasted potatoes) are 3 euro and we usually just split them.  Along with my favorite sandwich place we have eaten paella, tapas, and a lot of little cafes around.  The food here is actually really good but sometimes I just want to get some normal American food.  As for sightseeing we have tried to do everything we can.  My favorite place we have gone so far besides all of the Gaudi buildings is Parc Ciutadella.  This is a beautiful park at the end of our street that has a wonderful fountain hidden away in the middle of it.  The park is not too well known to tourists so there aren't very many people there.  We often just go over to La Rambla, one of the main streets in Barcelona, and have gelato and enjoy people watching.
When we have free time we also try to go to the beach and just relax.  The main beach in Barcelona is off of the metro stop Barceloneta and it is usually very crowded.  A funny thing about the beach here is that there are a lot of chinese women walking around asking if you want a massage.  They sound something like "massage" except in their accent it sounds like "ma sa he".  This is actually illegal in Barcelona, therefore when the police come around the chinese women have to try to blend in or run from them.  It is actually a hilarious sight to see.  One time we saw a herd of about twenty chinese women running from the police.  Another time there was a lady crouching on a sand hill by the water (I don't know how she thought she was hiding because we could all see her).  A policeman started making his way towards the lady and we could tell she was getting nervous.  After the policeman starred at her for a minute she started taking off running.  I have never seen anyone get arrested or in big trouble so sometimes I think they just do it for kicks and giggles but it is very funny to watch.
Other than sightseeing, going to the beach, and eating we have been enjoying our time in Spain and of course studying hard.  My class is one of the most interesting history classes I have taken.  We are learning more of an overview of what has happened in Spain after Franco but I am definitely learning a lot.  I didn't know the majority of the information we are learning but I am now well-informed about the contemporary history of Spain.
We are taking our final tomorrow and then we are off to travel until July 5th when i get back home.  We are flying into Rome on Friday the 25th.  On Saturday the 26th we are taking a day trip to Capri and meeting up with some friends who are studying in Italy.  We leave Rome on the 28th and are headed to the Cinque Terre which is in Northern Italy.  On the 30th we are headed to London and then Amsterdam on the 4th and home to the States on the 5th.  It has been a wonderful trip and I am excited to travel without having to worry about studying.
Also, we went to a bullfight last Sunday.  I guess the only thing I have to say about that is I will never go to another bullfight and advise all of you to never attend a bullfight.  I spend the majority of my time there staring at the ground or at my camera
I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and I will do another update on my travels when I get home.  I added some pictures of our trip also!  Enjoy!

Sarah Ming

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Guest Blogger: Sarah Ming from Spain

My wonderful cousin Sarah was kind enough to write a few words on her first experiences of living abroad in Barcelona Spain.  She will be a junior at Oklahoma University in the fall and is spending the summer studying in Spain.  (jealous!)  Anywho, since I am still away on my fabulous vacay, she is filling in for me until I get home and get organized enough to write about my travels.  So here it is, enjoy!

Our short time in Barcelona has been great but one of the things that has made it so wonderful is that we have a friend studying here with us that knows some locals and they have been showing us around the city.  Earlier this semester someone introduced a friend of theirs, who is a student studying in Dallas but  from Barcelona, to a friend of mine from OU.  So it has been great to know someone before we came out here.  We were all very excited for them to be able to show us around the city from a local's standpoint.  The first time we met the local Spaniard he brought along several friends and they took us to a "local eatery"  that looked like a hole in the wall for authentic Spanish tapas.  Well, some of you know (or now you will), that I am a very picky eater and a lot of my friends are too but I figured that I am in Spain this one time, I really should try everything.  Once I got to dinner I realized, that although I had decided to try everything, I really didn't have a choice.  The guys made us at least try a bite of everything but were nice and if we didn't like it we didn't have to eat anymore of it.  One of the foods we tried was goat liver (they didn't tell us what it was until after we ate it), but other than that the food was pretty good, even being a picky eater.  It was also helpful that our local friend speaks almost perfect English so we had someone to help order and we also had good conversation.  Most had been to the US and they are all very smart and very interesting to talk to.
Another thing that is interesting about our new friends is that they all are very wealthy and each have cars, which is uncommon for a lot of people in Barcelona.  Our local friend's family owns one of the finest vineyards in Spain (according to him)  and they also have multiple vineyards spread all over the world.  The vineyard's name is Codorniu.  We were supposed to go to the vineyard on Friday and tour it but we didn't have a chance so hopefully we will be able to do that before I leave Spain.  Instead of the vineyard we ended up going to our friend's house to have lunch.  He lives in the hills of Barcelona in a very nice house.  We arrived at the house and met his parents, then had appetizers and lunch.  We also tried lots of new Spanish foods  that were tasty and I tried all of it (and was very proud of myself!).  Their family has a nanny/ maid that brought us each course of our meal.  To me and my friends it felt like a five-star lunch but I am pretty sure this was a normal meal at his house.  After lunch (which in Spain is around 3:30)  our friends drove us to his golf club called Real Club de Golf El Prat to take a siesta.  We thought it was funny to drive all the way to the golf club to take a siesta (a Spanish nap)  but they had large rooms with many couches and the club itself was beautiful.  Our friend left for the States a few days later but he said his friends and family are going to take care of us.  It was so nice to have a local to hang out with because we are learning so much more and experiencing more of the culture.  I am loving Spain so far!

A few photos of our new friends and our time with them:
At lunch with our new friends.

KKG in Spain!

The girls.

The boys.
Adios for now, more to come!


Saturday, June 4, 2011

June Travels

I am leaving soon (like in three hours!) for my big trip and I am hopeful that I will be able to (or have time to in between seeing amazing things) blog along the way.  I made you all a map so you can see where I will be and won't miss me too much if I don't have a lot of blogging time.  
I am seeing:
London, England
Bath, England
Abu Dhabi
and then back to Shanghai
My mom will be with me in London, Joel and my dad will join us for the middle east.  Then my parents will spend a few days with us here in Shanghai before they fly home.

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Adventure here I come!