Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getaway to Seoul

Nick and I got to take a little trip to Seoul last week. He had a few meetings and I got to tag along for fun. It was nice to get out of Beijing for a few days! We got in Thursday night and by the time we got to our hotel we were starving. We stayed right downtown so we drove by so many good restaurants on our way to the hotel. We both decided we wanted On the Border. We don't get much mexican food in China unless I make it. It was so good we went back on our way to the airport Sunday afternoon!  After dinner we walked around the COEX, basically a big mall and looked at all the differences from China. The most obvious being the crowds...It is nowhere near as crazy as Beijing.

Friday morning Nick had meetings so I spent a few hours walking around downtown and shopping. I found a lot more yummy restaurants and a lot of skincare stores. Koreans are obsessed with face wash, etc. Nick got back around dinner time and we headed to TGIFridays, something else we never get in Beijing. It was great. Dessert was Krispy Kreme donuts and then I showed Nick where I had wandered all day.

Saturday morning we slept in then headed to the temple. After the temple we went to Gyeongbokgung Palace. They had a museum and the palace grounds that we explored for awhile. It was a pretty cold, cloudy day, but it was still nice to be outside in nice, clean air. Lunch was at Johnny Rockets and dinner was at Pho. Yes we spent almost 4 days in Korea and didn't manage to eat Korean food once. There were just so many good places we wanted to try. Dessert was a marathon. We started at Krispy Kreme, moved on to Baskin Robbins and finished with donut holes from Dunkin Donuts to bring back to the hotel while we watched a movie. I figured 3 desserts was ok for one night since we probably won't be back to Korea anytime soon.

Sunday we headed home. I was excited to get back to CoCo, and to see how our friends faired that were house/puppy sitting. We had a great trip and can't wait for the next one! (Phuket, Thailand in January!)

Dinner at On the Border

Krispy Kreme


Some cool folk art

At the palace there was a cool little town where they had recreated all these little shops and what they would have looked like in the 70s

Year of the Ox

Year of the Rat

Year of the Dragon

A pretty lake

In front of the palace

Changing of the Guard

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homemade Hot Pot

Nick loves He spends quite a bit of time looking for random things, and I never know when we will have packages showing up at the house, because everything on there is so cheap. A few weeks ago after it started getting cold he bought this hot pot. I was super excited to be able to eat one of my favorite wintertime meals in front of the TV! Last night we used it for the first time. The local market next to us had all the meat and vegetables for so cheap. I think we spent about 45 RMB when in a restaurant what we ordered would be about 150RMB or more. I think this might become a tradition very quickly!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Nick's birthday bash!

We had a bunch of friends over to celebrate Nick's birthday last weekend. His birthday was on Wednesday and since so many people live over on the other side of Beijing it was more practical to push the celebration to Saturday. We ordered pizza and salad from one of our favorite places, Gungho Pizza, and then made some chicken wings. It was quite a feast. Of course we had too much food, but I love leftover pizza for breakfast so it worked out great. I only took 2 pictures the entire night..So here they are:

Most of the food.

Eating around the TV while watching Cops and Colbert Report.
We had fun hanging out with friends, playing games, and eating delicious food. Thanks everyone for coming over to celebrate! (and play with/wear out CoCo...he slept in so late the next morning!)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Made in China!

We are having a baby! In China! The baby is due May 29, so far I have been feeling pretty good. We go to a western hospital so its really not too different from having a baby at home (I imagine, can't say for sure as I haven't had one). I have gotten all kinds of crazy advice from my Chinese friends so far, the latest of which is that I need to eat lots of walnuts so our baby has nice hair. They even gave me a whole bag of them to bring home.

Friday, November 11, 2011

If you have never eaten duck tongue...


This isn't my picture, but the duck tongue I had to eat today looked exactly like this only there were 
about 20 of them on the plate. BLEH!

I was tutoring (mostly playing with) the 2 year old son of a Chinese friend this morning. She wanted to take me out to lunch afterwards. She said the restaurant was close to my house and that she had been going for years. She asked me before hand if I liked fish and so I wasn't expecting anything too crazy.

Well we did have fish, but she also was super excited about the duck tongue. I had to try one of them to be polite. The flavor itself wasn't all that bad since it was so heavily spiced, but the texture was pretty awful. I had a hard time getting it down without making a face. You basically have to suck the "meat" off the cartilage in the center of the tongue. Not fun! The duck tongue hasn't been sitting too well, and all I wanted to do was come home and drink a diet coke to kill the duck tongue taste!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

FINA swimming world cup @ the Watercube

Some friends called us this morning with free tickets to this event at the watercube. It's Nick's birthday, but he has been so busy at work we didn't have any plans other than going out to dinner, so we decided to go. It ended up being a really fun night out with a couple of people from our branch. 

Happy Birthday Nick!
The group of kids sitting behind us. They would go wild every time someone from China won a gold medal.

We got there right as the events were starting, but we were starving so we had dinner in this restaurant overlooking the pool. 

Our view of the pool. Not great but we could at least see the tv screens really well! (Plus we can't complain when the tickets were free)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


On Saturday Nick and I went out to BeiHai here in Beijing with some friends from our branch. It was my first time there and I loved it. Nick remembered going there when he was in China before, but could never remember exactly what it was called or where it was so we were excited to rediscover it.

BeiHai Park is a beautiful Imperial Garden northwest of the Forbidden City. We rented a "boat" and went out for an hour on the lake to see everything. We got a few pictures, but since we went in the late afternoon the lighting wasn't great. Oh well. Just an excuse to go back during the day so I can see everything better. It was beautiful!

Nick was our driver and tour guide

You can kind of see the pretty view behind us.
We had a great time at BeiHai and finished the night at one of our favorite places for dinner. I don't think I could ever have too much Gungho Pizza!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


So part of the cool thing about living in China is people/process watching.

So i decided to record some of these things. Check it out if you'd like.

Untitled from NickinChina on Vimeo.

Chinese Halloween

Our Halloween plans were all very last minute this year. We found out about 4 days before that a group of people in our branch at church wanted to plan a carnival for the kids, so we volunteered to help out. We didn't think about costumes though until the morning of the carnival.... We spent a frantic two hours running around Yashow market trying to get inspired. 

We ended up buying Nick some cheap glasses and popping the lenses out and breaking a branch off a tree outside to make him Harry Potter. He even let me draw a scar on him with eyebrow pencil. He claims its the first time he's ever worn makeup! I couldn't find anything I really liked for a costume so Nick came up with the idea to be a mummy. We ran to the local pharmacy and bought LOTS of gauze. I think the woman was a little confused with why we wanted so much, but it was cheap and I wanted it to look good.

Here's some pictures from our day:

Nick running our booth at the branch carnival. The dart the kids were throwing was kind of sharp and they don't have the best aim so he was a little jumpy!

Mummy and Harry Potter

My friend William. Loved his costume.