Page 3 of soooze Travel Blog Posts

Asia » China » Shanghai May 11th 2010

Tick tock. The time is flying and we are racing around doing our favorite things and our must do things as we prepare to pack up and return home next month. We are getting excited about seeing all our friends and family whom we’ve missed like crazy. We are also looking forward to the comforts of our real house and being in our soft beds again. Not so excited about driving a car again, since while not having one, we’ve been able to walk or take public transportation/taxis everywhere we’ve needed to go. Plus no car means less impulse buying. Because in a world of you buy it, you haul it, you think about it more. The other day I asked everyone what their top three things they’d miss were and what the top three things ... read more
Me and Sheila
Nathan's invention
school lunch

Asia » China » Shanghai April 25th 2010

I haven't written lately, because it seems like things are just chugging along as they tend to do and I don't have as many new stories. That seems a reasonable outcome after almost 2 years of constant chronicling. We had some really dreary weather of late. Lots of rain and gray and for me that tends to result in hibernation. Luckily I have enough friends now and have signed up for enough things at school that I can't retreat into hermit land for too many consecutive days. There have been various activities and Girl Scout planning meetings and I helped with the used book sale at school a couple days. I've been busy enough. I found out my thyroid levels were off again and have since had my medications increased--so that gives me hope for an ... read more
dance fever
corsages and boutineers
Pearl Tower on a clear night

Asia » China » Guangxi » Yangshuo April 14th 2010

because the chickens were all doing it. I thought of this HILARIOUS and original joke while walking from our rooms in a restored farmhouse to the main buildings at the Outside-Inn Guest House in Chao Long Village. There were so many chickens, and ducks and roosters crowing at all hours of the day. Oh and many a water buffalo (someone told us they are water buffalo) working the fields. This was my favorite in China trip to date. So many great memories and so much fun. We flew from Shanghai to Guilin where we were met by a driver holding the now familiar “Suzanne” sign. Emily’s first comment: “When can we have a driver meet us with an Emily sign?” I need to remember to do that, but it might be my dad at the Santa ... read more
haggling for boats
she shoulda used the kickstands

Asia » China » Shanghai » Jing An April 1st 2010

Welcome to the wedding recap blog. So much to share. First the background. Jiyi works with Mark and they’ve known each other for 3 years. Melody is his lovely bride. They asked the kids to be the “flower children”and for Mark to be the Best Man. We went dress and tuxedo shopping for the kids with Jiyi and Melody and Nathan even got a hair cut before the wedding. You probably won’t be able to tell, but he really did. The day of the wedding, Emily, Mark and I set out on a white shoe mission for Emily. Shoes and tights. I was pretty confident that even though we were unsuccessful in finding white shoes in Emily’s size at the 3 stores we visited in our nearby mall the previous week, we’d find the shoes at ... read more
table decor
pretty flowers

Asia » China » Shanghai March 24th 2010

My dad is coming to visit (for the second time!) next Thursday. We are all very excited here at Slavens in Shanghai headquarters. Not only are we thrilled to spend more time with Papa, we are looking forward to our mini-vacation to a rural village near Yangshuo in southern China. Meanwhile, we are just doing more of our usual life in China tasks. As we are nearing our end date (late June/early July) I am starting to have more of those "I won't miss this" and "I will miss that" moments. In the I will miss category: going up the street to eat baozi (steamed buns will various fillings) for 1 Yuan each (fifteen cents). The other day, Mark had the brilliant idea to ask the guard at our front gate for a recommendation on where ... read more
at silk museum
post-field trip fun
the sword

Asia » China » Shanghai March 8th 2010

Latest Weekend Updates from Shanghai Two weekends ago, Emily and I participated in a big Girl Scout even in Shanghai. It was called World Thinking Day and involved all the Shanghai Girl Scout troops. I saw friends from other schools there and that was fun. The girls went around to various stations that were set up to address several global themed issues. The themes were hunger, water, literacy (which involved all girls bringing gently used books to donate to a migrant school in China), and infectious disease (Malaria specifically and how to prevent it and protect ourselves from mosquitoes that may carry it). My favorite station was the one related to world hunger. The girls were in teams and they each were assigned a country and a role in a family (mother, father, child, grandmother, etc.) ... read more
working on health posters
deciding what to buy
dress shopping

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Ubud March 4th 2010

On our final morning at the Dewani Villa, which happened to be my big 40th birthday, we hung out by the pool and the kids went swimming in the rain. While Mark and I were getting sucked into our computers and checking our email, the entire staff of the villa came out from the main building and surprised us all with a big cake (with the words “Happy Birthday Suzanne Slaven” written on top) and one of the men played guitar while they all sang. The kids and Mark joined in and I clapped happily along It was great. And the cake was amazing! After we indulged in 10:30am birthday cake, we got ourselves packed up and ready to head to our second location in Bali. The story continues as we head to Ubud. Located in ... read more
the cake
famous girl
pool at dewani

Asia » Indonesia » Bali March 1st 2010

Bali Continued... After getting a bit burned on the first Bali day, we needed a second day activity that would keep us out of the sun some of the time. The villa manager arranged a car for us and we set off at 8:30am to see some sights. In hindsight I wish we had been more directive in our planning because we ended up on a somewhat preplanned touristy tour which means lots of stops at shopping areas and the like. We are not into that. To be honest, I’m more into it than Mark and so again I say “we” are not into that. Truly, though, we wanted to see things, learn about the island and its people, and avoid large tourist crowds fighting for photos. We went to many temples. They were interesting with ... read more
statues abound
feeling it
the remains of another temple

Asia » Indonesia » Bali » Seminyak February 17th 2010

I don't know if many other people know the words and tune to the song Bali Hai from South Pacific, but I've known that song since I was a kid. I was (still am) a big fan of musicals. So I was singing it a lot before our trip and now I have it stuck in my head. The gist of the song is that Bali is a special island and it calls to you. Truer lyrics have never been written. Bali was so fabulous and amazing I have to blog about it before anything else. The scenery, the experiences, the people. Magical. Oh and I had a big birthday mixed in to all that so it was all about me for part of the trip and I loved that too. I'll do more of my ... read more
welcome flower

Asia » China » Shanghai » Changning February 14th 2010

Happy New Year! After many weeks of anticipation, New Year's Eve was a loud and colorful affair. Mark and the kids spent New Year's Eve day walking around our 'hood. They went to the park and also to have lunch at the mall. Nothing says Chinese New Year like Subway sandwiches and Dairy Queen. Not Mark's choice, I'm sure. I am fighting a cold (and so far, winning the battle), so I didn't leave the apartment until the evening when I went out front with the family to watch the fireworks show in our apartment complex. Mark and the kids bought a few sparklers and one bigger fireworks bundle called Happy Boom. Mark prepped for the launch with great caution. He unwrapped the top of the package in our kitchen. We all watched anxiously and then ... read more
before the big operation
they were everywhere
snowy new year's day

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