Page 14 of Staci and Martin Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Beijing » Haidian district August 8th 2009

We woke up to the sounds of thunder, lightning and fierce rain pounding on the roof. Dreadful. I didn't bring the best dress shoes to wear in the rain and of course don't have a coat. Luckily we have one hideous poncho (what poncho ISN'T hideous), Martin's non-waterproof jacket (but hey, it works) and 1 umbrella. We bundled up and headed to school, stopping at the bookstore on campus on our way to pick up some breakfast. When I say bookstore, I mean weird underground store that has a convenience store inside, a bakery, clothes shop, shoes, perfume, hair accessories, umbrellas, backpacks, kitchen stuff and an assortment of school supplies. I think it's my favorite place so far just because it's impossible to look at everything in one stop. Granted, we haven't gone too many places ... read more
What doesn't belong?
Bikes everywhere

Asia » China » Beijing » Haidian district August 7th 2009

Short entry, as it's already 7:30pm and we still have to study and lesson plan! Ahhh! We started getting evaluated today in our teaching classes, which will help determine our placements through the city of Shenzhen (say it with me now: Shen-Jen). We also get to fill out a sheet of preferences (district, age group, who we might want to be near, a few other things) and they'll try to work with us to get our top choices, but the Education Bureau in Shenzhen has the ultimate say. So, we'll see. Less of our preferences will matter, as we'll most likely get placed in a school that specifically has requested a couple and has space for us both. I don't get evaluated till the 12th for the first time, with a total of 4 of my ... read more

Asia » China » Beijing » Haidian district August 5th 2009

Staci: It's official. We're the boring old married couple. We just walked back from dinner and passed other program participants drinking beer and smoking cigars without a care in the world. Us? We got dinner at the same place we ate the first night- we each got a plate of noodles stir fried w/beef and vegetables (I didn't eat the meat) and a glass of beer. The total expenditure? 28 yuan, or about 4 dollars. I am all about getting buzzed off one glass of beer that cost me about 50 cents. Buying food in the states will seem ridiculously expensive after this! Now we're back in our room studying and doing homework like good little kids. Luckily, we're okay with being that boring married couple. I love being able to get back to the hotel ... read more
Want some tea?

Asia » China » Beijing » Haidian district August 4th 2009

Staci: It's been a whirlwind of a few days. After all the sad goodbyes, security lines (one issue happened right away- we started to go through security and then realized that I -Staci- had somehow left my new raincoat behind. Thinking that I must have left it at our seats, I got out of the line, talked to a TSA employee and was allowed back out to look- but it was gone, resulting in a minor freak-out. We just got internet here today and received an email from Martin's mom letting us know they have it- I'd given it to Jen to hold and in the goodbyes we both forgot!) and waiting around, we boarded our United flight first to San Francisco, and then to Beijing. We somehow ended up in Economy Plus on the flight ... read more

North America » United States » Oregon » Portland July 12th 2009

Alright, the sadness is officially setting in. My sister, being completely dramatic (I don't know if we're really related:P) has kept saying "this is our last picture for a year! this is our last hug!", etc, etc. Amelia told me today she doesn't want me gone for a year, that she doesn't even want me gone for a day and that when we come back from China we have to move in next door so she can spend the night with us whenever she wants. I told her I have to give her 365 days worth of kisses, and she agreed. We just spent Thursday-Saturday evening in Corvallis, Oregon. It was only our home for slightly over a year, but somehow it felt like ages. We made some amazing friends there, and I'm very glad we've ... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Vancouver July 7th 2009

We had a nice, lowkey 4th of July weekend. We drove down the morning of the 3rd and met my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew at Yale Lake (about thirty min away from La Center) for a day of sunshine, boating, food, napping, laughter, and of course-- good conversation. It was glorious. We spent Saturday in the Portland area, first watching my dad march with one of his community bands in a 4th of July parade (Amelia got about five million pieces of candy from everyone throwing it...lucky girl) and then just enjoying some more laidback family time at the Stabler's house. That evening, Martin, my parents and I went out to dinner and to see the movie 'Up', the newest Pixar creation. If you haven't seen it yet, GO! It's an amazing movie, one ... read more

North America » United States » Washington » Bellevue June 30th 2009

I can't believe the month of June is already over! It's been quite a whirlwind. My last day of work was June 9th and we left on June 10th for a ten day vacation in California with my family. My brother, Neal, graduated with his PhD in Philosophy from University of California Riverside, so it was a nice excuse for the whole fam to spend some quality time together. Martin and I flew to Long Beach that Wednesday, followed by my parents (returning from a month long trip to Europe) and then Debi & the kids Thursday night and finally Ben on Saturday. We stayed in Palm Springs at my parents Worldmark timeshare for a week, just generally enjoying family time at the pool and around the kitchen table. It'd been a long time since the ... read more

Well, one important thing to realize when we go to China- some of our usual websites (YouTube!) will be blocked and inaccessible...hence the move from Wordpress to Travelblog- a participant currently in the program let us know it's been blocked for awhile there. Hotmail apparently has problems also, so if you email me, please do so at Martin's email is This weekend we'll be spending moving some more of our junk and celebrating my friend Jen's 23rd birthday! I've been fortunate enough to be friends with Jen since we were in the 6th grade, and am so grateful that we are still in each other's lives. I plan on taking Martin on a date tomorrow (shh, location still to be disclosed) and then we'll go to a family friends bbq tomorrow night. It's bittersweet ... read more

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