For over a year, we've been trying to go to the Bund at night. I (Anna) had never seen it with all of the lights, and Ryan told me it was the one iconic site of Shanghai not to be missed. We meant to see it our first weeks in China while downtown, but between sickness and a baby exhausted from jet lag, we never wanted to be out that late. Then we tried to get a babysitter and stay downtown go for our anniversary, but never made it out due to a forgotten toddler night-time necessity. For weeks recently we planned each weekend to go and stay at a hotel downtown over the weekend to see it, but each week it was something else: sickness, other obligations, or our passports (which you need to stay at a hotel) being in processing to renew our work visa.
We planned to have lunch with friends and see it finally, but then found out on Friday they couldn't have lunch the next day. I assumed we'd put it off again, but Ryan assumed we were still going. So, it made for a quick packing job, but when he asked when we were leaving Saturday morning, we still managed to get out the door before noon!
We'd done research online that morning to find a not-too-bad (for the heart of downtown) price, and called to make sure they had room and a baby bed, and just planned to get the room when we arrived. We should have gone ahead and booked it online. When we showed up at desk, it was twice the cost of the online price! But, we didn't know where else to go, we needed to get the room so Hadassah could take a nap, and it was our one time downtown, so we went with it.
It ended up being a two-room option that they had available, which makes for a more relaxing stay for everyone. I joked that God must have wanted us to have a relaxing time, since I always say it's too expensive to pay for two rooms, but this time we had no choice. So while Hadassah napped in one room, we got to enjoy time just the two of us. It was awesome and refreshing... we'd planned on family time, but got a date time out of the bargain!
After her nap, we set off armed with essential supplies (note: sippy cup) to explore around our hotel.
Setting off to find a place to eat supper, this was one of Hadassah's favorite spots: a "tunnel" where she could walk without seeing too many people! ;)
We got someone to take our picture after waiting for at least 10 minutes to get right next to the water. Hadassah even hammed it up a little. :) It was already past her bedtime, but she was holding up incredibly well, all things considered!
It was so easy to get to church that morning... Instead of 45 minutes in a taxi, it was just 4 subway stops away! We are always blessed by the worship and teaching. There are so many people coming now too, that the hotel meeting room is almost always full!
Hadassah was just a tad more squirmy, though, and we could tell the day before, with a shorter nap and later bed time with lots of stimulation had worn her out, so we headed home even before the after service member's meeting was done. Picked up food to eat in the taxi, and we all got long naps, which did a world of good. Then when I got up and checked texts, I realized some close-by friends had invited us to meet them at Papa John's for supper! So, we continued to fun, eat-out, no-dishes weekend just one more meal. :)
There were a few rides set up in the mall courtyard, which we'd seen the week previous. We planned to let Hadassah go on a ride like this at a small amusement park we saw downtown, but then backed out when we realized it was twice as expensive as the one more local. So when this one was still here, we couldn't resist giving her a little more fun. She loved watching the planes fly around as others rode it, but was absolutely thrilled to ride in it herself, pushing the buttons to make it go up and down and play noise, and waving to mommy with a huge grin each time it passed. :) A great way to end a great weekend!