We're back

Well after a 10+ hr flight we are back in Vancouver. Zoe was really good on the plane, we left at 5:30pm (Beijing time) and arrived at about 4am (Beijing time) noon Vancouver time.

Zoe and Steve had about 3 hours of sleep on the plane ride. They did not have Zoe’s kids meal but we had lots of snacks and the flight attendant went into business and took one of their fruit salad for her.

When we got off the plane our stroller was waiting with the front wheel sitting beside it. I tried to pop it back on but it was broken and a part missing. The people who unloaded were no where to be found. One of the flight crew was very helpful and got someone to take it to the baggage claim area for us, where we were to make a claim for damages.

So we traipsed through the airport with 2 carry on bags, Zoe and her carseat all being carried. We claimed our luggage and went to file our claim. They asked where the stroller was because no one had brought it down yet. So they took all the info then called the baggage department to find out where the stroller was and we waited and waited.

It was about 30 minutes. They had told us we had to take the stroller to a shop they used to repair strollers and if they couldn’t fix it they would replace it. But when after 30 minutes no one could locate it they told us we could spend up to $180USD on a new stroller and mail them the receipt then they would reimburse us. That was great.

Then it was off to Avis to get our rental car where there was some kind of problem and it too took a very long time to get the car. We ended up with a Cadillac that barely fit all our luggage. It does look very pretty though.

Thankfully the Hilton at Metrotown was great as usal and the bellmen remembered us and helped us get a bigger room and the perks we wanted. They are also working on a way to cut back our valet parking costs. So it is now about 6pm Thursday but it is 10:30 am Friday for us and Zoe and Steve have had little sleep and I have had none so we will likely all be in bed very soon. And if we all make it through until morning we may be ok.

If not please be patient and don’t be offended if we don’t get around to you this week. We will be back on the 17th for 2 weeks and will get everyone in then. Well I should go I am nodding off while typing.

We’re back

Well after a 10+ hr flight we are back in Vancouver. Zoe was really good on the plane, we left at 5:30pm (Beijing time) and arrived at about 4am (Beijing time) noon Vancouver time.

Zoe and Steve had about 3 hours of sleep on the plane ride. They did not have Zoe’s kids meal but we had lots of snacks and the flight attendant went into business and took one of their fruit salad for her.

When we got off the plane our stroller was waiting with the front wheel sitting beside it. I tried to pop it back on but it was broken and a part missing. The people who unloaded were no where to be found. One of the flight crew was very helpful and got someone to take it to the baggage claim area for us, where we were to make a claim for damages.

So we traipsed through the airport with 2 carry on bags, Zoe and her carseat all being carried. We claimed our luggage and went to file our claim. They asked where the stroller was because no one had brought it down yet. So they took all the info then called the baggage department to find out where the stroller was and we waited and waited.

It was about 30 minutes. They had told us we had to take the stroller to a shop they used to repair strollers and if they couldn’t fix it they would replace it. But when after 30 minutes no one could locate it they told us we could spend up to $180USD on a new stroller and mail them the receipt then they would reimburse us. That was great.

Then it was off to Avis to get our rental car where there was some kind of problem and it too took a very long time to get the car. We ended up with a Cadillac that barely fit all our luggage. It does look very pretty though.

Thankfully the Hilton at Metrotown was great as usal and the bellmen remembered us and helped us get a bigger room and the perks we wanted. They are also working on a way to cut back our valet parking costs. So it is now about 6pm Thursday but it is 10:30 am Friday for us and Zoe and Steve have had little sleep and I have had none so we will likely all be in bed very soon. And if we all make it through until morning we may be ok.

If not please be patient and don’t be offended if we don’t get around to you this week. We will be back on the 17th for 2 weeks and will get everyone in then. Well I should go I am nodding off while typing.

It's Just like Riding a Bike

OK whoever said it is just like riding a bike you don’t forget how never rode an electic bike. I test drove my bike for the first time. I did not engage the power but with each push of the peddal you get a little burst of juice. So you feel like you are getting a push. It is a little unerving and akward so I will need to practice around the complex before venturing out onto the road and before going out with Zoe in the back. Corners are also hard because if you need a bit of a push and you pedal you get way more than you bargined for. I am sure the people watching me got a good laugh at the akward uncooridnated girl trying to ride her bike. I am hoping not to wipe out my bike and injure it or myself in my attempts to master it.

Oh and also going on is our Ayi Mary who is really good. There are a few things that bug me but they are very minor and I can live with them. She is trying to get a visa to go to Canada for 2 years to work in Ontario. She is using some company that helps people get jobs there doing the same thing they do here. Although I suspect they say it is more childcare than house work because we wrote a letter syaing she worked for us and put at the bottom of the list that she took Zoe to the playroom and out for walks and they wanted us to emphasize that fact. I like her so I want her to go because she really wants to but I don’t want to have to get a new Ayi and start again so I want her to stay here. She just had her 34th birthday on the 17th although she goes by the Chinese lunar calendar so it isn’t her birthday yet. Maybe it will be delayed just long enough for us to keep her. Our drive told us this week that his wife is expecting a baby on the 27th of November and he is very excited they don’t know the sex.

Zoe continues to pick up new words and manerisms daily. Some good and some not so good. She really loves playing with stickers so that would be an idea for Xmas for her as they would be esay to bring home. She goes through them fast because she will take the whole sheet I give her and stick them one one peice of paper or all over herself or me. She is still for the most part a really easygoing and happy baby girl. (I guess I should say toddler). It is fun seeing her personality start to come through. Although I think she will be a little stubborn and that is not too fun to watch or be on the receiving end of. I am sure you will all be amazed at how she has grown and changed since we left in August. She has even made a friend in the playroom who is also from Canada and 6. I have not met her yet so I don’t know her name because I can’t figure out what it is from my ayi even when she spells it. I have taken Zoe to the playroom on several days to try and meet her but haven’t found her yet. They met regularly with their ayis for a couple weeks. But she has not been there at the same time as Zoe for awhile now.

I know everyone wants pics but our Mac is having some issues connecting to the net so we are not able to post them now. You will all be able to see her soon.

And on a final note I did get more for my birthday Steve sent me 37 roses that are very pretty. See everyone in December

It’s Just like Riding a Bike

OK whoever said it is just like riding a bike you don’t forget how never rode an electic bike. I test drove my bike for the first time. I did not engage the power but with each push of the peddal you get a little burst of juice. So you feel like you are getting a push. It is a little unerving and akward so I will need to practice around the complex before venturing out onto the road and before going out with Zoe in the back. Corners are also hard because if you need a bit of a push and you pedal you get way more than you bargined for. I am sure the people watching me got a good laugh at the akward uncooridnated girl trying to ride her bike. I am hoping not to wipe out my bike and injure it or myself in my attempts to master it.

Oh and also going on is our Ayi Mary who is really good. There are a few things that bug me but they are very minor and I can live with them. She is trying to get a visa to go to Canada for 2 years to work in Ontario. She is using some company that helps people get jobs there doing the same thing they do here. Although I suspect they say it is more childcare than house work because we wrote a letter syaing she worked for us and put at the bottom of the list that she took Zoe to the playroom and out for walks and they wanted us to emphasize that fact. I like her so I want her to go because she really wants to but I don’t want to have to get a new Ayi and start again so I want her to stay here. She just had her 34th birthday on the 17th although she goes by the Chinese lunar calendar so it isn’t her birthday yet. Maybe it will be delayed just long enough for us to keep her. Our drive told us this week that his wife is expecting a baby on the 27th of November and he is very excited they don’t know the sex.

Zoe continues to pick up new words and manerisms daily. Some good and some not so good. She really loves playing with stickers so that would be an idea for Xmas for her as they would be esay to bring home. She goes through them fast because she will take the whole sheet I give her and stick them one one peice of paper or all over herself or me. She is still for the most part a really easygoing and happy baby girl. (I guess I should say toddler). It is fun seeing her personality start to come through. Although I think she will be a little stubborn and that is not too fun to watch or be on the receiving end of. I am sure you will all be amazed at how she has grown and changed since we left in August. She has even made a friend in the playroom who is also from Canada and 6. I have not met her yet so I don’t know her name because I can’t figure out what it is from my ayi even when she spells it. I have taken Zoe to the playroom on several days to try and meet her but haven’t found her yet. They met regularly with their ayis for a couple weeks. But she has not been there at the same time as Zoe for awhile now.

I know everyone wants pics but our Mac is having some issues connecting to the net so we are not able to post them now. You will all be able to see her soon.

And on a final note I did get more for my birthday Steve sent me 37 roses that are very pretty. See everyone in December

Happy Birthday to Me and Nick

Well I hope Nick wakes up feeling better than I did on our birthday. I woke up with a wicked headache this morning. I think it is my sinuses because of a cold or allergies. Hard to tell which. The air here is pretty polluted it has been ok in the day but the evenings have been pretty bad. Today I think I may sneak to the spa while Zoe and Mary play in the playroom for a manicure and pedicure. Steve already gave me my digital camera last month so there won’t be anymore presents for me today. Maybe Zoe will go the whole day without a tantrum or saying NO for my present. Probably not but I can hope. We are getting ready for our trip back next week. We will be going for our final shopping expidition this weekend and hope to find stuff for everyone to bring home. The last trip we didn’t get very many things so this will be a major trip. We are thinking of leaving Zoe home with Mary for the afternoon because it is a long boring time for her with people grabing at her the whole time so it would be faster and easier on us and her if she waited at home. We haven’t left her with Mary and gone out yet so this will be the first time. Mary (our Ayi/housekeeper) is trying to immigrate to Canada. She is working on getting a Visa to go work there as a live in helper. We saw her papers from the Canadian Govt and the job is in Hull Ont. 40 hrs a week live in at $9 an hour. That is way more than she makes now. I have a feeling that she will be working way more than 40 hours a week as she starts here at 8am and often goes until after 8pm. She only goes out for about 20 mins when she has lunch. We have not told her to work these long hours and I have actually told her several times to just go and relax or to take her time at lunch but she just won’t do that. It is her birthday on Friday so I am going to try and find a little something for her. Oh and our driver and his wife are expecting a baby on the 27th they don’t know if it is a boy or girl. Well that is it from here for now. See you all soon.

Another Blustery Day in Beijing

Well the last 3 days have been very windy here. It has gotten much cooler too. The wind does make the sky bright and blue and clears up some of the smog but instead you get dust everywhere. My eyes have been quite sore from it and you feel kind of dusty when you get in especially in your hair. We went on a pedicab tour of an area called Houhai it was neat but windy. Yesterday we took Zoe to the playground at the school across the street she was ok until the wind really picked up then she was really unhappy. Steve was carrying her and I was pushing the stoller although the wind was making that hard. I don’t know how long the windy season lasts but as much as I love a windy day I could do without the sand and grit blowing in my face.

I also got a new bike, it is a Giant (name brand not size) electric bike. I can peddle it and when I get tired I can use the battery to power it and just steer. We also got a baby seat for Zoe so we can tool around the area. It will be great to go to the bagel place that is close but a little too far to walk. So far we only have one bike if we use it a lot we will likely get another one for Steve. Mine is a light blue colour that he thinks is kinda girly. I haven’t taken it for a spin yet because it has been too windy and I haven’t had a chance.

Zoe is talking a lot more and seems to add new words all the time. Right now she likes to say empty when she finds a glass or bottle that is empty. She also says apple anytime she wants a drink. Because it is usally apple juice she gets so all drinks are apple.

We are trying to get our internet connection fixed as there is a problem with the connection in the den where the computer is. I am currently using Steve’s laptop and the wireless connection. We can’t use this connection with the mac and that is where all the pics are that we have taken. It also means I cannot update the blog a lot or email much until it is fixed because I have very limited computer time.

We hope everyone is well and will see you all in a few weeks time.