Monday, May 27, 2013

Moganshan- Last weekend away in China

For a farewell weekend in China we went with some friends to the resort town of Moganshan.  It is in the bamboo forest and was a very peaceful retreat.  It feels like you are stepping out of China, into a well organized and clean resort.  It was not what we were expecting!  You learn to lower your standards a bit when traveling around China even when a place boast of being a nice retreat.  We loved our time there and would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a weekend away!  

We rented an apartment that had three bedrooms and overlooked the resort and the forest.  It had a large living space and deck with a hot tub and grill, both of which were used a lot over the weekend!

Living Room

Deck with hot tub
Josh was our grill master for the weekend.
We spent most of the weekend relaxing and playing games and hiking a bit through the forest.  I felt like I was a trooper at 5 1/2 months pregnant hiking stone steps through China!

Loving Moganshan!
Pregnant ladies are not aloud to sit in hot tubs so Joel made me a  couch bed because it was cold outside so that I could still hang with everyone!

The gang!

Exploring the resort!

Joel is pointing to our apartment.
The resort was pretty hilly and large, so anytime we wanted to go anywhere we called our guy Jimmy and he would come get us in a golf cart.  He also would bring us anything we needed while we were staying there.

In the cart!
Among the activities in the resort there were horses you could ride and games to play.  Pool table and table tennis.  We also got in the pool one night even though it was freezing!

Joel at the stables.


Joel shooting arrows!
One of the hikes we took was a million stone steps into the actual town of Moganshan.  There is a lodge there run by a European women that was really cozy.  The boys had beer and I had a hot chocolate by the fire.  To get to the beginning of the hike we hired a driver and he was hilarious.  Sometimes you just have to say yes when you don't understand what a Chinese person is asking you and in this case saying yes got us a personal tour guide for the day.  It was enjoyable though and we did get to see some cool things!

Our long hike.

Our driver showing us the way to go!

The boys at the top of the hill.

The girls made it too!


At the lodge.


Last night in the hot tub!
We had a great time.  We loved being able to spend a few final days relaxing with our friends before heading back to the US!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Bump Update -34 weeks!

I thought I would share with you all my bump progress... large and in charge!

Does this dress make me look pregnant?

It looks (and feels) like someone strapped a basketball to the front of me!  Can you believe it?  This is nearing the 8 month mark, can't believe the bump will even get bigger!  My plan all along was to show the progress in this dress but I am not sure I will be able to get it on in another few weeks!  Eek!  

Let's recap my growth...

4 months
6 months

Almost 8 months.

Delivery day is going to be here so soon!  We are packing our hospital bags and waiting....

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Babymoon- Thailand February 2013

For Chinese New Year this year we decided to take our babymoon (as they call it) to Thailand.  It is supposed to be a last big trip before the baby comes!  We had such a blast.  We ended up in Hua Hin, it was the easiest to get to for us since we booked our tickets about 3 days before we left.  You fly into Bangkok and then drive down the coast about 3 hours.  We had a driver pick us up and take us so that we didn't have to rent a car.  It was easy!

Our first day we got in late afternoon and had time for a quick dip and walk on the beach after we checked into our hotel.  We stayed at this beautiful Hyatt resort and were able to stay club level, meaning we had breakfast included as well as tea time (which we never did) and happy hour (which we did every night!).  Our first night was no exception for happy hour, the club was so nice, it was open air with koi ponds and great food and drinks.  Totally worth it!  After a few snacks and drinks we grabbed the hotel shuttle for about a ten minute ride into the main part of Hua Hin for dinner and some shopping at the night market.  We ate dinner at a Thai restaurant (of course) that was so good, and it was also up on the second level of a building overlooking the night market so we could watch the shoppers down below as we ate.  It was a great first day and night in Thailand, we knew we were going to love it!!

First dip in the water!
View of the baby bump.
The tide came up in the afternoons to the bottom of the stairs leading to our hotel.
Browsing the night market.
First dinner, complete with a frilly drink!
Our second day in Hua Hin started with breakfast at the club and then off to explore for the day.  We hired a van, sort of on accident, but we really enjoyed our driver!  His name was Mister John and he decided that he was going to take us around for the day.  He had an old pickup truck that he had put benches and an awning in the back so it wasn't too bad of a ride!  We went to two different floating markets where the food and kitchens are on boats.  They were pretty cool, but we heard that the big one you have to see is in Bangkok so maybe on our next trip!  After a morning of shopping we headed back to the hotel to rest and maybe have lunch but after contemplating the prices at the Hyatt we decided to take our chances in town.  So off we went back into town and had the best meal of our trip.  It was this open air, very crowded restaurant with lots of locals.  We knew we were in the right place!  After lunch we explored and did a bit of souvenir shopping before heading back to spend the rest of the day relaxing on the beach and swimming in the ocean.  Joel was also invited for a game of volleyball so I went and watched for a bit before retiring to my beach chair with my book.  For dinner our second night we went to a different night market than the one previously which we also really enjoyed.  Our dinner was from a cart and it was so good!  We had way too much food and Joel had a beer and it was about $4.  Lol.

Joel in Mister John's truck.
Delicious lunch!

Joel on the beach.

Hyatt Club.

At floating market, feeding the baby sheep!

In front of market.
Showing off the baby bump on the beach.

With the club we had a private area to sit in the sun.  So nice!

Joel playing volleyball.

Joel also did the slide several times!

Bar at the night market.
The next day, after breakfast again at the club we set out for the one thing I came to Thailand to do...see the elephants!  We took a taxi to the elephant reserve where we were able to spend the morning riding the big elephant and then playing with the baby.  It was one of my favorite things we have done on any of our trips.  The baby elephant was so adorable, he knew all these fun tricks! He danced and played soccer with Joel.  We also got to give him a bath.   So cute!

Gong for good luck before seeing the elephants!

Stairs to get on the elephant.

So high up!

Joel even climbed down onto his head.


Elephant hugs.

Again with the baby.  
The rest of our day was spent sitting on the beach and eating lunch at the pool at the Hyatt.  Our dinner was also a highlight though, we went out to the pier for dinner, into the "party district" of Hua HIn.  We ate out over the water and had the best meal (I guess everything we ate was our favorite meal there, lol!)  We had lobster and curry crab and so much more and our total bill was $40 including a coconut drink for me and an alcoholic pineapple drink for Joel.  

Look at all that delicious food!
We took a very colorful tuk tuk back to the hotel after dinner which was really fun!

Tuk tuk home.
Our last full day in Hua Hin we we had a lot left to do and see so we set out early in the morning to finish some shopping and to see the big food market. Our first venture was to a basket store that we passed every time we left the hotel that I really wanted to shop in.  I may have gone a little crazy with the basket buying but we were able to get them all back so I guess that is all that matters! After we took a cab to the food market.  We only lasted about 30 seconds at the food market because of the smell.  Note to self, do not go to a really smelly market when you are 5 months pregnant!!  We then took a stroll back to the pier for a drink over looking the water.  It was such a nice spot, we could have stayed all day!  But we decided to grab some lunch and then head back to the hotel for some beach time. I forgot to mention earlier that I am not the biggest lover of swimming while at the beach, I would much rather spend my time lounging and reading but Joel bought me a floaty to convince me to get in so I did, several times.  It wasn't so bad!  Joel even went and had a massage while I lounged on the beach (no certified prenatal massages in Hua Hin so I skipped it).

Proof I got in the ocean!
Our last night Joel surprised me with flowers, which caught everyone's attention at the club during happy hour.  The next day was Valentines so he got a jump start on it.  So Sweet!

With my flowers!

Playing games a the night market.

Dinner at the night market.

Last night on the beach!

Our last day in Thailand we had a full day but decided to spend it in Bangkok.  We had to go there anyway to fly out but our flight wasn't until midnight so we thought it was worth seeing the city.  We took the Hyatt shuttle from Hua Hin to the Hyatt in Bangkok where we were able to drop off our bags and have a quick lunch.  We took a cab to see the palace but decided not to go in.  So we walked and explored and did a little shopping around the city.  Our favorite thing we did, which made Bangkok worth seeing was a boat ride through the old canals.  We got to see the locals homes and a part of the city you normally wouldn't.  If you even find yourself in Bangkok add a boat ride to your must see list!

At the palace.
Oh my, so much traffic.

On the boat!


Giant Lizards!
Last pic of the trip!

After exploring we took a tuk tuk back to the hotel, which was one of the most miserable experiences.  The traffic in Bangkok was the worst I have ever seen and riding through the smog in the back of a tiny car when it is really hot was not my idea of fun.  Luckily we made it back in time to grab some dinner before heading to the airport and saying goodbye to Thailand!

Here are a few videos from our trip: