Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I L.O.V.E. This City

Picking back up with trip recap posts, after our brief stint in the Philippines, we headed to one of my very most favorite cities in the world, Shanghai!!!  It was so nice, because after two unfamiliar cities, it was great to be back in a city that I recognized (even though I speak very little Chinese :)).

After we arrived, I showered, we had a drink at the hotel bar and then headed out to the Bund!

I just love the energy on the Bund; there are tourists and lights galore and we hit it right as everything was starting to light up for the night.  The energy is electric, vibrant and so full of life. The whole time I just kept thinking, I can't wait to bring my family here one day!

We had dinner at a very authentic Hong Kong style restaurant and afterwards, our tour guide (who spoke Mandarin), took us up to a bar that is on the 87th floor of a hotel.  While we were waiting for the other cab to arrive, we were right in front of the Shanghai Tower which when completed will be the largest tower in the world for a few months before a tower that is being built in Dubai.

Selfie fun- trying to get us and the tower in the snapshot.

LOVED this view of the Pearl Tower- just stunning!

After an 87 floor elevator ride, we had finally arrived!! We were tired as all get out, it took us 10ish hours to get to Shanghai, but the sky was clear and that is rare, so we had to take advantage of the situation.

And I am so glad we did- it was breathtaking and inspiring and definitely one of those type of pinch me, is this real life kind of moments.

The next day, we only had one thing on our agenda- shop until we drop run out of RMB :).  We headed over to the technology center (the shopping is on the bottom floor) and ran into this replica of the ancient Chinese earthquake predictor- there is a little ball in there and when it starts to move, there is predicted bad weather (or something like that...).

I really wanted to sneak two of those scooters into my luggage for Emma and Everly, but alas my bags were already packed pretty tight!

Our first stop was the pearl shop and with three women, it took us 2.5 hours to finish up there (and I got a major lesson in patience and realized quickly why I do the majority of my shopping online).  These are itty bitty sized white and pink pearl necklaces for the girls! I am in LOVE! and need to get these necklaces on them as soon as possible!!

The group testing out my selfie stick I purchased!

Then we ate at another super traditional Chinese meal and I finally got my hands on some dumplings! I love love love the soup dumplings and was so excited to have them again!

Most meals are served family style in China which is neat because  you get to try lots of different things- some good, some not so good.

After lunch, we made a few final pit stops where I picked up the girls Elsa and Anna dresses while simultaneously questioning who I have become :).

The next few days we worked which was pretty uneventful in itself, but one day I decided to get this drink that I had seen signs for in all the Starbucks; the only thing was I couldn't read anything except 'triple coffee'.  I was tired so I figured triple coffee would be a good thing, but one of the elements of triple coffee was coffee jelly! Jelly in a Frap!! Weird, just way too weird. This is about all I drank of it.

A view from up high to show how smoggy and rainy the rest of our time in Shanghai was. I am so glad we took advantage of the clear, nice night on Saturday :).

The night before we were leaving Shanghai, we ate at a dumpling specific restaurant and oh my goodness, it was delicious! The soup in the dumplings provides a warming effect while eating combined with the slightly chewy texture of the dumpling that is just like nothing else I have ever tasted.  Best surprise of the night, it was located on the opposite (and smaller) side of the Bund than we had visited the previous Saturday night.

It is way less crowded, almost felt like a secret spot that not many people knew about!, and a great way to end four days in Shanghai!

Looking back on the more Victorian side of the Bund all lit up at night.

Oh, yes, Shanghai! I really do heart you with all my might!! I know this is weird, but I could definitely picture the four of us living there one day :).

Angela and I, giddy with childlike excitement about the spectacular evening we just had.

The next morning, we were up bright and early to say goodbye to Shanghai.  As we were headed from Shanghai to Chengdu, we couldn't find a Starbucks in the Shanghai airport; however, this turned out to be serendipitous experience. We randomly stopped at a Chinese cafe and I had strong internet to FaceTime Wes and the girls (which had been a problem earlier in the week) and then finished off the morning with the best Mocha of our trip with the prettiest design and bonus butter cookie.

And with that cup of coffee, we bid farewell to Shanghai and headed to our fourth stop on the trip- Chengdu!! At this point I was happy to be moving one stop further, but I wasn't allowing myself to start counting down the days until home- it was still just too far away.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Outdoor Concert Fun!

Since I have been home, we have managed to attend 4 outdoor concerts in the last week.  There is no summertime activity that I love more :).  

Me and my mini happy to be reunited!

The girls are typically in fairly good moods at the concert (especially if Wes manages to get them a late afternoon nap :)) and on this particular day they were smooching up a storm.  Love the way their noses smoosh together!

After settling in, they like to get up and dance together!

I just love watching them dance, they are hilarious :) and biased, I know, but Ev's has the best dance moves!

Emma wanted to slow dance and wanted Everly to hug her from behind so they could dance together.

But she kept knocking Eberleah over, so we told Emma she needed to hug Ev's from behind :).

I am not sure Ev's is doing with her arm, but, whoah, they look long!

Emma's new favorite activity- trying to pick Everly up off the ground.

The next night, my mom came to the concert too! And brought the girls their 'prizes :).

I had already promised the girls a snocone, so after Nonni arrived, we headed over.

Emma had lots of smooches and 'i lobe you's' for Nonni this night :).

One small blue snocone split into two cups later, we were back at our seats and Ev's was excited to dig in :).

Love that she will say cheese when I pull my phone out- a girl after my picture loving heart.

And my Emma, not nearly as into saying cheese for the camera :).

Love the view from the top!

After finishing off her blue snocone and showing off her blue tongue, she wanted Nonni to dance with her (i.e. spin her around until Nonni was dizzy!).

It takes Everly a lot longer to eat than Emma, so it was funny to watch that when Emma finished hers, she walked over to Everly to check out how much she had left. And just like all sisters do, Ev's figured out what Emma was checking out and put her hand over her cup as to signal 'no way, sister'.  Evsie's was pretty proud of her blue lips and tongue too when she finished.

On Saturday we sat in the girls favorite place, by the stairs! Why is it their favorite place? So they can run up in down, swing on rails (or hang bar as Emma calls is) and scare their momma half to death ;).

I remembered to grab a picture of me and Wes!

The girls normally get in a fair amount of puppy petting- no surprise here, Emma is the brave one when it comes to petting the puppies, but I love how she pulls Ev's along.  She will often say 'come a little closer Evehleah, this is a nice dog' while she pats her on the back.  Then Ev's will usually walk up saying 'nice, nice ruf ruf'.

Sit on the stairs next to each other, clap, smile and look at mommy! Three out of four is not terrible ;).

Stop growing so big, ok Everly??!!??

So happy to spend quality time outdoors, listening to live music with my sweet family.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Happiest At Home

Sorry for the recent radio silence, I made it home and have been snuggling, squeezing and smooching my babies every chance I get! I was just so relieved to see those three sweet faces the minute I finally made it through immigration.  I am my happiest self when I am at home with my favorite people.

Shockingly, I haven't taken many pictures in the last four days (and never even pulled out my big camera!), but here is a little peek of what we have been up too.

Saturday evening, literally the minute we got home, we headed over to my parent's house to celebrate Bobbob's birthday and Father's Day!  I was so tired, but at the same time, so happy to see everyone!

We spent some time on Sunday morning trying out my selfie stick :). Both girls wanted me to hold them at all times, so the one not pictured in each of these was having her meltdown moment ;).

I just love watching this girl sleep. Is she not the sweetest thing you have ever seen?

On Sunday night, we went to the Levitt and watched the girls twirl, dance and run around to their hearts content.

On Monday, we took Emma to zoo school and afterwards headed over to the new splash pad to eat a picnic lunch and play in the water for a little bit.

Other than those few things, we have stuck pretty close to home soaking each other in and playing dress up.

Yes, if you know me in real life, it is safe for you to tell me that you don't recognize me. I never thought I would buy the girls dress up clothes, but what can I say- I am a total sucker to see them spin around and tell me they are princess's.

Ahhh, squishy baby toes. Emma has full blown big girl toes now, so I find myself relishing every time I look down and see Ev's sweet squishy baby toes all crossed and cute!

I am going to spend the next couple of weeks getting ready for quarter close and snuggling my babies every chance I get; blog posting may be sporadic as a result.