Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Last week's field trip was kind of...meh. We went to the old Presidential "palace" and to a Buddhist temple. It might have been more interesting if we weren't out for over 5 hours when we could have seen it all in 3. The best part of it all was playing with the kids of the other Flagship couples. So instead of describing it all, here is the day in pictures.
Pretty lake in the middle. 
My favorite place of the complex.

Most rocks like this in Chinese gardens are fake, but these
were actually pulled up from the bottom of a lake.

They gave us an hour to look around.
We sat around and talked for an hour.

People always want to take pictures with white people,
especially if they have a baby

The babies always become more popular
than the attraction that they paid to see.

Spencer always carries water bottles in his side pockets.
Little Miss likes to take them out and put them back in.

Told you so...

At the we were leaving.
Buddhist temple.

I heart him.
Our newest Flagship baby!
( I took a lot of pictures of the kids but I won't put them all up.
Just know that's how we spent most of our time.)

Prayer candles

Americans aren't the only ones who believe in wishes.

I'm in love with Chinese door handles.

Beautiful ceiling

Traditional buildings all have these awesome shingle ends.
So many buddhas! They had walls like these all
over the temple.

 Not our favorite field trip thus far, but hey, at least I got to hang out with some cute little kids!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Spencer loves to play sports. I love Spencer. So when trying to play sports means walking all over the city to find a field to play on, I follow and cheer on.

Ok, that sounds a lot worse than it was. But we did have to do some trekking to find a field. And it did take some shmoozing from some of our less shy companions to get the security guards to let us play on the private school's soccer field. But in the end, it was a nice day out and the boys had a lot of fun.

Team mascot?

Manly Men
Good game boys.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Food of the Chinese Persuasion

So Spencer always laughs at me because I LOVE Chinese food. Well, I love orange chicken, and Beijing beef, and cream cheese wontons and, you know, other such American Chinese foods. The kind that you would never actually find anywhere near...China. So he laughs because I don't actually like Chinese food. Like, the kind you actually get in China.

But it's growing on me.

Little by little I find myself not only enjoying the local food more, but actually desiring it. There are days where it actually sounds yummy. That may sound ridiculous, but I was very not excited about the food here until recently. Days of eating out for dinner (unless it involved McDonalds) were not my favorite.

We have a growing list of not only acceptable but delicious food items that I enjoy. We have our favorite and most frequented rice/noodle place where we go for our fried pulled noodles. There is roubao, which is usually meat wrapped in a bread/dumpling dough and steamed. I like jipai, which is pounded chicken that has been breaded and fried. Guotie (goo-oh tee-eh), or potstickers, are some of Spencer's favorite, but I only like them from certain places. And I really like tangbao, which are kind of like potstickers but are usually steamed and have a soup inside as well as the meat.

And then we have our favorite of all.

Zhuabing. Yummy, crispy, savory goodness. Basically it is a layered dough that is flattened and fried, cooked with a fried egg, a meat of your choice (usually bacon), and drizzled with a sauce of your choice. Spencer and I generally omit the bacon (1-because it costs more and 2-because the bacon has usually been sitting out all day and they don't cook it very well through) and choose the black pepper sauce. SO.GOOD.

Who knows, at this rate maybe someday I'll even learn to enjoy duck neck and chicken feet. But then again, maybe not.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Field Trip Numero Dos

Today was our second field trip to historical Nanjing sites. First we went to Chao Tian Gong, a Daoist school turned museum, which was partially used to educate people as to how to behave before they went before the emperor. Because apparently if you did not show appreciation correctly or show proper obeisance then you were executed. Immediately. Sheesh.

Ming vase- worth over 20 million. NBD.

I just thought these were cool. I have a thing for cups.

Then we went to the Nanjing city wall. It's big. Like, the longest city wall in China. It took over 200,000 families 21 years to build it. They had to make all the bricks, and the bricks were marked so that the government would know who made what brick. And if your family made a bad brick? They killed the entire family. Immediately. Double sheesh.

Right near the wall there is this little archery range. I don't know why. I guess because there were archers on the wall? I think just because foreigners will pay to shoot a bow and arrow. Anyways, it worked on our group. We had our own little group of Merry Men. Ok, no, not really. But one guy did shoot a bulls-eye and got two extra arrows. But mostly it was just fun to watch people try, and generally fail miserably :).

My own Robin Hood. Mmm, look at that form. Anyways...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Family Pictures

Last week Spencer had the entire week off of school for a national holiday, so we tried to find something to do outside of the apartment every day. We went to the Confucius temple and bought a few cool souvenirs, we went to the zoo, and one of the days we went to the park and took family pictures with some of the other couples. It made for a really fun afternoon, and we got some new pictures out of it. These were the first pictures we've taken since we got married, and I love them!


That tower? We live there. 54 floors.

Candid moment

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tourists in China

Spencer has to take a sort of "history of Nanjing" class this semester, and as part of that we get to go on field trips to some of the cool places in the city. Last week we had the first of the six planned trips to Purple Mountain, or more specifically to Zhong Shan Ling (the mausoleum of Sun Zhong Shan) and Ming Xiao Ling (the Ming mausoleum), both resting sites to very famous historical people.

After a very quick look around a museum, we went to visit Zhong Shan. He was kind of the George Washington of China. And he has an amazing place of rest.

The entranceway
After going through the entrance there was a decent walk up to the next building. Like, over half a mile of a walk. But it was pretty and green and the weather was nice, so we didn't mind too much. But we finally made it to the main attraction.

The stairs. Three hundred and ninety-two of them. No worries, I'm like Rocky Balboa. At least, I played his theme music in my head as I dragged myself up the stairs. I thought about trying to run up them, but, you know, there were a lot of people and everyone would look at me funny and it might have seemed disrespectful since we were at a memorial site after all. But I promise, it had nothing to do with the fact that running up those stairs would probably have killed me. Nothing, whatsoever.

Either way, I still felt like Rocky when I reached the top.

The mausoleum was actually kind of beautiful, and the view was amazing. We couldn't go into the room where his actual coffin is, but it has awesome entryway.

LOVE the ceiling.

Most awesome door handles of all time.

After we were done exploring there we walked for forever (ok, maybe not forever, but we didn't know we were going to have to walk for a half hour so it felt like forever) to get to the Ming tombs.

The grounds were beautiful, but the overall visit was less impressive than the first stop. Apparently a great emperor and several of his sons are buried here.

The coolest part were the animal statues, they have six different animals (4 of each) that line the long pathway that leads up to the tomb entrance. The elephants were my favorite.

The leaves are changing and it's beautiful!

We enjoyed seeing a little more of the city that we now call home. And we are excited to see more of it in the future.