Page 2 of soooze Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Shanghai July 5th 2011

With much excitement but also worry--we left a not so healthy boy Slaven back at the Grandparents' house in Ohio--we headed to Shanghai for my 7th time (I counted on the plane!). We flew Akron, OH to Chicago, IL on July 4th, where we connected to our very familiar flight UA835 nonstop to Shanghai. It was beyond odd to be on the flight without kids. The waiting area in Chicago was full of Chinese and Chinese Americans with a handful of less than thrilled looking expat dads heading back to Shanghai while I assume their families remained in the USA. We saw one family of 4 (a set of parents and a set of extremely young kids) boarding the plane--probably moving to China for the first time--they had that look about them. We moved to China ... read more

North America » United States » Kentucky » Louisville June 30th 2011

It's been an actual whole year and 2 days since my last post from China--the move back post. I am writing from Louisville, Kentucky, our home for the past 10 months. It's been a great almost year in this fantastic city. We've really loved it here, though we miss Chicago. I am back to working full time, the kids made it through a somewhat rocky first year of school of public school, resulting in our decision to move to private school next year, but we are all well and happy. We've made some great friends, reconnected with some long-time friends, and have managed to stay in touch and connected to our friends and family all over the world through all of this change. How fun to be back here and ready to report again as Mark ... read more

North America » United States » Kentucky » Louisville September 2nd 2010

Hi Everyone, Just a quick update on the traveling Slavens. We are off and at it again--though this time we are attempting to put down roots in a new hometown. I decided to set up a new blog: here ( I loveTravelblog but I thought I'd try a new tool out this time. When we travel the world again, I'll be back here I'm sure. Until then, feel free to join my new blog and follow the latest Slaven family antics as we take on Kentucky. Suzanne ... read more

Asia » China » Shanghai June 28th 2010

I couldn't decide if I should list this under Shanghai or Chicago...but since it started with Shanghai I went with the China listing. The final day in Shanghai it rained and rained. Big huge drops. Our friend Ting came over in the morning to say goodbye. She said Shanghai was crying because the Slavens were leaving. I appreciated the rain more after that. Felt appropriate that the skies were crying as we were also quite sad and emotional as it was really time to say goodbye to Shanghai. Our ayi also came early. She arrived with her husband to collect a load of furniture, dishes and other things we had given her. Watching her say goodbye to Emily was just heart wrenching. She and Emily have become quite close over the past two years. When Emily ... read more
last rainy day
me and my biker friend
Emily and the fruit guy

Asia » China » Shanghai June 27th 2010

I say last blog from Shanghai for now because we will be back. I know it. Yesterday, went to brunch with our first friends in Shanghai and had margaritas and Mexican to help drown our sorrows at having to say goodbye (for now). We followed our brunch up with a trip to the coffee shop where our friendships all began 2 summers ago on a hot and steamy August day. Joanna and I ran a couple errands while the men watched the kids play back at our place. We said a quick goodbye and sent our pals off with the rest of our housewares, our booze, and a half bag of Nestle choc chips. Later that night, Mark and I had a final date night--massages and a yummy dinner. Good times. We had a wild and ... read more
what have wii done?
at coffee bean

Asia » China » Shanghai June 26th 2010

I thought of my title within minutes of entering the first line of many at the Expo. Before I begin my play by play, I have to say my expectations were exceeded and the kids, Mark and I all thought the Expo was impressive, worthwhile and interesting. We powered through our 1 day at the Expo. We had always intended to go, we had also always intended to wait for a bit since the initial reports we heard were not so glowing. The lines were bad at the pavilions but as for crowds, it was not the sea of millions I had feared. We could walk freely, find benches upon which to rest, easily buy food and water at stands and restaurants around the grounds. We arrived at about 9:30am, having failed to leave earlier as ... read more
hitting the entrance line
we're there
nathan, buy me a beer!

Asia » China » Shanghai June 22nd 2010

These are the final days and I would be foolish and let's be honest, a tad bit selfish if I didn't share my every thought and feeling here with you. We started together 2 plus years ago--and so we must finish out the time in Shanghai together. It's the right thing to do. We arrived home from Phuket at 5:45am on Sunday, Father's Day. The kids were great travelers as usual but it was a tiring trip home. We spent the morning sleeping and the rest of the day packing, before heading out to lunch at the Gourmet Burger restaurant. They have the world's best sweet potato fries and I had a veggie burger while the rest of my carnivorous crew dined on juicy beef burgers. I tasted Emily's. Was delicious. We then went to pick ... read more
Father's Day fun
the gift!
the purge

Asia » Thailand » South-West Thailand » Phuket June 18th 2010

Our second annual journey to Phuket has been a wonderful break from the final weeks in Shanghai. We have been all systems go for months, really, and this week in paradise was everything we'd hoped for and more. I have several key memories that involve trying to recreate great trips or experiences and failing miserably. This attempt, however, was a success. We returned to the Indigo Pearl, an oasis of tranquility in Phuket. Despite the troubles in Bangkok, we did not have any issues flying through Bangkok en route to Phuket. It was a smooth, easy trip. Oh I did accidentally have a pair of kids' scissors in my backpack (used during end of school, class mom related activities). They were confiscated, a notation was made by hand in a log book and my passport number ... read more
cooling off
the room
the patio

Asia » China » Shanghai June 9th 2010

It's been a long time and I have several good reasons. First, we are moving home in less than 3 weeks..Second, my computer died and was in the shop (story there of course) and finally, I hosted back to back birthday bashes for my summer babies (more stories) and have been go-go-go with school related end of year activities. I have about 20 minutes so I'm going to crank out an update of sorts but it will not likely do justice to the past couple weeks. First the birthdays. I had a Chinese cooking birthday for Miss Emily and it was a smash hit. I found the place in City Weekend (the mag I write for) and tore out a page for future party potential. The party guests were Emily's female classmates as well as several ... read more
cooking party
Nathan cuts it up

Asia » China » Shanghai May 25th 2010

Two years, 180 published blogs, 191,149 words (present blog excluded) later, I am nearing the end of documenting our great China adventure. Officially one month to the big move, less than a month until we ship our stuff home. I wrote a repatriation article for City Weekend, and now I’m living the best practices I outlined in my research. I will share the article once it’s published. As stressed out as the article made me—they always stress me out—I am pleased that I took it on. It’s another moment, milestone, marker in this journey that I wanted to record. A final published article feels like a fitting part to this last chapter of our time in Shanghai. We have lots of lasts going on—in direct contrast to the many firsts that happened exactly two years ago. ... read more
old friends were also at camp!
lantern lighting
lucky girls

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