Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some new photo's from our latest adventures...

Phil and I just got back from a trip to Guizhou. We spent 4 days in the province visiting the Miao ethnic minority people and some of their villages. This was my second visit to the region, but only the first for Phil. I traveled there for the Sister's Festival in May and this time we returned to attend the Lusheng Festival. Lusheng is the name of the long reed pipe, a traditional instrument of the Miao, and you can see it in some of the photo's in our new album titled "Guizhou Lusheng Festival".

Hope you enjoy!

-Phil and Jen

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I know I promised the next blog entry would be from my mom, but alas- she needs more time. She claims she doesn't have the "gift" I do. What she means by "gift", is actually the ability to use a computer to type out her thoughts. Sorry mom... I had to tell. And perhaps through this little jab, the arrival of promised "review of Shanghai" has been ensured.

I dropped my mother off at the airport yesterday morning and returned home to my couch. I am fighting off the same cold half of Shanghai has right now.

On a more interesting note, Phil and I leave tomorrow for a weekend trip to Guizhou. Some of you may remember reading about my trip to this region in May of this year. I went as part of a tour group to see the Miao ethnic minority Sister's Festival. I was so struck by the beauty of it all and I really wanted Phil to have the same experience, so now we will return to see another famous festival of the same minority group.

I hope to have a lot of pictures from this trip and will post them when we return.

Have a great weekend!
-Phil and Jen

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Tourist in My Own City

What a week it has been! My mother arrived in Shanghai on Friday the 10th of October, and we haven't stopped going since! We have been adventuring about Shanghai for the last week, and it has been great. I have seen parts of the city that I had never seen before, explored neighborhoods and areas completely new to me, and learned a great deal more about how amazing this city really is.

Phil and I have been living here for over a year and a half, and we have been waiting to do a lot of things until we had guests. The thought of doing the same tour 5 times wasn't all that appealing, so I had been making a list of all the things to do- and waiting until we actually had someone come visit... enter my mother.

As soon as she arrived, we began making plans and focusing on the things she really wanted to see. We had an educational afternoon of Chinese tea tasting. We had a tour of Shanghai's disappearing Shikumen housing with the famous Shanghainese photographer, Gang Feng Wang. We have sipped beer while getting Chinese foot massages. We have shopped and visited the historical Yu Gardens and sipped tea in it's old tea house. We have stuffed ourselves on Indian buffet. Yesterday we went on an amazing historical tour of the Jewish Ghetto's with the Israeli journalist, Dvir Bar-Gal. Today we will go for Chinese foot and body massages, wander around the French Concession, and go to a favorite Irish pub for Guinness and fish-n-chips. All in all- it's been great.

I am going to have my mom blog later tonight. We will post some photos and get her "visitors perspective". Should be interesting to see how Shanghai rates in her book. More to come...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

If I don't take this moment to blog- I may never get around to it. Phil and I got back from a beautiful trip to the Maldives late last week. The Maldives, a little known place among Americans, is a group of over 1192 islets spread across the Indian Ocean. One fine day, we happened to find ourselves on one of the only 250 inhabited islands, in our very own private ocean villa. It was breathtaking and wonderful! When we weren't eating, we were snorkeling. When we weren't snorkeling, we were eating. Food and snorkeling. Rough life I know.

Now we are back in Shanghai and preparing for a visitor- my mother. It will be the first of our family to come and visit us, and we are looking forward to showing her around this crazy city. Before she comes though, I have a lot to do. It's funny how house guests will motivate you to unpack those last few boxes you have been meaning to unpack for months.

Phil and I are also in the last stages of gathering documents for our dossier. For those of you who don't know, Phil and I have decided to pursue adoption here in China. We are very excited, but the journey has just begun. Once we get all of the paperwork done and off to necessary government entities- we will start a special adoption related blog. Until then, we have approximately 3 months of waiting ahead of us. Then we will find out if we get approved for the adoption. Needless to say, it has been very busy and stressful around here!

We hope you all are doing well. Feel free to email Phil or myself and we'll be more than happy to get back to you more specifically.

-Phil and Jen