This week in Shanghai…

This is a deceptively calm photo of Qibao, an “ancient” settlement on the outskirts of Shanghai. It is an area that prospered during the Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing (1644-1912) dynasties. There was some old and beautiful architecture, the canals you see here and tiny alleyways jam packed with food and merchants.  What you can’t see in the photo is the thrall behind me. It was the most crowded place we have been in China yet. Granted – we went on a Chinese holiday (not smart) but word has it that this spot is always crowded. It was hard to see past the mess and chaos to get a feel for the ancient settlement. These two pictures in no way represent what it was actually like!! Not sure how I pulled that off…

It was hot and smelly and I would call the overall outing a bust if not for this tea tasting the boys did. The whole scene literally made the day. The woman was so serious about her tea. She let the boys pick which tea they wanted to taste (fruit tea, of course) and invited them to sit while she brewed a fresh pot.  They loved the tea and the whole experience. Super cute.

The Chinese holiday this week was Dragon Boat Festival, everyone had Monday and Tuesday off. We did Qibao on Monday and decided to just lay low Tuesday, that was the day we took the chess boards to the coffee shop. Wednesday the air quality here tanked so we stayed home. Thursday the air quality was not much better, but we decided to venture out to find air masks since A) the air quality was horrible B) we are heading to Beijing next week and C) I decided the boys need to wear them when they play soccer. Grayson in particular is having a hard time with his lungs so, better safe than sorry. The trip was futile (shocker) and I ended up ordering them online. Nothing is Shanghai is where it is supposed to be and if it is, it doesn’t have what it is supposed to have…

This is the boys this morning at That’s Mandarin, a Mandarin school here in Shanghai.

Mike and I decided that it would be a tragic waste for the us to be immersed in a language and culture for 3+ months and not learn it, so we enrolled in Mandarin classes here (well, the boys and I did). They are so0oo thrilled. I am taking the classes with them, I think it will be fun once we get underway. We start Monday! We were playing with Grayson’s camera while waiting for the Didi (Shanghai Uber) after our visit to the Mandarin School. Didi is another awesome pain in the ass. We can’t live without it, as Shanghai taxis only fit 4 people and you can’t take the subway everywhere, but there’s always some problem with Didi. As you can tell from these photos, we were waiting and waiting and waiting…

This afternoon the air quality improved and the boys got to play soccer while I made dinner. I have come to appreciate how much easier the right tools make things in the kitchen. I finally caved and bought some measuring spoons and cup, a rubber spatula and a cast iron skillet. Next on my list is tongs and I am considering a blender. I know cooking the way I do for our diet is a challenge – but good lord it is much more difficult here. I think everything is more difficult here for six Americans, but so far its all worth it.

“Old Bazaar” (Qibao)


IT WAS A VERY hot and humid day in China, and I was walking around in a ancient “Old Bazaar” that had been flowing for hundreds of years. An hour or two earlier I had been in a subway wondering about the coming hours… It was a long ride but I endured.  This was another day to remind ourselves of the past and the beauty of the past. The whole area was crowded, from the alleys to the entrance people were bustling to buy or take pictures.


I saw some pretty weird things there. There were different meats and toys we have never dreamed up. There were all sorts things for sale to eat like pig snouts, fried frogs, dried sea horses, and boiled pig tails.

The lifestyle between today and hundreds of years ago is so different. And think about the how much has changed in the past 50-100 years; cell phones, portable computers, cable T.V., space missions, etc. Think about how far we’ve came on baby steps.

In the Shanghai Tower!

We went to the Shanghai Tower it was so cool.  First was the elevator, it was the fastest elevator in the world. It went 18 kilometers. So cool, I was really exited when we got to the top it was so cool. My mom is afraid of heights it was kind of funny. Also my ears popped four times on the elevator. It was kind of sad because it takes longer to get to our apartment on the 22 floors than it took to get to the 118th floor of the Shanghai Tower.  The view was amazing although the camera I was using died really quickly.

At the Buddhist temple…..

I have no idea what this is but we found money and bracelets. And had no bell, to the right was a store, same with the left. In the back behind the “bell” there was a temple with a god in a glass case. In front there was a leaning pads so that people can pray to the gods, some small ones where pure gold. In front of the pads there was a box you put coins in but the praying people COBE briant the coin into the box.

Coconut water and the Shanghai Tower 

We went to Simply Thai for lunch and we got fresh coconut water. It tasted weird, my brothers and I did not like it. My dad liked it. After lunch we walked to Shanghai Tower. It’s the second tallest building in the world. We went up to the 118th floor in super fast elevator. It goes 18 km per hour. I took a lot of pictures from the top.

This is the view from the Shanghai Tower.

Thank you for reading this.🙂😊

First Rain in Shanghai and the Jade Bhuddha Temple

Our first rain in Shanghai made our day really quiet, even though we went to two malls. The rain made it so we could not go outside and play soccer, or walk around and actually burn calories. What made it even worse was that it rained all day.  Overall the day was pretty cool. We used the subway to get there and I saw so many funny ads*, and fake iPhone ads. I loved walking through the malls. All the stores were awesome, because of the variety of the different stores on the different levels. It is just like L.A. mixed with San Diego downtown. the hotel bases were malls most of them were white and black themed (with some exeptions) there was so much of the same style though.

It was still stunning. And the TV tower was right outside the exit. Which makes me want to go in there and look out more than ever.

The next day I visited the JADE BHUDDHA TEMPLE. (Cue echo and  deep epic voice)

It was awesome, and  yet again I am stunned by the the beauty of the different sculptures and the architecture. People still do all the different prayers and ceremonies, and to think it all began thousands of years ago is amazing.  What really is cool is the way they pictured their dieties. Also each culture had a different view of ther dieties. Wheather it was monothiestic or polytheistic, it was amazing the different images of the great people. All people who were Asian were there to pray it was normal to them, but I bet that place is always full of suprises and they see some thing new every time. I kinda felt bad for them because the sanctuary is so expanded and the walk between each hall is large. But to them it would be worth it. I love the amount of effort that is put into these I’ll bet whomever built thetemple became pretty popular among the Buddhists. Overall I had two great days and I cannot wait until I visit the Shanghai tower or the T.V. Tower



to conclude this post i will say one thing the long trip is worth it and


Buddha & Caterpiller

I saw this Reclining Buddha yesterday. I prayed to it. I saw people lighting incense, then they put it above their head and bowed to practice their religion. I liked it.

This is a baby worm Grayson found on his mint leaf. We were at a Thai restaurant. After I held it for a while, I brought it outside and put it on a leaf. The Thai food was so good. 😊