Back in China

We returned from our holiday in North America and hadn’t been back in China long before life got hectic once again. Geoff started another school year and a few weeks afterwards, Arlo started school.

Yes, we’re sending our two year old to school!
Arlo's first day of schoolOk, it’s really just glorified daycare. She goes three days a week (though the class runs every day) for three hours a day.

She showed us how impressed she was after the first week by getting really sick and taking the next two weeks off! But that worked out alright because we had visitors during that time anyway. Sadly, Arlo wasn’t 100% the whole time they were here and what I thought was Arlo finally hitting the “Terrible Two’s” and making me question whether I could handle much more, was really just her not feeling well and not being able to express it any other way. I’m so happy that my always smiling little girl is back – I missed her! Anyway, last week was her first week back at school and, while Monday was pretty awful for her, the rest of the week went really well. She doesn’t like to say goodbye but doesn’t seem to miss Geoff or I once we’re gone – which is good.

As I said, we had family visiting for ten days while Arlo was unwell. We had a fabulous time showing them around and introducing them to the weird and wonderful things China has to offer. We took them to the usual places: Tiger Hill, Panmen Gate, The Humble Administrator’s Garden, Shantang Street, Pingjiang Lu, and the tailor (of course!).
Family shot - hijacked by Arlo!Tiger Hill, Suzhou Tiger Hill, Suzhou
Tiger Hill, SuzhouTiger Hill, SuzhouTasting stinky tofuPanmen Gate, SuzhouPanmen Gate, SuzhouI was so impressed with the things everyone would try – Ella, who’s eight, even tried stinky tofu, despite having to hold her nose whenever we smelled it walking down the street. Granted, she had to wash one bite down with a whole bottle of water, but she tried it!

After the delights and smells of Suzhou, we saw more in Shanghai – the Bund, drinks on the 91st floor of the World Financial Center (the bottle opener), a fabric market, Taikang Lu, brunch at M on the Bund, and the Jade Buddha Temple, which we had not been to before.
Drinks - World Financial Centre, Shanghai
Jade Buddha Temple, ShanghaiJade Buddha Temple, ShanghaiWe saw the Jade Buddha, which was stunning, but weren’t allowed to take pictures of it, sadly.
Family! Jade Buddha Temple, ShanghaiA picture of the cousins – me (looking decidedly unkempt and makeup-less – ugh!) and Siobhan with our babies: Arlo and Ella.

We certainly don’t see each other as often as we did when we were kids, but I’m SO glad Siobhan and co came to visit, and that we got to catch up again after a really long break. We mustn’t leave it so long til the next time!!

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