Hong Kong

In late November we took our annual trip to Hong Kong. This time it was a dual celebration for Thanksgiving weekend and of course, A’s birthday.

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A view of the harbor from our hotel.

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Admiring the skyline while riding the Star Ferry.

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Hong Kong!

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Using the selfie stick (View of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon side).

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Smiles!

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Hong Kong knows how to celebrate Christmas!

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A gracious birthday surprise from the wonderful people at our hotel (Renaissance).

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Night view of central Hong Kong.

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Happy Birthday Mama!

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Breakfast with a view.

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Playing in the sand at Repulse Bay.

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Repulse Bay group selfie.

South Korea

In October we visited South Korea, specifically Seoul. We also took a day trip out to the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) separating North Korea and South Korea. It was a short but enjoyable trip. The weather was gorgeous, the food was delicious and we were able to see some of the main attractions. Seoul is a fun, efficient and clean city full of life and style. Visiting the DMZ was unique, and humbling, and offered a very informative and reflective experience. img_6259

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A look at the city below from the top of Seoul Tower.

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Indulging in the complimentary popcorn provided with a ticket into the tower (Looking out at family and friends).

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Looking towards our home.

 

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A bathroom with a view (and one that encourages to take a picture).

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Entrance to the DMZ.

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T posing with a South Korean MP.

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A look into North Korea. Hard to see but that’s a giant DPRK flag blowing in the wind just inside the border, surrounded by a small town.

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Waiting for the train to Pyongyang at Dorasan Station, the last stop in South Korea. The tracks and stop already exist for when there is peace and one Korea.

Summer Highlights 2016

We are behind, very far, like 6 months. The good news, we hope to post quite frequently over the next few weeks to get caught up. First on that list, Summer highlights. We had a busy summer after packing up all our stuff and moving out of Shanghai. We stopped in California to visit with friends, toured the ESPN campus in Bristol, CT, went to a trampoline park where T proceeded to break his leg on our third day home, saw the eventual World Series Champions, Chicago Cubs, get pounded by the Mets at Citi Field, toured the Freedom Tower and spent lots of time with family and friends, which was capped off by celebrating T’s 3rd birthday just prior to us moving to Beijing. Without further ado, here are the highlights…

016 and enjoy.

Duh-Nuh-Nuh…Duh-Nuh-Nuh!

In July we visited the ESPN Main Campus, or studios, located in Bristol, CT. Thanks to As sister we were allowed to tour the facilities and see some behind the scenes action for television and radio shows such as SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, Mike & Mike and more. 

Bs family came with us for the experience. It was a cool way to spend a summer afternoon. T and B got to sit on the set of SportsCenter, pretending to host.  

California Love

Between the conclusion of our three year stay in Shanghai and the beginning of our adventures in Beijing we had four weeks of summer. 

Our summer vacation started with a trip to the Bay Area in Northern California. We spent time with friends in both San Francisco and Oakland. Highlights included biking the Golden Gate Bridge, dining in Salsolito, hiking in Muir Woods and playing at Muir Beach. 

Muir Woods & Muir Beach


Golden Gate Bridge


Oakland 

Oriental Pearl Tower

Another check on the Shanghai bucket list, the Oriental Pearl Tower. After a quick bank trip in the famous skyline district of Lujiazui we elected to tour the magnificent Pearl Tower. Once again, we discovered that most tourists were not present in the afternoon. There was essentially no lines and we were able to go straight up to the top. It was a cloudy day but you could see across the skyline, at least until we got up to the top. The real surprise turned out to be inside the top sphere, there was a glass floor all the way around looking down on the minuscule cars, boats, people and streets. Additionally we were able to see out at some of the other spectacular skyscrapers within the city.

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Ni hao Shanghai

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Lujiazui

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Looking for boats

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Team selfie on the floor

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Looking straight down at the Pearl Tower

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Rolling around and laughing on the glass floor

China Art Museum

Well it took nearly three years for us to do, but on one of our final days in Shanghai we spent an afternoon at the China Art Museum. We met three friends and their children to spend a day observing the art within this iconic structure. For those still remaining in Shanghai, we’d highly recommend a visit. The museum is easy to access, located immediately off the metro stop (similarly named), has a free admission, is air conditioned quite well, has a Starbucks inside, and if you go in the afternoon almost all the other visitors and tourists are gone. Overall, it was a pleasant experience and we enjoyed art depicting Shanghai and other regions of China.

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A view of the iconic China Art Museum from across the street.

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An empty entrance hall on a hot afternoon.

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Group picture.

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Ice cream break inside the China Art Museum.

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One last look from the exit.

 

Shanghai Photo Shoot

Prior to departing Shanghai, we spent a gorgeous Saturday roaming around our neighborhood having ourselves photographed by Maja Kelly. The purpose of our photo session was to capture some parting highlights of our time in Shanghai, as well as commemorate our first year as a family of three. There were so many great pictures to choose from, so below we’ve only included a handful of our favorites (roughly 15% of all photos). You can see more pictures from our afternoon with Maja on her blog post, Team Timo.

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Shanghai Disney

Fortunately one of the last things we had an opportunity to do prior to departing Shanghai was attending the opening of Shanghai Disney. The park is an amazing place. It sits on more than 900 acres of land, has a distinctly new attractions along with some familiar rides and is home to the tallest and most interactive castle ever built by Disney.

We took advantage of one of our final afternoons to go see what all the hype was about. While T is too small to board many of the rides we did have a lot of fun exploring this sparkling new amusement park and meeting a number of popular characters. Highlights of our experience pictured below.

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Welcomed to Shanghai Disney!

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Family shot with the castle.

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Taking in the gigantic castle.

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Meeting the mouse, Mickey Mouse.

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Mickey and the fam.

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Saluting with the captain.

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Watching the parade from a shoulder seat view.

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A friendly dog T was not afraid to meet or pet, hello Pluto!

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Chocolate ice cream on a humid afternoon.

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Trying out the Mickey ears.