Saturday, September 3, 2011

Beijing - Dong Si Hutong

The place where we stayed in Beijing was amazing! It was in one of the oldest neighborhoods, right in the heart of the city.  We were able to have a real taste of the culture here.

Entrance to the Hutong



Rooftop Deck


Our Doorway

Diana's room

Our room

Jeremy's favorite Jasmine green tea every morning

Our hostess, Cindy, showing us the sights on the map.

Us with our hosts Cindy & Niko
Our hosts, Cindy & Niko went above and beyond what we expected.  Just to give you an idea, they found us a driver to the great wall, ordered food for us, wrote down directions in Chinese to give to cab drivers, helped carry our luggage to the subway in the pouring down rain and everything in between.  In the evenings we enjoyed eating dinner and chatting in the courtyard with them.

If anyone ever travels to Beijing, you must stay here!

Macau Day 5

Going a bit out of order here...sorry have to back track a day...

On Sunday we slept in a bit and went to church with Diana. She goes to a very small church called Living Stone Church. Macau, unlike mainland China, has religious freedom. It was an interesting experience. The pastor led worship in both English and Cantonese. He then gave a sermon in Cantonese and someone from the church translated it to English.

After church we shared lunch at CafĂ© E. S. Kimo with a few of Diana’s friends from church. It was a joy to experience this part of Diana’s life in Macau and a blessing to feel an instant connection because of Christ. We were able to make new friends so quickly.

Dragon Fruit
We then ventured off to old Taipa to experience some more of the Portuguese influence in the area. It was really fun to skip the bus altogether and just walk around the city. Some of Old Taipa was a tourist trap, but we were able to get off the beaten path and meander down alleys, pathways and flower gardens taking in the beauty of the culture.

The Venetian where Diana works

Our new friends David and Melissa invited us to their place for a spaghetti dinner, where we shared a meal with them, their children (Mia, Brandt, and Aiden), Jana and a couple of other folks. They were very hospitable and we enjoyed the evening of relaxation! We headed back to the apartment to pack up, because our adventures in Macau were coming to a close. The next morning we were going to depart for Hong Kong. It was bittersweet to be leaving Diana’s life in Macau.
Sunset from David & Melissa's apartment

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Made it home

Sorry there haven't been any updates...mainland China blocks some internet access...including our blog. 

We're 2 minutes from home, but we'll update with the rest of our trip over the next week or so!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Macau - Day 4

We spent Saturday exploring more of Macau.  We went over to the Venetian to catch a shuttle up the the border gate.  There isn't a whole lot to see up there except a huge building behind a little gate monument.

We ventured our way down from there to the red market area.  There were lots of fruit and vegetable stands, bakeries, flowers, clothing, shoes and housewares stands.
We had some "fun" with the bus that afternoon trying to make it back to Diana's apartment.  After finally making it back, we rested a bit, then headed out for the evening.  We took another bus to Coloane where we first stopped at Hac Sa beach, a black sand beach on the bay.  It was a nice quiet getaway from the buzz of the city.
From there, we went into Coloane village.  It is a quaint little town along the water with a delightful, laid back atmosphere.  Diana had recommended a place to eat called Cafe Nga Tim.  April & I enjoyed a nice, relaxing anniversary dinner together.

That's all for now.  Off to bed for a busy day tomorrow.  Heading to Hong Kong tomorrow with lots to do and see!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Little Things

We found a yummy snack the other day at the grocery store that the three of us haven't been able to stop eating...

Macau - Day 3

Friday we had a big day of adventures!  We started out in southern Macau.  Our first stop was A-Ma Temple.  When we started out, we thought it was a just a little area, with one Buddha idol.  It turned out to be this whole area that you kept climbing up steps... one shrine after another.  Chinese characters carved into rock, different kinds of incense burning everywhere.  It was amazing and heart breaking to see the droves of Buddhists coming in to worship these idols.

Then, we meandered our way north looking for an Inner Harbor area that was supposed to have some good eats.  But, we never found it.  The maps are not great, and the streets are not marked well, so that is not a good combination.  We continued on in what we thought was the right direction to our next destination, and stumbled on a very clear sign pointing us in the right direction!  Our next stop, the Ruins of St. Paul and the Senado Square area.  Since Macau belonged to Portugal before it was Chinese, there is still a good bit of Portuguese influence here.
Ruins of St. Paul's

St. Dominic's Church

Senado Square

Enjoying a Macau famous egg tart

We were exhausted after our exploring, but the fun day was not over yet!  We went back to the apartment and got ready for our evening at the Venetian.  We saw the Cirque de Soleil show, Zaia, from the control room booth reserved for family and friends.   
 Then, we had a backstage tour from our Diana.  Very Cool!!!
Diana at her work station

Jeremy & Diana on the catwalk above the auditorium

April's favorite act of the show were these lions

A shot of the fly rig used over the auditorium

After the show was over and Diana was off work, she took us to her favorite sushi place, Jockey Sushi.  What a great night out!