Friday, March 25, 2016

A walk to Burger King and back

Walking without children is such a treat. I guess I've always been a walker... I used to go for walks along our dirt road almost every day growing up, and I fell in love with Ryan while we walked and talked over many different weekends. So when we had a date last Friday (so thankful for friends who swap babysitting!!), the weather was just too good to get in a taxi or on the subway. We walked. And talked and talked, about anything and everything. I felt like I jabbered, just happy to have his undivided attention for 2 1/2 hours! :)

 I love my man. And everything is so much more vibrant when spring is in the air, blossoms are all around, and you're walking hand in hand.

 And I love that he carries my bag even when it's pink and makes me blush by randomly pulling me into swing dancing in the middle of our apartment complex. You should have heard the cries of Wàiguó rén! as a group of about 10 kids rushed over to rush and giggle, especially when he kissed me at the end. I don't like making a scene, but I don't mind it as much when I'm so in love with him. And the springtime does make me want to dance!

 The Shanghai Lily against gray always makes us happy.

 We found a little hidden path along the way and breathed deeply of the scent. I love all the white and pink blossoms out this time of year! And the way the perfume hits you at unexpected times brings such delight to the senses - especially when you smell many different random - and often not so great - things as you walk along a road with many little shops!

 And I know... Burger King isn't exactly on the top 10 or even top 100 places to go on a date! ;) But when we wanted a burger and wanted to walk, it was pretty nice. :) It took about 40 minutes at a fast pace (felt so so good!) to get to the mall it's in, and we even snagged a semi-secluded outside seat. We'd eaten pretty healthy all week, so the burger and fries tasted great! And especially with all the walking, we felt justified!

 We picked up treats from Dairy Queen (funny how the few familiar fast food shops make you feel at home even when you rarely stopped there in the States!) and sat in this romantic spot to eat. :) We were going to sit closer to the river, but upon further inspection thought it looked better from farther away. ;)

 The ice cream was delicious, and it reminded us of a time in our engagement when we sat on a random piece of cement along a road. I love building memories with this guy.

 Legs swinging, hand in hand... We felt like kids.

 Then, knowing Ellie would be needing to go to bed soon (though she thankfully took a bottle of pumped milk while we were out) we began our twilight walk home. Shanghai does a great job with their outdoor lights.

 Talking, laughing, and enjoying the random sites of small stores.

 You just never know what you're going to see. Yes, that's a wedding dress. On an e-bike. Randomly parked outside a formals shop, with no one in site. How I wanted to know the back story of that one!

 Near the end of our walk, we focused on thankfulness. "What are you thankful for about China, Ryan?" His first response was "that tree." It's such a beautiful, iconic site in Shanghai. We continued to name things... a truck that looked like it was two different vehicles welded together. The ease of walking places. The colored lights decorating trees.

Then it was home sweet home. We remembered how beautiful it looked outside this time of day, and vowed to take more family walks after dinner with the weather getting nice. And as we went inside to a big girl who didn't cry at all this time (finally making progress!) and a baby who was wailing (but calmed down as soon as I took her, yes, it makes a mommy feel needed!) we were refreshed. We had time. Just us. Together.

Last year, part of why we wanted to leave China before we'd planned is because it just didn't seem like we were ever going to get regular date nights. We really value time to just be Ryan and Anna and continue building friendship and love while being out away from home and chores. It's not absolutely necessary to a good marriage, but it is so encouraging and a blessing. And just look how God has provided. We serve an amazing Lord. Sometimes, we just need to keep trusting and holding on, for you never know what is around the next bend.

1 comment:

  1. Anna, this was very encouraging today for me. Just hold don't know what is around the bend...
    and love to see how Ellie is growing! love you all- Marisa