Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day!


Happy Mother's Day Picture from Aaron

Happy Mother's Day Picture from Alexander

Happy Mother's Day Picture from Andrew

Happy Mother's Day Picture from Alexander












Mother's Day Piano Recital

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Everyday and the Mountaintop

Abigail trying to use a brother's handgripper

Nate's present this spring


Everyone likes it


Strong Dad!

Outside fun





"I'm the pinkest queen!"




Provided translation service so this sliding door no longer reads push!

Setting up the tent for summer




Start of our trip to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain;
the one thing we wanted to do is ride the cable car up to the top of the mountain.

The first day was all driving;
this was a potty break.
We made an 11 hour trip with surprisingly few stops.

The second day  of the trip we tried to go up the mountain, but that was really frustrating,
because you could only by tickets online with an in country app and bank account.
We were actually planning on just returning that night,
but had to extend our stay a day.

So we paid the large entry fee to just watch our kids pick up rocks near the parking lots
for a while.

Good view in the distance though

We decided to just try to get as much fun food that is normally unavailable to us as possible.
Ironically, all of the western chain restaurants are located in "old town."
The part was pretty.
I guess Lijiang is sometimes called the Venice of Asia, because of the little canals they built in
old town.

We walked through a lot of old town,
because the only parking was on the opposite side of the restaurants we wanted.
These umbrellas were pretty though.

Alright here is what we want.

First up McDonalds

The boys can eat a seriously large amount now.
Each ate their own double cheeseburger, 5 chicken nuggets, fries, coke, and (small) McFlurry.
Good thing we don't eat here often.


Next we went to Pizza Hut to order pizza to go for later.
Hot corn juice anyone? It gets a thumbs up from the menu...


Old minority flair to this chain restaurant


We were in a hurry to order so we asked for a pepperoni, supreme, and tomato bacon without
really looking at the characters...

Pepperoni good and normal

Eating in our hotel room later.
(The room was really basic, but the beds were much softer than most so we were happy.)

OK, so you say tomato...
we say potato...
We realized thin in the restaurant and told them about the translation mistake.
They were sorry about the mistake, but we said it was OK we just wanted them to know.
They gave us free orange juices...

Then when we actually started eating it,
we realized that not only was there the tomato/potato switch and mayo on top,
but the "sauce" was egg salad.
Definitely not terrible. But not exactly good either.
That will teach us to read more carefully.

Supreme was fine and good.
It could have used more sauce, but at least it didn't have egg salad.

Do they have this on the boxes in the states?

Trying again the next day.
Both days we passed the mountain at dawn we could see a little rainbow in front.
You can just barely make it out in the middle of this picture.

We decided that paying a tour guide to buy our cable car tickets was our best chance
at getting up the mountain.
We got to the park at 7am for the second day in a row, only to have to wait around
for over an our for our guide to show up.
That is him in the purple suit.
He told us he'd get us up there, "OK, NO PROBLEM!"

We got complimentary O2 bottles as part of our tour package

We told them all we wanted was to ride the cable cars, but the groups tickets
were for 3pm. So we had to wait around for a while to see if they could get us
tickets for earlier. They kept saying everything was OK, no problem.
But we had to wait with the rest of the tour group for a while and
we kind of became our own tourist attraction.

Then all of a sudden purple man got our tickets
 we had to run, run, run through a bunch  rope lines (in which we have children losing their shoes,
falling down, and running backwards because they are confused) and a bunch
of checkpoints (that the man only gets us through
by yelling at everyone),
find out two boys have grown like 3 inches since we last measured them and they had to
"act short,"
had a problem with the IDs on 2 tickets,
and they have a hard time getting kids through the turnstiles so some go under,
and we're told we must quickly take these tickets and go catch the bus.
We rush through the hall to find a waiting room and then see that our tickets
say they are for 2.5 hours later.
 We sit everyone down for a bit, Anna gets up to make a cup of coffee,
and then they tell us the bus is here.
Hurry, hurry!

By now you've figure out one of my least favorite things is
waiting around for a long time only to be told to rush somewhere
with 4 children and baggage.

But we made it onto the bus,
and everything got easier.
We still had more lines and waiting, while the kids counted
the number of times the lines snaked back and forth (19 back and forths, 38 total)
and the number of times people dropped their O2 bottles (44 before we got on the
cable car).


Going up



The views were really amazing

At the top!

We made it!


They had this very furry thing,
which I think was actually an alpaca
you could pay to get your picture with.

You could keep walking up, up, up for a while.
We just went slow and no one needed oxygen.

The view was really amazing.
I have to say, I don't think I've ever been anywhere where I
felt as on top of the actual world before.

It was not that cold,
but really windy.

The wind and blowing snow bothered the two youngest.



Aaron was the one who most wanted to do this out of all of us.
The was the one place he wanted to visit out of anywhere in the country.
So we decided to try it and make it part of his birthday present.
We were so glad we made it up.





I think he really enjoyed it.





Lots of snowball fights on top of the world.
Also, notice the name of the cafe on the far right.
We decided it got it's name because chocolate milk was $7.





Abigail got really cold so we sat inside for a little bit.

Going down.
This isn't the most beautiful picture,
but you can see the pole and cables that the cable cars run on.


Some funny chinglish.
Unfortunately not everyone followed this particular piece of advice.

But we didn't need to use this!
I actually can't remember the last time we traveled and
I didn't have one kid throw up on me, so I was pretty happy.

Not all the potties were civilized though.
Abigail was so happy to get back home to her own potty seat
and not have to use any more of the ones labeled
"latrine pit."

Boys rock collection

Headed back home!
So thankful to make it back a little after midnight.

Then it was my birthday!

And everybody spoiled me


The boys did a lot of work for me


They cooked lunch!
Aaron made me a heart shaped pancake, because he is a sweetheart.



They made pizza and cheesecake too,
with just a little bit of help from dad.

Also, a very special candles, just because you can here.


In case you need a laugh. ;)
It was a great birthday.