I am an American woman with a husband and 2 kids, about to relocate with my family to Shanghai.
The back story: We are moving because my husband is going to be working in Shanghai.
July 6, 2008: We are a bit less than a month away from the move and current postings chronicle the prep to get there, the logistics to be allowed to go there, and the coordination of all these things we have to do before we can go! Oh, and Mark is in China for about a month (the last month we are in the states and getting ready)...so I'm very busy.
July 28, 2008....2 days til the big move.
August 4, 2008 We are in Shanghai. We arrived on 7/31/08 after a long flight. We are still in get used to a new city mode, minus the ability to speak the language...so it's been both exciting and also challenging.
December 5 2008 4 months down, and we are heading home in just over a week to the USA to visit friends and family before returning to Shanghai in January. Talk about culture shock. I expect it to be another adventure to simply go back to our home town.
February 6, 2009 Back in the groove of life in China. Spent last 2 weeks as a solo parent and eager to have my husband back in Shanghai on Monday.
October, 2009. getting back into school routine after a fab holiday in Vietnam. Living in Asia affords us short distance trips to dream destinations.
July, 2010. Just back in the USA! What a fabulous 2 year adventure. Hoping for many more in our future.
August 8th 2012
Drumroll, please…This, ladies and gentlemen, is my 200thTravel Blog. I last wrote from Denmark on the eve of our trip to Sweden. I am going to devote the 200th blog to the wedding of our friends Lisa and Rikard. I realized I would reach my 200th blog on this trip and decided immediately to do a special report on the two day wedding extravaganza before finishing the stories from our 7 days in Sweden. The 2 day wedding was held at Rockelstad Castle a bit over an hour from Stockholm. The wedding invitations made it very clear that this was an adults only event, but Lisa had assured me she would help me find someone to watch the kids. Lisa found us a wonderful young man named Patrik who is the son of one of Lisa's ... read more
August 7th 2012
I didn't realize Copenhagen was spelled with a K in Danish. K is the letter in Denmark. You know what else? The Danish make good danish. True story. Unlike Paris, where we know how to pronounce most words, even if we can't understand them, Danish is super hard to pronounce. It's fine when we are sure of our destination and can ask about it in English. Less fine when we are trying to ask about a train stop or a street. 19 consonants and an occasional vowel do not make for easy guessing. The joy of bakeries We hit the Lagkagehuset bakery (see what I mean about pronouncing Danish words?) our Michigan friend recommended about 5 times total--including a stop at the airport before boarding our flight to Sweden. Scandinavians do know how to bake. We ... read more
August 3rd 2012
Check-out procedures We left Paris on Friday morning. We stayed up late again so Mark and I scrambled to pack up and tidy up the apartment. The instructions for the apartment were lengthy and, not surprisingly, a smidge confusing. Mark called the manager of the apartment to be sure we followed the instructions correcly, and we had to leave the key in the mailbox which luckily we were able to do without any wild duck chases during our exit. The only problem we had is we left a little late and upon arriving at the airport, we had long lines and limited time til departure. We did self checkin which was easy enough, and even got the luggage tags and boarding passes from the kiosk. But then we had to lime up to turn in ... read more
August 2nd 2012
I think this may be my best blog title of all times. We are in Paris, known for the famous "Let them eat cake!" quote atrributed to Marie Antionette--who lived in Versailles where we were earlier this week and I came up with this one while we were (no suprise) eating steak! Stay tuned. It will all make sense. We came too quickly to our last day in Paris. We all agreed that the day should be less structured and allow for shopping (Emily) and down time (Nathan). This time I had a bit of an agenda. While try as I might, I could not find a Zumba class that was in session--tons of people go on holiday during August--I was sure we could check "run in Paris" off the list. The nice woman from the ... read more
August 1st 2012
Author's note: I tried to set the Paris blogs to Paris for the Region and it keeps defaulting to another region. Oh well. Day 3 was all about the museums. We had to get a couple more must dos done. At times it felt like work, especially with the kids and their lack of total enthusiasm for a day of forced culture. But in the end, we are all better for having visited the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay. The title needs some explaining because I want you to be in on our joke. Emily was singing part of a song with lyrics that go "hey! must be the money!" She was exaggerating the pronunciation of money and it sounded enough like Monet that we were laughing hysterically at the fact that we were at Musee d' ... read more
July 31st 2012
We impressed ourselves with our ability to stay up most of day 1. So much so that we were a bit surprised on day 2 that the kids appeared to be in a suspended sleep state and could not be roused. Not even with promises of fresh baked goods. Mark and I left the kids sleeping (having told Nathan--we are going to the bakery, tell your sister if she asks). Turns out he was not really listening. She awoke to find us gone and was none too pleased. Fear not, she did recover. We used Yelp to find a nearby bakery and with Mark's map reading talents, we were there with ease. Shelves lined with the most gorgeous pastries and breads. Loaves in perfect form, golden croissants, some with chocolate peeking out. We ordered 6 items ... read more
July 30th 2012
Blogging again! It's been about a year since my last blog from Asia (the vacation trip to China and Japan that Mark and I took last summer). I think I promised more tales from that trip and then got sucked back into the world of work and daily life. So this trip I am hoping to do a bit more writing while traveling. We brought Emily's Mac and it's far superior to the junky little notebook toy computer we took last summer. No offense, Mark or toy computer manufacturer. This trip was about a year in the planning. The impetus for the adventure was the engagement of our dear friends Lisa and Rikard from Sweden. They are these beautiful friends we made--first Lisa in Shanghai at a language class and later Rikard when they both came ... read more
July 10th 2011
Sunday was the big day. We had a multi-page itinerary that I am ashamed to admit I did not read completely. Since Mark was also in the wedding, and Ray’s sisters seemed more organized and with it about the happenings, I relied on others. Kind of like group projects in college. Sometimes I was the leader and sometimes the follower…in this case, FOLLOWER. I didn’t mess anything up. I helped when needed, showed up on time (besides that rehearsal dinner tardiness) and had a wonderful time making up games for the groomsmen. This was a fun Chinese tradition worked into the events. The bridesmaids had a meeting in the morning and we made a list of tasks and hurdles the men had to pass in order for the groom to get into the bridal suite and ... read more
July 8th 2011
I have been a terrible reporter this trip. I am fully aware. However, in my defense, this trip is so short and our pace has been so fast, that we’ve been on the go non-stop. I have taken lots of pictures and even a few notes so I remember to tell you the highlights. That being said, I am going to fast forward to the end of our time in China and cover the 3 days we spent in Beijing, before finishing my Shanghai tales. They are worth telling, but the Beijing days were by far the highlight of the trip to date. The wedding events were so much fun and so interesting, I have to get to that part and then back track later. As I write this we are on our trip from Beijing ... read more
July 5th 2011
We took a taxi to the hotel in Pudong (not allowed to talk about it but we got a good rate at a nice hotel and if were up to me, you know I'd share, overshare and share some more but what can you do when your traveling partner is a man who shares less than you? (It was a really nice hotel!) We checked in, did not even consider a lie down or we knew we'd be doomed to sleeping and not adjusting to the time. So out into the swamp weather we went. We took the subway to Nanjing Xi Lu. We were heading to get subway cards and phone numbers. The subway by our hotel didn't have any subway cards in sight. Lots of empty machines for them, but no vendors selling. So ... read more