We are doing it

We have decided to make the move to Beijing China. We will be going at the end of July. Steve will be going over a couple times before then to get things set up at work and to look into a few things like a vehicle and driver for us. It is bound to be an adventure and I will try to keep the blog updated with messages and photos so everyone can see what we are up to. If you ever thought about visiting China now you have a reason. You can see The Great Wall, Terracotta Army, Forbiden City, Summer Palace, or shop at The Silk or Pearl Markets. You could check out the night market with a lot of exotic food like scorpions, beetles and other fun foods on sticks it is held on a pediestrian only street every evening. We didn’t see it because Zoe was tired but we did walk down the street. There is a huge department store on either side and we found a Hagen Daz.

Now we Know Why

Well we broke down and took Zoe to the clinic yesterday because she was so cranky still and had a fever. We discovered she has her first ear infection. That is why she screamed and cried almost the whole flight home on Saturday. Steve said what did I care I would never see any of the people on the plane again. But as luck would have there was a lady I know from the MS coffee group who was on the same plane. She had been in Hong Kong with her husband who was there for a conference. So I will see her again. Hopefully she was far enough away from us on the plane not to be too bothered. Oddly enough almost all the people sitting around us slept even with Zoe crying. The flight attendants were horrible. They were old and too made up. Then they were surly and rude. One was running around like a chicken with her head cut off because she was short two meals for her section. She was screaming that she was short and didn’t know what to do trying to get the one working our section to give her a couple. Our attendant said when she finished she would see if she had any left. Then the other lady screamed well I don’t know what to do I don’t have anymore. She was standing right by us and I had just gotten Zoe to sleep so she startled her awake. She is still pretty cranky today and clingy. She wants me to hold all the time and cries if Steve tries to help. Well gotta go figure out dinner.

At long last, new pictures posted

I have posted new pictures from xmas, our last trip to the zoo, Zoe’s first birthday and our recent trip to Beijing. I also fixed the pictures of Zoe and Pooh bear. Below are links to all of the new photo albums:

Beijing Family Trip – March 2006

Zoe’s First Birthday – March 2006

Woodland Park Zoo – January 2006

XMas – December 2005

Zoe and Pooh

Friday activities

Well yesterday was our last day in Bejing. We went to Tieanament Square and the Forbiden City in the morning. Zoe was mobbed at the Forbidden City by a group of tourists from a small Chinese town that wanted to take pictures with her. She was in the backpack so her and Steve will be in a bunch of people’s photos. Several people were looking at her and touching her arm or grabbing her hand. For the most part she didn’t seem to mind. She did get a little overwhelmed later in the day when we were shopping at the Silk Market and Pearl Market and people were grabbing her hand and arm and following us. After our morning tours our guide took us out for lunch and ordered for us. The food was good even though we didn’t know what everything was. Mostly beef and pork dishes. In the afternoon we went first to the Pearl Market it is 5 levels with a fish market on the bottom. (very smelly) The top floor is all people selling pearls by strand, in jewellery, individually or any way you could imangine. It is kinda like a swap meet or the showmart building at the PNE with people set up in stalls. All of them call out to you as you go by and they all speak english. Of course here you can also buy designer items (knock offs) for cheap. The other floors of the market have a varitey of items like clothing (designer jeans, workout wear, silk items and any other clothing item you could imagine including racey underwear), there are paintings, carvings, watches, doll, electronics, and a wide array of other items. We bought Zoe a pair of silk PJ’s and a Dress there. After that we went to the Silk Market which is much the same but with a bit more variety in the clothing items and has a lot of shoes and bags. Steve and I were going to buy shirts but there are not chubby people in China so even the largest size was too small for us. However if we had wanted you can purchase material and have any item of clothing you would like made right there at the market. We did not do this though because we did not have the time to come back and get it.

At the end of the day we finally made it to our hotel pool. The pool area is like an oasis with a fake sky, palm trees, waterfalls and lots of neat decorations. Zoe went for her first swim and seemed to enjoy herself. It was a good way to end a very hectic week.

Back from Beijing

Well we arrived home today at around 7am which is interesting because we left Beijing today at 9am. Zoe had a good flight between Beijing and Tokyo but a horrible flight between Tokyo and Seattle. She was the screaming kid on the plane everyone wants to move away from and it was an 8 plus hour flight most of which she was crying. She has just now become herself again. She was very clingy and cried everytime I put her down when we got home. We are hoping she will sleep well tonight and be back on schedule. She is still a little cranky. We took lots of pictures and will try to get them up soon.

Thursday in Beijing

Well I am unable to get online in the hotel room so I am typing this using word hoping I will be able to cut and past it later. It is 9:30 Thursday night. Today we looked at a couple of kids stores with toys and clothes, next we meet a couple people for lunch, then we checked out the hospital that most foreigners use, and finally a trip to look around IKEA. IKEA stuff looks the same here and the cafeteria has the Swedish meatballs. Tonight we went out to dinner with another couple to a restaurant they like famous for its dumplings. It was pretty good but we were not keen on the desserts. Right now Steve is down getting a massage and Zoe is sleeping. She slept through all of dinner too. I went and had a massage last night. It helped work out the kinks this hard bed has caused. Tomorrow we are going to see the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, then go check out someone’s house because they said it would be a great area for us to live in, and finally do some shopping. We have not bought one thing since we arrived. We want to try to make it to the Silk Market or some other place like that tomorrow afternoon. However this makes for a long and hectic day for Zoe. We are also hoping to lounge by our pool for a bit tomorrow evening it is really cool but we haven’t found time to get there yet.

As for Beijing it is a huge city and it can take a long time to get around. There is a lot of traffic including pedestrians, cyclists, and motorized bikes. There are several kinds of bikes. The people, bikes, and cars all just go and you often see a person standing in the middle of the road trying to finish crossing or a bike weaving in and out of several lanes of traffic. As for the cars they use the lines on the road as a guideline often driving in between two rows of cars or along the shoulder. Also when turning right it is not uncommon to have another car squeeze between you and the curb to get in front of you. There is a lot of car honking. I can hear it outside as I type this. Amazingly we have not seen one accident it looks totally crazy and chaotic but no one seems to get hurt.

The people have been very nice. The service at the hotel is good people are always trying to carry stuff for you and always open the doors. Also no one here gets any tips. So at restaurants, the spa, your cab driver, or whoever does these things because it is how things are not to get a tip.

There are many neat looking buildings here too. There are a lot of very tall buildings and many run down looking apartment buildings usually in clusters. Everything looks dirty because of the dust from the dessert and from the pollution from the vehicles and plants nearby. There is a haze in the air although it has not been bad during our trip because it has been windy. It has also been very warm but everyone we see is wearing their winter coats. It was 21C today and it is warm. There is also a lot of neon signage and billboards everywhere. The ads on the billboards seem to line the tops of buildings and streets it is crazy. They are also doing a lot of construction to ready the city for the 2008 Olympics so there are cranes everywhere. Hopefully we will get some pictures of the buildings I think are neat. We did not replace our zoom lense yet so it may be hard as the pictures would probably be taken from the car while we are stuck in traffic.

People have been fascinated with Zoe too. And when we walked through the mall located under the hotel everyone was staring and commenting on how cute she was or making noises at her. For the most part she has lapped up all the attention. Everyone smiles at her and she is loving it. She has been pretty good for this trip only getting fussy after being trapped in the car for a long day and not being able to run around.

Our flight leaves here at 9am on Saturday and I think we land in Seattle at around 9:30 or 10 am Saturday. Very weird day with the time change. It will be a long 16 hours of traveling and we are hoping Zoe will sleep more on the long leg of the flight from Tokyo to Seattle. So she will more easily get back into the right rhythm for day and night.

Bejing so far

Well after a very long flight. Zoe was good on the 10 and a half hour one but not so great on the 4 hour one from Tokyo to Bejing it was 5 am to her though and she had been sleeping off and on and taken in and out of her seat. I did not fare well on the 4 hour flight either I desperatley needed sleep but couldn’t becuase Zoe was fussy and wanted to cuddle or walk. Once we landed I got up close a personal with Bejing plumbing. Our hotel room looked amazing but the bed is as hard as a rock so sleeping was hard and Zoe was still a little cranky. Tuesday morning I again got up close and personal with the plumbing as my breakfast did not sit well. We then went and looked at a couple places to stay. The first one was very nice and modern it looked like something out of a magazine. The second one is in a more established neighbourhood and is older. The interior shows this as dose the furnishing. They cost about the same because the older one is closer to downtown. The other one is still under construction so it would be new when we moved in. After that we came back to the hotel so I could go to bed where I remained trying to sleep on the rock hard bed until this morning. Today we are supposed to look at some apartments then go site seeing. Steve has said his tummy is a little queasy today. I am still not feeling great a good 5 or 6 hours of sleep in a row would help. Zoe tends to wake up a lot during the night and has gotten up at 4am both nights to play for a couple hours before returning to bed for 2 or 3 hours. She has been eating a lot unlike her parents and is in good spirits. So far we haven’t taken any pictures but I am guessing if we make it to some site seeing places today we will. I am not looking forward to the flight back home. I told Steve that I was tempted to agree to moving as long as I didn’t have to fly back. But of course right now I miss my nice soft bed and my kitty. We everyone is well and you remember to check our blog. I will try to post again if I am feeling up to it.

Zoe's 1st Birthday

Hard to beleive that our little princess is One already. She got lots of great presents from friends and family. And enjoyed playing with her cousins and friend Emily. We took pics and hopefully Steve will post them soon. She didn’t eat much of her cake but she did enjoy a bit of icing and squeezing it in her hands. She managed to keep it out of her hair which is a suprise because she usally puts everything on her head. One of her favourite things today was to walk around with the bunch of helium balloons we had for decorations. Well I am off to relax before cleaning up the chaos. Thanks to all that came and all who mailed or emailed Zoe birthday wishes.

Zoe’s 1st Birthday

Hard to beleive that our little princess is One already. She got lots of great presents from friends and family. And enjoyed playing with her cousins and friend Emily. We took pics and hopefully Steve will post them soon. She didn’t eat much of her cake but she did enjoy a bit of icing and squeezing it in her hands. She managed to keep it out of her hair which is a suprise because she usally puts everything on her head. One of her favourite things today was to walk around with the bunch of helium balloons we had for decorations. Well I am off to relax before cleaning up the chaos. Thanks to all that came and all who mailed or emailed Zoe birthday wishes.

Almost 1 already

Wekll our little Zoe will be one this Sunday the year has flown by. She is a great walker now and is attempting to run sometimes. She got her first goose egg when she decided to run outside on the cement of course this was right as we were going to have her one year pictures done. The hat covers the goose egg but her cheek is scratched. She received her first birthday present and card today from Mya (Sam & Monica’s little girl). Right now she is wandering around the kitchen and eating area carrying the cute top and pants. They are pink and white and have kitties on them. She loves carrying things around espcecially her clothes. She saw Sam when he was here visiting but was a little weary of him. Hopefully she will get to meet Mya soon and thank her in person. We are having her birthday party here on Sunday with just family she is too small to care about how many kids come. Last weekend she was at her cousin Aiden’s birthday and was a little overwhelmed by all the kids. She did love the cake though. We will put pics up from her birthday hopefully before we leave for China on the 13th. Gotta go and stop Zoe from chasing and torturing the cat now.