Sunday, October 19, 2008

Qingdao, Day 3

As it turned out, our family day in Qingdao was a bit of a let down. Dave felt sick the night before and the girls had gone to bed exhausted, so the whole hotel room slept until well after 9:00 in the morning. We trudged down to breakfast, signed up for a late check-out, and weren't even out the door until nearly 11:00am.

We headed toward ba da guan with Dave's co-workers, guided by one who had grown up in Qingdao and knew the area well. We covered much of the same area the girls and I had walked just days before, but ended up on a lovely beach. The morning had begun with a foggy mist through the sky, and the sun began to break through the clouds as we made toward the beach. Brides in their thick, white dresses with their hair and makeup done perfectly dotted the beach, all arranging their wedding photos. Families searched the sand and seaweed for crab and other creatures. We took pictures and climbed, until L-- slashed her foot on something large and sharp.

This called the end to our beach outing, and everyone headed to lunch. Our Qingdao hostess took the team to a hotpot restaurant and ordered almost exclusively seafood. Seafood in China is a bit scarier than seafood in the states - it generally still has its eyes, and remains slimey. We both enjoyed the oysters, and Dave made a valiant attempt at a squid. But otherwise, all 4 of us quietly finished our meal still hungry and gorged on oranges and peanuts once we returned to the room.

We headed toward the airport at 2:00 in the afternoon and reached home just in time for dinner. A 1-hour flight makes for good traveling with little ones. The Shangri-La made for a smooth trip throughout, although their location had only Pizza Hut as a restaurant within convenient walking distance. The weather and the good company conspired to offer our family a lovely weekend away from Shanghai, and to help us face the upcoming weeks in this packed and polluted town.

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