Spring has Sprung!

I’m sitting here with the windows open enjoying weather that is twice as warm as my home town of Cleveland and still cooler than Thailand –so pretty much perfect. I just signed my 3rd contract here and renewed our lease. Could we finally be finding roots?

I was asked at work to make a special program that all the centers will do about Business English focusing on resume writing and interviewing. We have 20 centers in Shanghai and hundreds of teachers, so it was a pretty big honor –and a pretty big project. My regional director nominated me to do this after my Business English Workshop last year. More than anything, it feels good to be appreciated and paid what I am worth. It’s been a long time.

The girls and I have gone to see “Cinderella” and “Home” at the IMAX theater across the bridge. I forgot –or maybe I never knew, that movies could be so big. Home was in 3D, so an even bigger bonus. In two weeks we will see The Avengers 2. Also, in our mall, a new restaurant just opened with tacos, quesadillas, gourmet burgers, chicken parmesan and all kinds of good stuff. Really, we want for nothing.

On Orthodox Easter Monday, we went with my friend on a little adventure to climb the highest “mountain” in Shanghai (which happens to be virtually in our back yard). Ok, it’s not really a mountain, and we didn’t really climb it –there were stairs –250 up and 250 down. Rumi counted. What made it very interesting is that there was a marching band behind us. It felt very much like they were cheering us on. But I couldn’t figure out how they could play and march up the stairs. I had trouble breathing.

Walking up almost killed me. On the last leg of it, we passed statues of the last stages of the cross, which was both appropriate being Easter Monday, and ironic as I could barely move by then. How the French managed to build a church that high with no roads, I have no idea. When we got to the top, we had a lovely picnic. And then, since I am pretty sure I will never go there again, we visited both the church and an astronomy museum and observatory.

When we looked around from the top, my friend, Andy declared that we live in the country. When we looked down from that summit we saw houses and farms. I didn’t realize we really do live in the outskirts even if we live in a high rise apartment complex with access to Starbucks, Haagan Daz, tacos and an IMAX theater.

I have a week off in between contracts and I wanted to do something special. I was asking everyone for ideas, and I thought a train ride would be nice, and someone else mentioned a cruise to Japan or Korea would be affordable. We have spent this entire 2 years only in Shanghai. I thought it would be good to get out of the city. But, on our hike down from the mountain, we passed a sculpture garden and also a 6-star hotel. I heard a rumor that it is the only one in Shanghai or possibly China. I have connections…both in booking and at the hotel, and then I got an idea. Mommy wanted relaxation and pampering. The girls wanted to swim and play. So, for an extremely low price, we will be staying in our backyard. Honestly, I can’t wait.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Kate Spyder says:

    Sometimes the best vacations are just around the corner.

  2. Since you mention the observatory and the astronomy museum: Have you ever considered going stargazing?

    Many people think you need expensive equipment and that you need to know a lot before you really know what you’re doing, but the opposite is true. Many leading astronomers say that the best ways to explore the universe as a beginner stargazer is by binoculars!

    I have recently written a review for a book you might find interesting: http://astronomygroup.science/index.php/2015/04/28/stargazing-for-beginners/

    I bought this book when my son was just 5 years old, and we’ve been on many adventures together. I’m sure your kids will love it too!

    1. Ryn Cricket says:

      Thanks for the recommendation. We are big star gazers. Since I homeschool, this is part of our science. We even have a telescope. We also use programs like Google Sky on my iPad, to find out which planets, stars and constellations we see. Luckily, there are a lot of very clear nights. Unfortunately, we have a lot of lights at night, which make smaller ones harder to see.

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