Forever Friends 

Reunited and it feels sooooo good 🎵🎵

This is truly the highlight of my whole trip. I am spending almost a week in Shenyang with my Chinese friends. These friends became like family, our family when we lived in Shenyang. They went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and be able to experience everything Chinese.

Looking back July 2014 at the airport. Goodbyes…so sad…wondering if I would ever see them again…

IMG_2414And I must say “Hellos” are so much better!!!! This time their son Wei Chen Xi very slim and handsome ( he lost all the weight he gained being in Canada) driving the car now and he is officially a pilot for China Southern Airlines. Wei Quan and Li Dan Yao so excited to have “their” foreigner stay at their home. I even have their suite for the week complete with a very hard Chinese bed.

I had hoped I would get the opportunity to go to Shenyang. Xiamen is a few hours flight south of Shenyang. I called my Chinese friends and told them what I was thinking of doing and without hesitation, they said I MUST come to Shenyang!!! I told them it would be for a few days and I would book a hotel close to their place and again, no hesitation…YOU MUST stay at our home ( You are FAMILY) and we will pick you up at the airport no matter what time you arrive, and what do you want to see and do and eat and…we will look after EVERYTHING! Haha, typical Chinese fashion.

So…I am spending a bit of time in my favourite city in China, walking in my favourite places, eating my favourite foods, spending time with my Chinese family and just feeling so blessed and thankful to be in this place that has captured my heart…yet once again.

It really feels like I’ve come home…my China home. I just wish David was here to enjoy it with me!

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IMG_1273 IMG_1278 IMG_1291 IMG_1305 IMG_1333 IMG_1335 IMG_1360 IMG_1415 IMG_1466 IMG_1635It was so wonderful!! Lots of reminiscing, lots of new memories. My days in Shenyang went far too quickly…I really miss my China friends, and treasure the time we had together!!

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City by the Coast 

12038327_1005251496204290_3791612544628375629_nXiamen. Beautiful Xiamen..

I am only here a couple days because the opportunity to return to China also means I want to spend some time with my China friends and family. Besides it will give Mel and Rebecca some quality Mother-Daughter time.

My niece lives in Xiamen. She is teaching English here for a couple years. After teaching in Hong Kong for two summers ( we visited her there in 2011, her first time to China) she fell in love with China too, and accepted a position with an EF School in Xiamen.

Xiamen, Island of Music and Art of Living. Xiamen, where flowers bloom all year round ( unlike Northern Shenyang) Just a walk 20 minutes in any direction and there is a park. Xiamen city was part of the Maritime Silk Road and the heart of Chinese sea trade. Xiamen is very close to Taiwan and shares similar foods, dialect and customs. Two of the ‘must see’ things in Xiamen are “the island” ( Gulangyu Island) and Xiamen University. Unfortunately time didn’t permit me to see a lot of this but my SIL will get chance to enjoy these key places and more as she enjoys quality time with her daughter.

Gulangyu Island is just a 10 minute ferry ride across the channel. It is almost a magical place, strolling through narrow streets being serenaded by music drifting through open windows. Cruises around the island have live musicians. Gulangyu Island is also called ‘piano island’ and many famous Chinese musicians are from Xiamen. A perfect place for Rebecca who is a piano teacher.

Xiamen University is considered China’s most beautiful university. I would think it must be hard for students to concentrate on studies with a beach and gorgeous scenery right there. Located at the foot of the green mountains, facing the blue ocean and surrounded by Xiamen bay. The main campus is picturesque with beautiful scenery and parks, and is one of the main tourist attractions in the heavily-touristed Xiamen. We spent a few hours wandering around the campus. It’s so beautiful and makes me want to go back to school.

While I didn’t get to see as many of the highlights I enjoyed seeing Xiamen, and where my niece lives, her school, the university, the beach, and tasted the “famous for that area” peanut soup, as well as see a new China city. Maybe someday I will have the opportunity to return to this beautiful city, Chinese vacation destination by the coast.

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All things CHINA 

I’m HERE!!!! Pinch me, because I feel like I am dreaming.

Beijing is the place to be to experience all things China. So of course, with it being my SIL first time to China, and actually her daughter has not been to Beijing yet.

We spent a couple days in this fabulous cultural city right in the very heart of things in a courtyard Hutong! This was a new experience for me and it was fabulous. This small Hutong courtyard hotel is rated #3 of over 5000 hotels in Beijing. The courtyard hotel used to be the house of a gifted, ancient scholar and dignitary, Mr. Ji Xiaolan during the Qing dynasty. 250 years ago the hotel was once his beautiful urban villa. It is built in the typical, old Beijing architectural style with a compound of quadrangle courtyards. So cool to stay here.

IMG_9489 IMG_9495 IMG_9518And of course we spent the last few days doing all the touristy things of Beijing…Palace Museum (Forbidden City) and Tiananmen Square, Summer Palace, Temple of Heaven, Great Wall…

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and of course we couldn’t leave Beijing without enjoying a great meal of Peking duck!

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I feel so blessed to see it all again!!

I can’t BELIEVE it! 

Am I dreaming?

I am going back!!!!

Even if it’s only for a couple weeks, I am going back…

TO CHINA!!!!!!

China wall

You heard correct.

My dear sister in law is going to see her daughter who is teaching in Xiamen, a beautiful city in the Southeast coast of China and asked if I wanted to go. I thought she was joking. And then she said she booked her ticket and the price was fantastic, she mentioned again if I wanted to go.

Oh ya!!! Of course I WANT to GO!!!! I will always want to go to China.

So I started thinking and looking a bit closer. Is it REALLY do-able? We have a few big expenses this fall with our son’s wedding in April. Do I take that extra money just for me? But it’s a good price and opportunity to see an entirely different part of China.  And also a chance to eat authentic food and walk on the Great Wall again!

YA..you betcha I’m going!!!

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