Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Shanghai New Year's Eve

Shanghai 145On Sue's birthday, December 31, we boarded the "D" train for Shanghai.  This train is very clean and modern and takes only a little over an hour to Shanghai's south train station.

The train leaves EXACTLY on time so we felt rushed to get on board and find our seats.

However, once you're on, it sure is a nice ride.

... and here we are, all settled in, ready for the trip.
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... and all 3 kids are plugged in to their game systems, so Mom and Dad have an hour of peace!
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After a 40 minute taxi ride from the Shanghai-nan station, we got to our lovely hotel room.  It was a bit out of the way (about 10 min by taxi to The Bund, in the Pudong District), but it was in a beautiful, modern building, and the rooms were nice.  The room below cost us about $50 US per night!
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Sophie loved having a soak in the bathtub; she spent over an hour in there; then it was Sue's turn, but Sue wouldn't let me take a picture of her!  The bathroom has a glass window separating it from the rest of the room, with a curtain that can be pulled - strange!  The boys had their own room with HBO and their own tub.  Our apartment in Hangzhou has no tub so it was certainly a treat.  Oh yes, the hotel rooms had HEAT too!  We jacked up the temperature and wallowed in luxury!
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The next day, we went to the Shanghai Museum of Science and Technology, which is a HUGE complex that we only scratched the surface of.  Many IMAX screens and "4D" type shows where you feel the wind and water in the show.  We watched a movie called "Sky Dog" with 3d glasses,  and when the dog peed on the audience we all got wet!  Sophie said, "That doggie peed on me!"
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There were also some shops on the way in with some extremely aggressive salespeople.  Peter and Jack found a gameboy game for about 1/5 of the cost, and they tried it in the store and found it was a fake.  Lucky they tried it first - it didn't work past the opening screen!

Sue tried on some clothes too but the salespeople were so pushy she got turned off.
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Peter and Jack examined the water feature out front...
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... and we found someone with my same camera to take a shot of the 5 of us.
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It was warm enough inside where Jack actually took his stocking cap off!
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I love the architecture in Shanghai - The building across the promenade is two halves of a sphere - it fits very well in this modern neighborhood of Pudong.
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Sophie and Sue, ready for the "Skydog" show - waiting to get peed on!
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We went through many different areas of the science center that had many varieties of taxidermed animals, and exhibits on spiders, robots, genes, bacteria, the animal kingdom, aquatic creatures, and much more.
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Of course we had to visit the robotics section.  In the exhibit below, you can have a contest against a robot that shoots arrows.  Here is Peter trying his best.  He nearly got a bulls-eye!
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Jack, lining up his target.  The yellow armature is the robot, and of course it never misses.
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So, guess which one has been hit by humans, and which one the robot hits!
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After we were all exhausted from chasing Sophie around the Science Center, we jumped in a cab to get even more exhausted at the Foreign Language Bookstore.  There were many books that played songs, which Sophie loved, and we all found something from teaching materials to fiction books.
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Santa left me a new tripod for Christmas, so I was anxious to try it out on some of the night scenes at The Bund.  We ate here at the Riverview Restaurant which was a delicious Chinese meal that we all enjoyed. The service and the view were great - though expensive by Chinese standards.  We had 8 different dishes and drinks for about $35 US.
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Walking along The Bund:  It was so COLD!  About 25 degrees, though a great place to people watch.  Sue and the kids went on to the ice cream store (as if they weren't cold enough already!)  I was asked several times by high-school age girls if they could take my picture with them.  They were so surprised when I spoke Chinese to them. They laughed and laughed!
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The boardwalk along The Bund...
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Some shots looking across the Huang Pu River looking at all of the fancy, brightly lit buildings...
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The Oriental Pearl radio tower...
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Here we are at the ice cream store - they served a delicious Gelato and warm lattes that were to die for!  You might be asking - where is Sophie?  She took the picture!
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Tomorrow 1/2 we head back to our cold, noisy apartment in Hangzhou.  This was certainly a welcome break, but they are getting closer to finishing construction on our building so we hope to have quiet and heat again soon!


mimifrancoise said...

Happy New Year to all of you. Your children are so lucky to have you as parents. What an education they are getting. I grew up in different countries and my sibling and I were always excited when we went to a new (to us) country. What awsome stories your children will be able to tell to their firends when they get back to the States!
Fran (grandmother to Zoe and Maya, also from China)

Bob & Amy said...

Happy Birthday SueLew! What a treat to read all about your big day. I'm so glad you got to have a soak in a tub & crank up the heat! Hope your New Year is fabulous!!
The Mahers

weaties said...

Happy Birthday Sister Sue!