Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spring Festival Vacation

Sorry it's been so quiet on the blog lately! I've been bit by another photo book making bug, so have used all my spare moments working on it. :) Ryan has also been off work, meaning what time not spent on chores is spent with him!

The Chinese use two calendars. One is the one used worldwide, to keep on track with everyone. But all of their festivals go by the lunar calendar. So, this year, the lunar new year was February 19th, and the whole country gets vacation to celebrate what they term Spring Festival.

Today, the Chinese new year, was beautiful. Somehow, spring truly did coincide with the spring festival, as we found several trees in bloom! AQI was low, the sky was blue, and the weather was mild, though still fairly cold. But we loved being outside! A trip to the zoo (a separate post on that later!), lunch with friends from church, and more time outside just being a family... so perfect!

Hadassah was so so happy from all the time outside! And so were we. :)

For the last few weeks, decorations have sprung up everyone. It seems similar to our Christmas celebration... the stores are decorated, the streets, everyone's doors... it's beautiful. I've enjoyed the Chinese lanterns making the square in our apartment so festive!

Ryan had a 6-day work week (the nation did) to prepare for the time off. So, it was exhausting, but then he had from Monday until this coming Tuesday off! As Christmas was so busy with travel, we are really loving having time with him at home, time to rest, get some chores done (finally getting our budget over here sorted out... yes, long overdue!), and time to play!

We went downtown with our neighbors on Tuesday, to go to the Shanghai city planning museum. It was really bad AQI, over 200, and you could feel it and see it... So depressing. But how do you plan trips when you don't know what it will be? We just went and ignored it. Sometimes it's what you have to do.

It was a lot of fun to see the museum! My favorite exhibit was their model of Shanghai. It was bigger than the picture can take, and the area we live in wasn't even included. Shanghai is huge!!

There was also a floor specifically for children, and then our neighbors treated us to a wonderful meal at a great Chinese restaurant. It's a lot of fun to make memories together, and they continue to be so kind and generous!

They also had us over for the lunar New Year's Eve. So many delicious dishes! It was Y's first time to cook all the dishes for the celebration, and she did an amazing job! They shared some traditional things with them while Hadassah loved playing with all their toys (as always!) before having to come back for bed time. 

Fireworks went off continually all evening, all the way 'til Midnight! Evidently you can buy fireworks here that only people with licenses can in America - there were fireworks as good as ones I've seen downtown on July 4th going on all around us! Pretty crazy - and noisy! We went to bed later, around 10 PM, but then awoke to what sounded like bombs going off around Midnight - they certainly like fireworks here! The crazy (and wonderful!) thing is that Hadassah slept completely through it! Oh to sleep like a baby... ;)

It has been a wonderful vacation so far, and it's only half over! 

Thank You, God, for Spring festival in Shanghai...

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