Every year around this time, China has a national holiday. Though business operates by the same calendar as the rest of the world, they also have a lunar calendar that determines the dates of holidays. The "Chinese New Year" or "Spring Festival" is the biggest one, where almost everyone goes back to their hometown to celebrate the new year with their family. Others take it as a time to see the sites or go to a nearby country for tourism. Other friends go to conferences, so Shanghai kind of empties out.
So, we planned to make the most of it in a more-empty big city. Ryan was really sweet, wanting to give me the week "off" as much as possible from chores and cooking and dishes. So, we planned to stay downtown for a few days in the apartment of friends who were out of country, order in or go out for most of our meals, and see friends almost every day. We also planned to go to as many parks and zoos as we could with Ryan's week off of work!
What actually happened couldn't have been more different. ;) Ryan came down with a really back cold on Sunday. Hadassah and I got it Wednesday. It wasn't just the type that was annoying and was past the worst after a few days... We're STILL dealing with it over a week later. It settles in your lungs and gives you a hacking cough. It also depletes energy and just leaves you feeling pretty miserable. Not exactly our idea of a relaxing time off - when the week was over, we felt like we needed a vacation! ;)
But still, it was a good week. We grew closer as a family. Instead of traveling miles all over, we hardly left a one-mile radius of our home. But, we enjoyed those familiar things and all the extra bonding time.
Our internet VPN provider also was off that week, so we were unable to access Facebook, Gmail, Blogger, Youtube, and more. But in a way, that was nice. We didn't have social media distractions, but were able to use our time in other ways.
It means, though, that I'm way behind on pictures, so here's a long picture-y post with ones we took over our week off at home.
And Eliana Grace? Full of patience and sweetness and grace for us. Her smiles are more and more frequent and such a joy to see.