Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beijing - The Great Wall

Where we last left off Annaliisa's mom had come to China for a visit in June and we headed to Beijing to see the Great Wall and experience a different part of China. One thing I learned is that china is the same no matter where you are. The only difference is a bigger government presence. In fact, there were posters everywhere that spoke about patriotism and the importance of it.

(It's blurry cuz I took it on the sly. lol)

The amazing thing about visiting Beijing though was being able to cross some sites off my bucket list that I didn't even know were on my bucket list. We went to The Great Wall (obviously), The Forbidden City, The Pearl and Silk Markets, The zoo (for an hour, lol), and went antique shopping. 

The Great Wall was amazing!! Seriously! I always thought to myself that it would be nice if I maybe got the chance to see it some day but now that I have been I think it's something everyone should have on thier bucket list. It was a grueling walk sure, but it was quite a sight!

 Our first look at the wall from the bus!

 One section of the wall

 More of the wall

Even more of the wall

 And more

 I never would've thought I would be standing there!

 Some sections are very steep!!

 Annaliisa and I on the Wall!

Truly amazing! And of course I had to watch Mulan when I got home, and doing this post makes me want to again! :)

Since this post is already lengthy I will break off here and make a new post with more of our Beijing adventures!

A lot has happened

So, it has been a while since I last posted on here. I could go into a list of excuses, like that we had visitors and I got busy at work and with school, but honestly it just slipped my mind. So I figured since I'm heading into the final stretch in China I would use my last week and couple days to show you all the things we have been up to. My other motivation for finishing up this blog is so I can start a new blog when I return to the States. So stay tuned for that!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

uh, hi!

Long time, no type. I know, I know, I'm in trouble but I have good reasons I promise. Anyway, so much has happened since I last posted on here. We went to Beijing with Annaliisa's mother and Thailand on our own. We also got a new roommate, a Chinese girl Annaliisa works with. My brother introduced us to the greatest place in China...Dashatao, a place where you can buy almost any DVD imaginable for a mere $1! Yeah, it's pretty spectacular. We have been spending most of our time eating with friends and family and working or doing school work. We survived Summer classes...they were grueling! I finished my book...that was exciting! and we booked my mom's trip to visit us...super happy!!!

Today we are hanging out with our friend, Christine, watching Mary Poppins because Annaliisa says her purse is like Mary Poppins' bag. I will post separately for Beijing and Thailand but for now I am so written out! Hopefully I'll get to the posts on's back to work this weekend :(

Sunday, May 27, 2012

My Birthday

Um...I know it's a little late to be posting pictures from my birthday but I just now got a free day from homework (since I finished it early, woot woot)!

So as you know I went to Disneyland for my birthday (kinda) but before that, my work threw me a birthday party. If you've never had a birthday in China I suggest you try it. First off they surprise you with it. Well, they try to anyways. I totally knew what was was the day before my birthday and I had been working there for a few months and had gone through a few of these. Secondly, after they sing Happy Birthday to you they go around the room and everyone says something nice about you. It's pretty awesome. Then you eat a magnificent cake, all the fruit you can stuff inside you, and some chips if you have room. You'll also get some chocolate and a journal with some more nice things said about you inside. I loved it!

Birthday message on the white board :)

 Everyone giving speeches

 Me, the other birthday girl, Anna, and Tracy (one of my Chinese teachers)

 My Chinese boss, Marie (she pronounces it Mary tho)

Me and all the Chinese teachers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I know it has been forever since I have written a new blog post but school has been kicking my butt lately and I haven't had much time. Hopefully after TV season finales (yes, that is another reason for my lack of posts) I will have time to dedicate to telling you all what we're up to.

As most of you already know, last week it was time for us to renew our visa again! 120 days down...crazy!! Anyways this time, since we had a holiday we decided to stay overnight in Hong Kong and visit Disneyland. There was a bit of confusion over our working days and non-working days but it all worked out perfectly.

I had one class in the morning so I went on ahead while Annaliisa stayed back for her classes. Oh on a side note, Annaliisa was moved to a new center within our company to take classes over for someone who is going back home to Canada.

So, I caught the 3:30 train to Hong Kong which was such and adventure for me. I have made two trips alone in my lifetime but none in a country where I didn't speak the language. Thank goodness we had already done this before because I would have been at a  loss at what to do.

Got to ride the top level of a double-decker train to HK!!

And then I checked into our hotel room. It was small but we were just sleeping there.
NOTE: To anyone who may one day decide to visit HK Disneyland.
Stay at the Silka Far East Hotel. It is located pretty much around the corner from the metro station
and the metro ride to D-Land is less than a half hour. It's a well priced hotel for HK and it's
a really nice place...and they have free breakfast if you choose it!! Good deal!

 There's a separate line that serves Disneyland alone!

And the metro train has mickey windows...
Mickey hand grips, plush velvety seats, and Disney character statues.
It pretty much looks like Anaheim D-Land but all the signs have Chinese
and it's much smaller.
There's the castle and people waiting to go in. 

We had an awesome time and it was the perfect park for a day trip. We got there at opening (10am) and were able to ride most of the rides and leisurely walk through the shops and we were done with everything by about 5. So we were able to go eat dinner and settle in for the fireworks. It was not very crowded, not by Anaheim standards anyhow, and the longest we waited in line for a ride was a little over half an hour but that was in the newest area of the park, Toy Story Land.

I mean, it's Disneyland so you can't really go wrong. The funniest moment was riding the Jungle Cruise. Luckily for us Californians we have an abundant supply of budding actors and entertainers who reside in the vicinity of Anaheim so the Jungle Cruise is always hilarious and just a lot of fun to ride. This is not quite the case in Hong Kong. While the tour guide was cute and sweet she did not have an acting bone in her body, nor a funny one. At one point she attempted the joke, "You know how you can tell the difference between a male zebra and a female zebra? The male is white with black stripes and the female is black with white stripes..." Pause for light laughter. "Actually I think they are the same." Really lady?!?! You just killed what was left of your joke. But it was still fun to experience that. :)

It is a must see for any Disney fanatic, but plan to see other things in Hong Kong or even visit Macau or some other country nearby because it is not big enough to warrant a whole trip to Asia specifically to visit.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

We're settling into life here...

So now it's become kinda boring. We go to work, we come home and watch TV and do schoolwork then we go to bed. Not very exciting.

We finally got the package my mom had sent us over a month ago. We all thought it had been lost and was on its way back to the states but the million tank tops showed up just in time for us to wear them for a few days and then have it start raining. HA!

Oh wait...I totally forgot I do have one exciting piece of news! I got a job writing a fiction column for an online magazine based here in Guangzhou, geared towards foreigners! I am so exciting and I'll be sure to keep you guys posted. There's supposed to be a launch party for the magazine this month too but I have not heard anything yet.

Here are some recent pics...
 Kyle and Crystal with Crystal's Aunt (next to Kyle), Crystal's cousin
(the guy behind her) and his new wife!

 Babies! :0)

 Annaliisa teaching a story

 Anyone need some insoles?

 Beijing Road!

 Imparting our culinary wisdom on our new friend!

Fried rice and Squash
Dinner with Erin!

 Annaliisa and Cheryl!

 Amy! She's so cute :0)
 Annaliisa is soo happy that my mom sent her some mustard!
 Annaliisa helping Mindy with a game.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dinner with Friends

Here's a post draft I found sitting on my blogger dashboard. Weird that I didn't post it but here it is now!

Our neighbor, Catherina, really wanted to hang out with us again but we had had a crazy week so we didn't want to go anywhere but we invited her over for dinner and she was ecstatic. She brought her friend over and we made breaded pork steaks, cucumber salad, and sauteed green beans...
Oh, and noodles and bread. Delish!
(Sorry I couldn't turn the pic)
Getting ready to cook with all our goodies from the produce market!


Teaching our new Chinese friend how to bread chicken like my momma does!

And then they looked through my DVD...which they loved!!!

It was such a fun night. We watched Date Night and had an awesome dinner, they loved both. Just the fact that we were able to make friends with Chinese people outside of our school is great and they're great at that!