Peking Duck

Well last Sunday I had Peking Duck for the first time. It is a big thing here as Beijing was orginally called Peking. Some people still refer to it as Peking. We went out with Steve’s boss Hon and his family. The duck was good and came with little pancakes and various other things to make a little roll up. We had lots of other yummy food too. The resturant we went too is well known for their duck and is always full. They have 2 locations and we went to the newest one. It was huge. There was a drink Steve told me about I thought that a table by us was getting some kind of fruit smoothy but Steve said it is actually a corn drink. So imagine if you pureed cream corn and drank it cold. Yuck But apparently it is a favourite here. I still am not a fan of dessert at Chinese resturants because it is usally something with red bean or rice. Sunday it was a warm tapioca coconut drink that had what I think was melon in it. There was some really good fruit on the fruit platter though. Chinese food does not use dairy or chocolate which are the two main things that make up most desserts I like. Zoe enjoyed the dinner a lot and even got some spinach on her chopsticks and into her mouth. She always eats a lot when we go to the dumpling place too.

Zoe is a little chatterbox now and getting her to stop talking at home or in the car is nearly impossible. But if you get her around other people and they talk to her suddenly she is a mute. At dinner Sunday she warmed up to everyone just as we were leaving. I think she is excited about going to Disneyland because she wants to see Buzz. I have told her that Buzz is going to be really tall as big as Daddy hoping that may help her not freak out because he is big. We are not prebooking any meals with characters until we see if she likes them or not. She is also looking forward to swimming when we get there too. She talks about swimming from our vacation in Phuket still. She pretends she is swimming a lot. Sometimes she says it is in the ocean with Nemo.

Our explorations

Yesterday we decided to go to a market that was described in our Insiders Guide as having “every imaginable made in China product” Well the market was huge and from what I saw had everything you could think of. We only went up and down 2 isle because it is so massive. It has things set in sections so if we were really looking for one thing we would be able to find it but we were just curious. It was quiet crowded but there were not a lot of foreigners. The other markets are at least half foriegners. After taking that all in we decided to go to a park.

We went ti Luiyin park. It was a blue sky day without too much wind so we thought we better take advantage. We also had a perfect temprature while walking through the park in our tshirts. The park was great lots of cherry blossoms out and green. I also was struck by a smell which happens a lot but this time it was a pleasant familar smell. There were lilacs in bloom. We looked a fish, ducks, saw people playing Mahhjong, cards, and spinning this thing on a string that is hard to describe. The park was not at all crowded and it was great to be able to walk and let Zoe go without worrying she would get lost or swarmed. She did have her picture taken by at least 4 people. There were a lot of people with cameras in the park. It was also very quiet which is a nice change I am sure we will be back there again in the future.

There was also a few people who had brought their bunny to the park. I saw a small cage then a very tiny bunny. Zoe went up with Steve to see the rabbit. The owner picked the poor thing up by the ears and tried to hand it to Zoe. She just squated down to look at it on the ground. When it started to hop away she yelled “back her rabbit” and “come here rabbit”. She regretted her words when it was close again and she got up to walk away because it started following her and hoping towards her toes. Zoe likes to walk backwards a lot now. All and all I think she enjoyed the encounter. I think the bunny may have wanted to escape it’s current owners because it dosen’t like to be picked up by the ears. We also saw some people with plastic grocery bags by one of the ponds taking goldfish out of the pond. I don’t beleive you are supposed to do this but there is no security at the park to make sure you don’t steal their fish. Maybe they were going to keep them as pets or sell them. I know that the workers in our complex sometimes take fish out of the pond here too. The property management has sent out notices that you are not supposed to take the fish out but it is the construction people not the residents doing it.

We are hoping to go and explore the parks more on weekends when the weather is good. Maybe we will find more ducks and fish.

Zoe is also very much a copycat right now. This morning I made the mistake of telling Steve to shut up. A second later Zoe was yelling “shut up now Daddy” so I apologized and said we didn’t tell people to shut up.

Congratulations & Yipee

Well it seems April is the month for girls. My cousin Jeana on the 7th (Venna) and Steve’s friend Ashely on the 5th (Savannha)have both had baby girls. (hopefully I spelt the names right if not sorry) Both are healthy and cute. It was Jeana’s second she also has a little boy named Madison oh and a stepson who’s name I can’t recall at the moment so she now actually has 3 kids. This is Ashley and her husband Glens first so they are in for a lot of fun and new adventure.

And Yipee our trip to Hong Kong disney has been booked. We will be leaving on April 29th. That is not this Sunday or next but the one after. The Macbeths will also be arriving in less than two weeks and will be going with us to Disneyland. We will be staying at a Disney hotel so we will be close to the park and all the fun. The hotel also has lots of kids activites so it will be good for Zoe. We hope to be able to go to Macau for a day and spend a day exploring Hong Kong too. We return on May 3rd.

Zoe should be starting school on May 7th. The director of the school called to apologize for the delay and than us for being patient. We were already getting a 30% discount on this semester and we are now going to get the same discount for the fall semester as well. We will be getting some money back too because we have already paid for 2 months that the school has been delayed. Hopefully Zoe likes school and it will be worth all the hassel.

Zoe and I have been invited to a mom’s group that goes out once a week to a park or something in Beijing. I am thinking of going but once Zoe is in school she won’t be able to attend so it is really only next week and the week after we could go. I may go anyway and maybe skip school once a month or so to go on one of the outings if it seems like somewhere she would enjoy. It would be a great way to meet other moms and see what is out there for kids in a group. I am sure a group of expat kids at a park will cause quiet a comotion too with everyone gawking and wanting to touch the babies.

It is a very windy day here today. Zoe and I went to the outdoor playground for awhile but had to come home. There was another lady that came with two little girls. She rode her bike and had one of those little tent like carriers on the back for the girls. They left because the bike kept getting blown over. Zoe doesn’t really like the wind in her face so it was easy to get her to come home. There is too much dust blowing around when it is like this and she doesn’t have glasses to protect her eyes. I even had a small butterfly land on my sleeve and stay there the whole walk home because it was too windy for the poor little thing to fly. Zoe kept wanting to touch it and look at it. We put it down in the tree in front of our house hopefully it didn’t get blown away.

Well I need to go and check on Zoe she is watching Monsters Inc. in her playroom quietly. A little too quietly for me so I should make sure she isn’t doing anything bad. She may just be mesmorized my the movie she gets quite engrossed in her shows sometimes.

Happy Easter

We took lots of pics of Zoe today. She loved getting her Easter stuff especially the chocolate. We did not get her much chocolate. She got a couple puzzles, housecoat, dress and a few small things that were in her eggs.

We went to the park this afternoon that is at the other end of our complex. It was quite a walk. We took the wagon. Today was a sunny warm blue sky day so you have to get out and enjoy it when you can. Zoe flew her kite with Daddy and played Frisbee with him. She had quite a serious face when she was throwing the disk. She did a lot of walking so hopefully she will be tuckered out for bed.

Right now her and Daddy are reading their book, right now Were the Wild Things Are is her favourite. I am trying to post the pictures from today on flickr and will get Steve to make sure they are there. I have to go put Zoe to bed now. Hope the bunny was nice to everyone.

Hope this link works check out the new photos.

Our first visitor

Today we met up with Mike (Steve’s old buisness partner from PCSupport). He was in town for a few hours waiting for his flight home after a business trip. We met him and a couple of his colleages at Yashow (one of the markets). They had a bargining system that you halved the starting price and added 20. Steve and I laughed at that because we go by you should pay about 25% of what they start at. The trick is to hold firm then walk away most times they will call after you and give you your price. Zoe got a little Hello Kitty purse today that started at about 14o and Steve paid 30 she said it was because Zoe was so cute. She put the purse on and walked through the market stopping at any mirror she saw to admire her new purse. This of course caused crowds to gather to watch her and coo over her.

Easter is coming and brining a treat something from Cadbury something you eat. That tune always pops into my head at Easter time and I always end up buying one of the Easter Cream eggs even though they are so sweet it is just sick. I thought I would go without this year but I found them at one of the Jenny Lou grocery stores. Only one seems to have them and I was concerned that it might not be in great shape but it was good. I really enjoyed probably because I didn’t think I would get one here. I paid way more than I should for a chocolate egg and bunny for Zoe because the grocery stores seem to lack any easter candy or jelly beans. She doesn’t need much but I wanted her to have a bit of junk. She is getting a dress and a few small toys that will fit in little plastic eggs I had for her last year but didn’t use.

Right now Zoe and daddy have gone to the playroom at the clubhouse giving me some nice quiet alone time. I finished off my 2000 peice jigsaw puzzle. It takes up a lot of space. After this I think I will make easter cards for Steve and Zoe. It won’t be a suprise for Steve though because he gets all the blog updates via email and reads them on his phone.

The weather here has been pretty good this week and the cherry blossoms are coming out all pretty and pink. We are hoping to get to one of the parks next week so we can enjoy the pretty colours of spring or maybe we will go to the summer palace.

That is it for now this is a long entry I will try to post a few more things about Zoe latter in the week so everyone can get their fix.