We took a trip...

Oh my. It was a doozy. Caroline called it a "Mystery Vacation," implying that it was a vacation. I am still tired.

When we stopped in Haicang to pick up some of our people, we saw this.
 Someone started their day off wrong. That's a three foot deep canal/gutter thing. Awesome.

We were asked to go on a work retreat with a couple of the divisions from the office. We went to Dongshan Island. It's about 2.5 hours south down the coast. They call it Fujian's Hawaii. Now I've never been to Hawaii, but I think that's a stretch.

But it was pretty. When we got there we are a seafood lunch by the ocean. It was interesting.

When we got there, we found that the we and Kleins were to be given a hotel room, instead of the "beach hut" that the rest of the group would be staying. Supposedly we got the nicer end of the deal.
Here is what we found:

Um. No. I was scared to sit on the bed. About 20 min. later Selena came and told us that the huts were nicer and would we be okay to share one (Allens/Kleins). We said yes. Because it couldn't really get worse, could it?

It was so much better. We did have to sleep in twin beds, but as Daniel said, he wasn't going to bug me by messing up the bedding. I'm a bedding neat freak.

Much better.

Then we went to lunch. Fun! (here is where I wish had an emoticon that is the fake forced smile.) But the lunch wasn't actually bed. Just interesting.
 Our view from out table.
 The breeze was nice.
 Crawdads. They called them shrimp's uncle.
 Kung pao sea food. It was actually pretty good.
 Daniel getting ready to eat a cuddle fish (squid family).
 Black teeth from the ink sack. I promise that my husband brushes his teeth.
 Paul showing us how to peel the Shrimp's uncle.
 Oysters. They were cooked. Daniel said they weren't bad. Keep in mind, my husband keeps claiming he "doesn't like seafood." Yeah right. He does now.
 Bitter gourd soup with clams. The clams would have been good, except the bitter gourd made them taste like furniture polish.
 Kung pao clams. Good, but spicy.
They had a wave runner to ride. This was Bella with Paul. Selena took Caroline for a ride and Caroline said Selena was an awful driver. So they switched and it got better. Then Caroline went swimming with Selena and Christine. Christine, who lives in Xiamen - an island in the ocean - had never been in the ocean. They didn't have swimsuits, so they went in their clothes. 

 Tons of fun.
Waving at us!

There are too many pictures to put it all in one post, so my next post will be about dinner and fireworks and bobing. Tons of fun. I ate way too much food.


Hmm... oranges.

Mandarin Oranges are in season right now. They are wonderful. True Mandarin Oranges cannot be matched by any other kind.

I bought 10 or so of these beauties for about $1.50. They have been my breakfast, part of my lunch and my snack all this week.

And the Chinese are smart. Part of the reason they are so good, is that they continue to ripen on the stem that comes off the tree with them. Yes, they are ripe when they have this mottled yellow/green color. I'm drooling. I'm going to eat another one right now.

Yummy. I will miss the fruit when I am in Utah. Thank goodness Costco can help.


San Fransisco

It's been awhile now, but we went to San Fran back in August. We decided to stop over for a night on our way back to the states for a visit. Daniel had some PTO saved up and took a day off and we did some sight seeing.

 We elected not to ride the trolley - because it was over an hour wait to get a ticket. Ridiculous.
 Chinatown. Surprisingly enough, it was very Chinese. It was a little weird for us.

 The shops were just like the ones here, selling the same stuff.

 Pearls and other jewelry.So much of the same thing - down to the exact pattern of some of it. Crazy.
 Beautiful churches.
 The Thai neighborhood.
 Fur lunch we went to Joe's crab shack. It was great. Crab here in China is small and difficult to get out of it's shell. It's not very good. Here we got a bucket of crab. King legs, queen legs, and snow crab. I love King Crab legs. It was wonderful. Next time I'd just get a whole bucket of the king. Our view was good. We looked over fisherman's wharf while eating. It was nice. Because it was late enough in the afternoon, it was quiet and not crowded. I had a good afternoon.

 Alcatraz. We didn't have time to get out there, but we will do it when we go back someday.
 The sea lions.
 We have a friend who is a HUGE Hello Kitty fan. We saw this and thought of her.
 We went to Ghirardelli square and had ice cream and hot chocolate. And bought a bag of 80 assrt pieces of chocolate. I decided my favorites are the milk chocolate with caramel and the new chocolate caramel with sea salt.
 The "F" Street cars. We rode these a couple of times.

Daniel was fascinated with the CLEAN, functional public toilet.

It was a nice little break for us. That night we slept for over 13 hours because we were so tired. We went back in the city for a bit the next day before we flew to SLC.

It's crazy to think I only have one more long flight and then we are home. Well mostly. Daniel will have to keep coming back. In fact he has to be in China again from January 12 to March 2. I am not excited about it. I am going to meet him during the week of Valentines, also the Chinese New Year, and we are going to spend our time in the Philippines, in Cebu hanging out on the lovely beaches. I'm excited about that part. Not about the fact that I will have 3 weeks to either side of it without a husband. But we'll make it. After that his trips will be much shorter.

Gosh it's been amazing year and half.


Our Interesting Saturday

On Saturday we went to the local water park and it was a blast. The only pictures I have are from Mike's phone, so they aren't great.

First we went to lunch at the Temple Cafe. It is a restaurant that used to be a Buddhist temple. It mostly serves American style food. I had a cheeseburger. It was great.

 I stole this picture off Caroline's blog, because I don't have a picture from lunch. Thanks Caroline! Going around the table, you have Matt, Mike, Selena, Jennie (Selena's friend), Yimi's sis-in-law, Yimi, Mike, Ashley and Daniel.
This one includes Caroline. Matt and Caroline are here with Lifetime too. He's an international controller and accountant.

We had a good time. Then we headed across the island on a bus to the waterpark. We spent about 13$ to get in and it was worth every penny. There were only about 5 real rides. On two of them Daniel and Matt were told since they weigh over 90kg their safety could not be guaranteed. They didn't care. It was pretty awesome. A couple of them were the normal slides with one or two people per raft or what not. One of them went up and down like a roller coaster on it's way down. It was awesome.

One we enjoyed, but did only once, was like a skateboard. For the full effect of weight, Daniel and Matt went together. The ride was kind of like this one:
 Not a great picture, but you get the idea. If you look to the far right of the one below, you can see the blue/white ride. Matt and Daniel went all the way up to the last blue section. It's a lot higher than it looks.
 This red/yellow one was also fun. It was like a funnel.
 You go down and then go around. Most people went around twice. But us "sturdy" Americans (two at time) went around four times. I liked it.
Here's a view from the top. I've been told some cruise ships have rides like this.

Then there was the best one of all. It was a sideways funnel. It hilariously awesome.
 So you go down the pipe, up to the right, then come out and swing back and forth on this. We went up so high. A full 8 feet farther up the sides than the tiny Chinese people could. There were 4 people per raft and with four larger Americans we got some pretty serious force.

Most of these pictures were taken from their website. Mike did take a couple of us coming off the ride.

 They were taken with a phone so they weren't great. We came out with more force than any other raft as far as I could tell.
This is how much Mike thinks of me. He took a picture of me falling off the raft head first. On purpose. I chose to go off like this because I wanted my hair to get wet. Awesome, right? We did this ride 5 or 6 times. I loved it.

But here are the two most memorable parts of the day.(If you are uncomfortable with a small amount of mocking, stop here.)

There were two dwarfs who were fighting to push each other in the pool. Awesome. They had life jackets on. In fact so did a lot of adults. Apparently there are lots of Chinese adults who can't swim.
 The other one was the fat 10 year old who lit up and totally just puffed away.
Seriously? Who let's their kids smoke? Even in China they know it isn't safe to smoke. For crying out loud, it says on the packages "smoking kills." No surgeon general's warning, just that it kills.

Anyway, a good old regular Saturday in China.

This coming weekend we are going on a work holiday retreat. It should be fun. I'll blog about it when we get back.