September 08, 2012

A Tour Through China: Shanghai

Our last stop on our tour was Shanghai. We took the high speed train from Beijing to Shanghai. It was fun to see the countryside. The pollution was STILL really bad, we could only see a few feet from the windows. It makes we wonder HOW do the trees get enough light to live? The train was a pleasant ride. It took about 5 hours, going 330kilometers an hour (150 miles per hour).

Train Station
Shanghai was a beautiful city. The drivers were a bit more hectic than Beijing, but since we used the Subway system anyway it did not matter. We stayed in an old 1920s gorgeous hotel (The down side to have a beautiful hotel to look at was the wet dog smell mixed with the smoke) right on Nanjing road.

Nanjing Road In the daytime
Selling Cherries
Our really good friends from Hawaii now live in Shanghai for work. We spent most of our time with Royce and Melanie and their little man, Branson. We shopped on Nanjing road and walked the “Bund,” a famous boardwalk area at night, ate tons of great food and even went to a museum to learn more about Shanghai’s history.

Lady Hiva was excited to come the Shanghai because she loves all the old Chinese Kung Fu movies (They are a bit too corny for my taste—haha, and that is coming from a guy that likes a chick flick!) that were based in Shanghai.

Buying a fresh fruit added sugar!
One of the days Royce and Melanie took us to Yuyuan Gardens. They are beautiful gardens and walkways from the Qing era. It is full of places to sit and rest and Koi ponds. Just outside the gardens are plenty of places to shop and of course eat! We ate at a famous dumpling place that you have to wait in line for. The vegetarian dumplings were AWESOME! I even tried the pork dumplings too. Shanghai styled dumplings have a ‘soup’ in them so it has a different flavor and texture. Lady Hiva and I did not know that and had gone to a small dumpling place on a side street for lunch and after ordering, the rude waitress said, “NO!” to all of the things we wanted. When I asked her “Why?” all she said again with just as rude of a tone was “NO!” So we just ate what they brought…well, Lady Hiva ate a few, I poked at it and let all the ‘soup’ out and figured I would wait until dinner. So we were glad that Royce and Melanie knew better places to eat.
Selecting which goodies she wants

Out the window of the little place we ate dumplings...I took photos after I let all the 'soup' out of the dumplings

The BUND at night--looking at the Pudong side of Shanghai
Lady, Melanie and Melanie's Mum

The Bund

I lucked out that Branson wanted to be my friend...I think it was more that he would go to anyone that did not put him back in the stroller...haha!

He ran all the way across the road to see the bear, but when he got close he got scared...

Maybe if Dad goes he will like him...

Us dancing with the Zumba women...

Vegetarian dumplings! WOOT WOOT!

Stinky Tofu...not bad.

Trying to sell Lady Hiva a hair clip. She finally gave up because Lady's hair is too thick! HAHA

My actual birthday was while we were in Shanghai. We spent the day touring with Royce and Melanie then went to Nanjing road at night. It is a really fun place. People come out to dance, sing and talk. There are women doing a Chinese version of Zumba. There are older people doing to waltz. If you stand long enough watching they will come grab you to be their partner! There was one guy that played his accordion and people would gather around him and sing and sing! What a fun place.

Melanie and Lady Hiva on the green screen

Nanjing at night!

The Dancing Zumba women

The Choir Director

The Waltzers.

As we were going back to our hotel, Lady Hiva and I saw a random area with rides in the middle of a park. We went over and for $3 a ride we rode two of them. One was a swinging pendulum. It was a blast to feel the rush of flying high, they pausing in mid-air before gravity claimed you again. I was screaming for fun—as always—but then I feared I was too tall and my legs would hit the poles as we passed so I was screaming for REAL! Lady Hiva and I both LOVE roller coasters. We have a deal that when we are on a roller coaster you have to keep your hands raised high and absolutely NO holding on! When we were in Orlando over the summer we got Heather’s kids to join in. Even the young kids would keep their hands up and after we would all tease anyone that put their hands down…I looked over and saw that Lady, too must have been worried about hitting the pole because she was holding on for dear life. Too bad the kids were not with us so we could all tease, Aunty Hiva for being a “scaredy-pants!”  
The Pendulum ride

Next we rode the swinging seats. It is a staple of “old carnival style rides” so we figured we would try it. This time my feet DID hit. Luckily it was not poles though. It was surrounded by trees and the whole time, no matter how far under the seat I tried to tuck my feet, my legs were getting slapped and stung by branches as they whipped at me. YIKES! Happy Birthday! HAHA…
Our trip to China was great! We loved it. We boarded the plane home tired, with completely full suitcases, a camera with all the memory space used, and lighter wallets (sigh…). But it was SO worth it!.

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