Sunday, June 04, 2017

A Quick Stop in Shanghai

When we left Beijing on Monday morning, we flew to Shanghai.  We didn’t actually spend our three days in Shanghai city.  We were in Jiading, an industrial district about an hour from Shanghai because David had a meeting Wednesday with some folks who use the software he helps develop.  Because it was so far to Shanghai, we decided to stay close to our hotel and since the rest of the trip could be really busy, we wanted to keep this leg quiet and low-keyed.

After we checked into hotel and ate lunch, we took a trip to the supermarket to buy some “dongxi” (stuff) so we could have a picnic in our hotel room later.  We had forgotten how much fun Chinese grocery stores could be, especially during a holiday!  We were there in time for the Dragon Boat Festival.  It is a popular festival and the store was packed buying all their special foods, including one of Andrew’s favorites, Zongzi, little boiled packets of sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves with dates, nuts or meat.  He was so excited when we bought him some.  We also got instant noodle bowls, bread and regular flavored Pringles.  We decided not to try the cucumber or lemon tea flavored chips.  After our shopping trip, we returned to the hotel for some time in the swimming pool followed by our picnic in the room.
Chinese Grocery Store 
Zongzi for sale
You don't see these Pringle flavors every day

Hannah and Andrew with our in-room picnic supplies

Zongzi - ready to eat
One interesting note about the swimming pool at the Hotel - they required everyone to wear swimming "caps" - and they had some for us to "borrow", since we didn't come prepared.  This made for some fun pictures (I thought the skulls were an especially nice touch, don't you?).

Tuesday was a free day, so we slept in (as best we could), had breakfast, then decided to explore the area.  We asked the concierge where the nearest playground for children was, but we were met with blank expressions.  After some basic charades and Lois' chinese explanation, we were told there were no playgrounds in the area.  I still find that hard to believe, but that's what they said ...  So, we opted to go to Hua Long park near the middle of "town".  It turned out to be a really pretty place compete with gardens and a lake.  Of course, the most fascinating part of the park were the electric boats for rent ...  But first, some pictures from the gardens:

Andrew with Confucius and a Warrior
The bell tower

At the top of the bell tower

The very large, very old bell at the top of the bell tower
A pagoda on the lake

A beautiful flower sculpture

Of course, the highlight of Andrew's day was driving the boat - perhaps his first time driving a motorized vehicle?  He did very well driving the boat - Dad only had to intervene a couple of times ...
Lovely orange vests, don't you think?

Captain Cooke

The captain and the crew brightly adorned
Upon leaving the park, we ran across this sculpture - I wonder what the old man with the scroll is thinking?

After the park, it was off to lunch at KFC (a safe place when you don't know the area :>) and then back to the supermarket to buy a few more items for another evening picnic in the room.  What I didn't notice on our first trip was the number of cashiers in this super market - walmart has nothing on this place ...

When we got back to the hotel, there was time for more swimming, then another picnic ...

On Wednesday David had his all-day meeting with Shanghai United Imaging and Lois had the kids all to herself ...  David's meeting went very well and the kids and Lois seemed to have a fun day hanging out around the hotel (exploring, writing post cards and, of course, swimming).  When David finally got back to the room, it was pretty late, and we were out of picnic supplies, so it was off to town and another familiar western restaurant - McDonalds ...  I know, I know ... But it was pretty quick and easy.

Thursday morning, bright and early, we started are trek to Nanchang, birthplace of our very own Hannah Grace Cooke ...

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