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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Recently we spent an afternoon in Putuo District, wondering around Changfeng Park. It’s a huge park full of a variety of activities, boating, dancing, games, singing and other recreational activities.
Like so many parks in Shanghai, it’s full of cultural experiences and lively in pleasant way.
Changfeng Park happened to be the second park that we’ve come across where you can rent a boat. However, this particular park had a much bigger body of water and a variety of different paddle and electric boats. We opted not to charter one this particular trip but T did enjoy seeing them cruising along.
In addition to the wonderful sights of the park, we have also started to appreciate T’s ability to jump in and assert himself among other children.