I’m in Heaven. Honestly, I can’t explain how much I love to travel. Especially when, (warning: a little on the sappy side here…), I get to travel with my best friend. We had a LONG flight over here and didn’t get much sleep not only because we were in tiny seats but because we were talking too much. (And because I was burrowed down in my book The Count of Monte Cristo a bunch of the time…it’s a good one by the way.) It’s especially fun to travel with Dave when we’re in a country where we tower over the majority of the population so we can spot each other easily over a crowd.

So far we’ve made it as far as Shanghai. We needed to be here a couple days for Dave to get some business stuff in. He’s had some meetings, so I have a minute to write a few things down. First I have to post the two pictures I took on our layover in Japan for my Mom. (She had some great experiences with these “singing toilets” when we lived in Japan for a summer growing up.)Quite honestly I’m kicking myself that I didn’t turn on the music so see how pleasant it was, but the bathroom was too crowded and I didn’t want to bring attention to this American trying to take pictures of toilets.
I loved the picture symbol to tell you this toilet had a bidet. Isn’t that a cute little bum getting washed?We got to Shanghai late at night after going on about five hours of sleep in the last three days and running through a rainstorm to catch our taxi to our hotel. But we made it safe and sound.
We’re staying at this hotel right next to our old stomping grounds where we lived when we were here. This was our grocery store and I couldn’t help myself from taking a picture. I wanted to go take one of the pig’s heads hanging from the ceiling in the back but Dave was waiting for me so I couldn’t make it back there gosh darn it.There is one part of the Olympics here in Shanghai. It was the semi finals for soccer. We got to go with Dave’s work partner and his cute new wife. Love these guys. We watched Nigeria stomp all over Belgium. The part of the match that I saw when not completely overcome with jet lag was great. It was amazing to be among so many people all cheering and loving being in the hype of the Olympics. The stadium was packed and the roar of the crowd was deafening.China is certainly not at a loss for manpower. There were these guards all over the place. The security is pretty tight… …I don’t think anyone was going to get through this line of guards. You can’t see too well here, but these guys went down this street as far as your eye could see.

Dave and I woke up at 5:45 this morning from jet lag and went on a great run around Pudong (where we’re staying). I loved people watching as we ran…all the people out and about on bikes and men out with their carts cleaning the streets and pruning all the perfectly manicured trees and bushes lining the streets. I wish I had my camera. We keep driving past the most picturesque places and I just want to be walking around soaking it in. The only problem is we literally would be “soaking” in the humidity. It’s like we’re in a sauna. We’re gonna come home with our pores all cleansed and glowing.

The one thing I forgot that’s tough for me here is the food. Dave’s sweet partner took us out to eat after the game last night and man oh man I’m just not sure I could ever get used to eating fish with their eyeballs glaring up at me from pools of oil. It sure made me feel for Dave and all the long business meals he has here filled with plate after plate of oil with a little fish or fatty meat added to it. I wish I could have taken pictures of the menu…maybe on our next meal. Red bean curd is a favorite dessert. I’m sure our meals in the states would look as different to them as theirs do to us, but man, I was pretty nervous to keep it all down as Dave kept nudging me under the table trying to get me to eat more.

Ok, gotta run. We’re heading up to Beijing on the overnight sleeper train tonight and we’ve got a bunch to do before then…

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  1. I am so thrilled for you. Don’t mind me just living this through you. I too LOVE LOVE LOVE to travel. Let me know when you need some help with your cuties when you get home! I know the jet lag will set in this way too!

  2. very cute toilets. did you happen to see a pink patchwork baby’s quilt while you were getting that picture? i left it there on a layover a couple years back 🙂

  3. I love hearing about your travels..it makes me feel like I am back there again! We are taking our kids to China next year for a month…can’t wait! Cory’s sister lives in Beijing. Anyway, have a fun time! Thanks for the pictures..love them! Oh, one quick question..do you recommend an online store to get them printed?

  4. What a great experience already. What fun you must be having. I love visiting the olympic venues. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to be there. My stomach doesn’t do very well with “foreign” food either. I usually just try to enjoy the soup broth. Have fun!!!

  5. When I was in China, I lived off of rice and Snickers candy bars. I think I lost 15 pounds the month I was there. The food was SO terrible. I hope you find yummy stuff to eat in Beijing!! Glad you are having such a great adventure! Darcy

  6. Ummm…I’m so excited for you. Like you though, I would STARVE over there. I saw all of those bugs, scorpions, etc on a stick on TV and I got all squirmish. Where’s their IN N OUT Burger? Have a ball you guys!

    The Count of M.C. is one of my very favorite books! Not that I have that many, I don’t read all that much. But we read it for bookclub and it was awesome. It would have been easier for me to read if I would have paid attention in History class though. There was a lot of history and politics that I didn’t understand.

  7. What an amazing experience!! How incredibly fun! Doug and I leave for NYC on Monday – I’m excited, but I hate leaving my kids. We’ll be dining it up at every great restaurant . . . no fish for us – ha ha 🙂 just kidding – I’ll be finally be reading the last of twilight series on our flight.

  8. Wow! What a trip. So glad you got there safely. It’s always a treat to travel with your husband, esp. when it’s sans kids.

    I love that you took pictures of your old grocery store. I won’t feel quite as silly when I pull out my camera in Wal-mart (which I do far too often….). Making memories right?

    I loved your comment about seeing each other over people. Rich is 6’6″ and I can almost always spot him in a crowd. It’s been quite handy over the years.

    The soccer match looked amazing. The picture captured it perfectly. And those guards. Wow. Looks like they run a tight ship.

    What an adventure. Thanks for keeping us all updated. I’ll keep checking in for more!

  9. oh my goodnes!
    you’ve made me “homesick” i lived in Japan for 4 years working with a missionary..i have to say i miss those toilets in the winter months here in the states!! thanks for sharing i’d love to see more pictures??? anything to go along with the onsens??? emial at glhoffman2004@yahoo.com and I’ll tell you what i mean in english!!!

  10. The other day I left a comment about your brother and later realized I had spelled Talmadge’s name wrong and the city Campinas. I’ve gotta get more sleep so I catch those things. Sorry!

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