Monday, February 23, 2009

La Dolce Vita

Well the second half of our day yesterday went much better than the first. We opted to walk back to Shamian Island (with our guides) from the pearl market instead of taking the bus. We first walked through a very busy business section with lots of stores. There were SOOOOOO many people! Wen and his little friend Tai were mesmerized just watching everything that was going on. We just love watching them and wondering what was going through their little heads. We next walked throught the pet market. I didn't take any pictures here as it's not something I really care to remember and for the sake of my animal loving friends and family I'm not even going to bother describing it. I'm sure me saying that says enough :( After getting through the animal market we walked through the herbal medicine market. As we walked our guide stopped along the way and explained what things were and what they were used for. It was quite interesting and the Chinese definitely know something we don't know. They are all very thin (we have not seen even one overweight person here--seriously!), and they have such beautiful skin.

When we got back to Shamian Island we decided to go straight to dinner. We were joined by our new friends Heidi and Jason and there son Tai (who is one cutie patootie). It was a beautiful walk to the restaurant. We opted for Italian and were VERY pleasantly surprised by how good our meal was. We went there thinking "Italian food in China????". Brian and I can be very critical when it comes to Italian food. Upon arriving we were initially comforted by the beautiful building the restaurant is in, the cleanliness of it, and the fact that they have western style toilets! Already I was thinking this would be our place for lunch and dinner the next couple of days! We sat down to baskets of bread and breadsticks complete with a balsamic and pesto dipping oils. The bread was so light and delicious. Now I'm thinking "OK, this could be good". Then came the true test--our meals. Brian and I ordered Penne with onion, bacon, and tomato sauce , and Chicken with a spinach wine sauce. They were DELICIOUS!!!!! Even Wen enjoyed his spaghetti with tomato sauce and some bread dipped in pesto!! Hooray--that I can make! Later we saw the chefs-two big Italian guys and that explained everything! Our meals combined with the wonderful bottle of wine we ordered, and the company of Heidi, Jason, and Tai was like a little taste of heaven. I was soooo happy and content. It was like my battery was recharged and I was thinking OK, OK, I can do this for a couple more days"! Needless to say, I'm really looking forward to going back there :)

We had a very pleasant walk back to the hotel from the restaurant. On the way we stopped for some Starbucks, and did a little more shopping! There were lots of people out walking and still lots of people in the park exercising.

To make the evening even better we had two important firsts last night. I got my first kiss!!!! AAAHHH, yes, my first kiss. I was holding Wen and puckered my lips and he leaned over and kissed me! Dad later got at kiss too. Also, last night was the first time he let me lay with him to go to sleep. I then put him in his little bed that is right next to Brian's (basically attached to it) and he slept there all night. Either he was really wiped out from all his shots, or he's finally starting to realize that when he wakes up in the morning we will still be there.

Tomorrow we go to the Consulate to take our group oath. Then we'll get all packed up and ready to head out on Thursday (of course in between that we'll be going back to La Dolce Vita!!)

*B, J, and El- We are DONE shopping for you!! El-have fun at school today!! Tell Ms. Diane I said hello. Two more days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian bargaining in the pearl market. Look at all those bags of pearls!!
So many stores, I'm not sure how they can all make money. These were ALL pearl stores!
Wen and Tai just taking it all in! I just LOVE this picture.
Herbal medicine market
These dried seahorses are used for making soup
Scorpians, yes scorpians, also used for a medicinal soup
This artist was making carvings out of ox bone
This little girl was reading in the park and was just as sweet as she looks. She spoke English and was delighted to pose for a picture. She is definitely one of the beauties of Shamian Island.
One of the many couples taking their wedding photos in the park yesterday.
Family photo in front of a "lucky" tree. Notice the trunk--it's like many thin branches twisted together. The trees are so beautiful here
La Dolce Vita!!!!
Spaghetti face!
Wen and Tai. Wen is very nuturing and gentle toward Tai. It make you wonder if he helped with the younger children at the orphanage--ya know at the ripe old age of not even three!
Tai's shoe came off---Wen was helping him put it back on! It actually makes me a sad that he is so independent and was forced to grow up so fast :(
Shoe is on, now he helps him get up!
My first Oreo---this is no rice cookie! Slowly they are beginning to corrupt me!


Red Thread to my Daughter said...

Yea.. sounds like a fab day!! And Owen likes spaghetti is good. I can't wait to meet this little man.. if you dont post again.. safe trip home... see ya Thursday.

Michelle said...

Big laughs for spaghetti face! What a great photo. You'll definitely have to tell me about the new Italian restaurant for September. I would love to understand more about the herbal medicines. Ken takes some at the beginnings of any sign of illness and never gets sick...and you know the winter we've had! Enjoy your moments at the consulate. Safe travels and looking forward to meeting your beautiful son on Thursday! XOXO

sandy said...

Love all your great photos of owen as well as the surroundings in china. What an education you are giving me. Thanks. Love the spaghetti face!! priceless. Enjoy the rest of your stay in china.

Joanne said...

Congrat's on your first kisses :) Owen seems to have such a wonderful personality - love the photos - just beautiful! Hmmm, we missed out on La Dolce Vita while there!! Sounds yummy and it looks and sounds like Owen likes it too - ahhh cooking Italian is do-albe :)
Looking forward to seeing you all together as a just a few days; but enjoy this time :)

Anonymous said...

We are so excited for you both. This is such a wonderful time for you and your family. Enjoy the one on one with him. We would love to meet him when you get back. We understand that you will want to get settled but PLEASE, PLEASE, let us know when we can. We enjoy reading your blog. It made us feel that we were along for the journey! Thank you for that!

Anonymous said...

That herbal market looked really interesting. You only have 2 more days. Hang in there. We cannot wait to meet Owen.

Michele said...

So many familiar sights bringing back so many wonderful memories of my 2 trips to China. I am thrilled that Wen is doing so well.
All our best,
Michele, Emily and Alyssa

Waiting For Bella said...

Thank you for sharing your amazing journey. I have really enjoyed following along. Blessings!!!

jennifer angelo said...

We are so excited for you. Wen is adorable and looks so happy. I love getting up ever morning and reading your blog. You have had such an amazing experience. Thank you for sharing these beautiful memories. I can't wait to meet Wen. He has such a beautiful family.
Love, Jen

Anonymous said...

can't wait to meet Owen he's so cute.
get home safe see you soon.oxoxox