Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Christmas in Shanghai

Chinese New Year is now over and we are in the year of the dragon, I can't wait to share my pics of the insane fireworks with you but first you must endure a few more posts that I am trying to catch up on from Christmas and my cousin Sarah visiting.  Although the pics from when my cousin was here I know you will love!!  
For today, my first day back to blogging after a great 9 days of no work for my hubby, I decided to just share a few pics of the Christmas shopping here in China.  While the Chinese don't understand Christmas or know anything about the meaning of Christmas, like everything else here they are drawn to the commercial nature of the holiday.  When Joel and I moved here I remember saying to him, what if we can't even find a Christmas tree?  Well, my worries were for nothing because the Christmas paraphernalia here is like nothing you have seen before, it is Hobby Lobby on crack.  Seriously.  Here are a few pics I took with my friends JoAnn and Carrie when we hit the town to score some deals on Christmas decor.  I also threw in some pics of opening presents here in China.  I have the best hubby who totally spoiled me this year!  : )  Enjoy!

JoAnn and I at the market.

Happy Halidays...wait a second!  

Trying to pay for our many purchases.

Joel bought me a fireplace for our apartment!

Thanks mom for my grill pan!

Joel had a figurine made of a pic taken from our first date.  It is really funny!!

Monday, January 16, 2012

My dad's visit...

After Thanksgiving my dad came to Shanghai for work and had free time to hang out and see the city with us.  He was able to meet all of our friends and we had some great dinners together, hit up a museum and did some shopping.
One of the main things he wanted to do while he was here was have a few cashmere sweaters made.  We took him to the fabric market, to a shop that had been recommended to us and he had two sweaters made.  They turned out really well and they were able to make them in just a few days so he had them before he left!
Since it was just before Christmas I decided to drag Joel and my dad to the German Christmas market that the German beer house, Paulaner puts on every year.  The boys didn't really want to go but after walking in to the market (which was outside) and feeling like we had left Shanghai for a small town in Germany, they were glad I made them go.  We had the Gluhwein, which is the hot German spiced beer and even picked up a few fun gift items.
The last night my dad was here we went with our friends Kelly and Josh to a really nice Japanese restaurant in town.  We had a really great meal and lots of wine, well beer for me and Joel ; ).  At dinner the chef brought out a little snack that was like a beef jello thing.  I was not willing to try it but Kelly did and was having some trouble with her chopsticks.  The little square of jello ended up shooting out of her chopsticks and into the middle of the aisle toward the table next to us.  They didn't think it was funny but the waitress did and we couldn't stop laughing about it for the rest of the night.  The waitress was very nice and even brought Kelly a new piece, which she moved aside with out eating.
We were sad to have my dad leave but really enjoyed having him here and even ended up seeing him just a few weeks later when Joel and I surprised my mom for Christmas.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Christmas Luncheon

The Shanghai Expat Association hosted a Christmas brunch at the Waldorf Astoria on the bund so we gathered our friends and decided to join the festivities.  It was a really nice luncheon.  There was tons of food, all different cuisines complete with a chocolate fountain.  We also had free flow champagne and wine and ended up staying at the Waldorf until late afternoon, enjoying ourselves and the great conversations.  It really put us in the Christmas spirit and we really loved the carolers.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thanksgiving 2011

My next couple of posts will be catch up, trying to let everyone know what we did over the holidays!
For thanksgiving this year Joel and I decided to host.  We had about 12 people for a potluck style dinner.  We were able to order a cooked turkey which made our lives so much easier (we have a tiny oven!) and it came with a few sides.  We had everyone bring their favorite dish from home and it made for cozy and fun afternoon.  We ate, drank and even played a few games.  Joel and I were very thankful that we have such a great Shanghai family to make the holidays seem special.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


A friend of mine, Anita, and I decided that we need to escape the city for a day and go explore.  We decided to do something close by so we hopped on the subway and rode it for an hour to the city of Sheshan.  They are known for their old street with restaurants and shopping and also for their famous Catholic Cathedral.  The Cathedral was built in 1863, and then rebuilt in 1935 because the Chinese wanted to compete with other, larger Cathedrals.  It was also damaged during the cultural revolution when the Priest was thrown in jail.  Despite losing some of the history from the old building, the new building is beautiful and feels like you have stepped into Tuscany with its many Basilicas.  Sheshan has become a pilgrimage destinations for Catholics during May.  Anita and I really enjoyed our day, it was quite the adventure.  We got lost and ended up walking way further than needed and the taxi driver stole my transportation card.  But all in all it was a much needed escape from the city.