First Weekend

This is what the boys looked like by the time we arrived to our apartment in Shanghai at 11PM Friday night.

Thanks to jet lag, this is what they looked like an hour later when we went to get food….

The first weekend has been great. We explored the adorable park across the street from our apartment. The boys particularly love the exercise equipment stationed throughout the park. Yes, the Chinese people actually use it….

There is so much within walking distance and many of the streets are tree lined and beautiful. Bikes everywhere! The yellow ones are available for anyone to use, you text a number and receive a code in return to unlock the bike. Pretty cool system…

We discovered a darling pedestrian only area called Xintiandi with lots of yum restaurants and cute shops. All the trees are key for beating the heat. It’s in the low 80s here and will only get hotter…

Coffee shops seem to be a thing here, we’ve tried 3 so far, this one was a fav and had charming window seats. It’s called Mellower Coffee and they serve the strongest coffee we have had so far….

The apartment is great and everyone loves having views like this from every room.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone! We’ll be celebrating Mothers Day next week – we need time to find worthy brunch place 😉



We have lots of visits planned with friends and family before we take off for China in just over 3 weeks!! Yesterday we enjoyed Easter Sunday with The O’Brien cousins, Uncle Matt, Auntie Cara, Auntie T and Bill and Cathy. 

In yet another attempt to capture a decent pic of the 6 of us- the above is about as good as it gets. The below is what most photos of us look like. This one is particularly special as Lincoln looks like he is going to eat Archer…. 

These crazy cousins always have a blast together.


Apartment in Shanghai

We lucked out on our apartment in Shanghai. The place we originally secured fell through when the current residents decided to prolong their stay. We ended up with a larger apartment in the same building for a great price. We choose this building mainly for its location (well, that and it actually offers apartments big enough for 6 people!). It is literally across the street from a huge park, a necessity for the boys. It also seems to be in walking distance of many services, shops and restaurants. It’s walking distance to the bund, which is the area along the Huangpu River. Mike says The Bund is a fun area and especially beautiful at night. Fingers crossed we picked right – you never know about areas in a city until you are actually there.

There are not many photos of the building itself online, but here is one. The bottom few floors have retail/offices.  From what I understand, one tower is residential and the other is offices.  There is an outdoor pool and a tennis court on the fourth floor for residents.

Here is the address with a simplified map of where our apartment is. Once I know the actual mailing address I’ll share it.

We have two bedrooms plus an office on the 22nd floor. Whether we squeeze all 4 boys into one bedroom or use the office as a second bedroom remains to be seen. The real estate agent in Shanghai sent us these photos of the view from an apartment on the 18th floor- so ours should be similar.


O’Briens in Shanghai

The countdown has begun. 31 days until Team O’Brien heads to China. Visas secured, plant tickets purchased, apartment in Shanghai leased.

The photo is of an area known as the French Concession. It is actually a large area of Shanghai as far as we can tell and very close to our apartment.  It was a foreign concession from 1849 to 1943. It is known for being charming and a large part of why Shanghai is called The Paris of the West.