Shoes: the universal language for women

Our sister time together shoe shopping. Let’s just say Kim may need a bigger shoe closet:). How am I going to get all of these shoes home on the plane you might ask? Kim and I have created the sisterhood of the traveling suitcase. I fill it with purchases from China and Malaysia and take it home with me, and when Kim comes for her next visit, she will fill it with purchases from the States. Problem solved!

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Walls in China

So apparently great walls aren’t the only kind of walls China is good at building. The long pause in my blog posts was due to the internet firewalls the government has put into place. I was able to upload photos and post without any difficulty from Stewart & Kim’s wifi at their apartment, but not while traveling through Beijing and Xi’An. Frustrating to say the least. We have so much to share!

We’re not in Kansas anymore

JUNE 8, 2012
DAY THREE

Our first excursion is to Yu Garden, a large market area.

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Here are the boys with their cousin Zhiming and Stewart and Kim’ driver Rocky.

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Happy to see the familiar golden arches.

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At a market where all sorts of creatures could be found. The line between pet and lunch not very clear.

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Our welcome dinner

JUNE 7, 2012
Our first dinner at a restaurant called 1221 included lots of Stewart and Kim’s friends who all came to welcome us to Shanghai. We ate traditional Chinese dim sum.

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Tea and Lotus root.

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Tyler’s new friend Yi Wei.

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Ryan’s first all-nighter. It’s 7:00pm local time, 6:00am Chicago time. We have now been awake a full 24 hours.

Our home while in Shanghai

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Uncle Stew and Auntie Kim’s street.

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Outside of their building.

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View from their balcony.

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Orange kitchen

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The “rain forest” bathroom.

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Sand collected from beaches all over the world.

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Auntie Kim’s shoe closet.

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And the favorite feature of the house, the massage chair.

The long flight

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We survived the long flight! Things that helped to pass the 14 hours…. assortment of snacks, neck pillow and eye masks for napping, kids meals Dad remembered to pre-order, and most importantly, the in-flight entertainment. We each had our own screen with a seemingly endless supply of movies, TV shows and games. One of the best features was the Map setting, or what I like to call the “are we there yet” feature. It displayed our route, current location, altitude, miles traveled and flight time remaining. Who knew I would ever be excited by the prospect of “only” 7 more hours to go?!

Taking Off

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JUNE 6, 2012
After two years of planning, the day finally arrived for us to go to China! Traveling with us to Shanghai is our 19 year old cousin, Zhiming. He just completed his first year in the Engineering program at Purdue. Six people with luggage in tow required a limo bus, or the “blimo” as my kids called it.