Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Today marks 12 years since my Mum passed.  And although the pain has lessened over the years, the void in my heart and in my life remains the same.  This year seems harder because I have Goober around, and that's one of the things that I know my Mum would've loved: to be a Grandma.  Goodness, she'd be amazing at it.  I still miss her so so so very much.

Also received news that Travis and my great friend, Jeff, was in a motorcycle accident two days ago.  He broke some ribs and shattered his elbow, and after undergoing over 4 hours of reconstructive surgery on his arm he is now in recovery.  I'm just so glad he's alive.  If you don't remember who Jeff is, he's the guy I helped cross the finish line with at the Beat the Bridge 8K race this year in May.  It was his very first race, and he actually beat the bridge too.  It just sucks that we are so far away from our friend at this time. 

Hoping this day will bring brighter news...

Hills? What are those?

Image from here

Let me tell you this: Shanghai is flatter than Keira Knightley's chest in an Academy Awards photograph.  I have yet to see anything that resembles a hill, or even the slightest incline for that matter.  The closest I've seen to a hill is the sloped ramps from the sidewalks to the street, and that's it.  Really.  It's kind of crazy, actually.  The only other place I've been that was this flat was probably Phoenix, AZ.  To me it's weird, especially living in Seattle...hills are common!  My driveway at my childhood home is hillier than Shanghai!  Hillier?  Yes, hillier.

Never thought I'd say this, but I miss the hills.  I love a challenge, even when walking Goober in the stroller or in the Baby Bjorn.  Like I said before, running on the streets here is completely out of the walking is in the cards for a bit (unless a treadmill is open at the gym downstairs, but it's always packed).  

Anyone want to ship out some hills to Shanghai for a couple weeks?  Hee hee.  Let me know...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Welcome to 28

It's official...I'm not 27 anymore. 

There's nothing quite like celebrating your birthday in China, a full 15 hours ahead of home time...two birthdays!  HA!  My day was fabulous: hung out with new friends, grabbed a Starbucks, took a nap with Goober, played with Goober, took a walk with Goober strapped to my chest as usual, went ellipticalling (yeah, it's a word in my book), then went to a yummy Italian restaurant for dinner.  Wait, what?  You read that right...Italian in China. Hee hee.  It was delish!  This restaurant is fairly well-known around here for being a legit place to get your spaghetti on, it's called Da Marco.  The chef/owner is from Italy and of course, knows his stuff.  Even bringing Goober with us to dinner was no problem.  While we waited for a table, a waitress brought over two glasses of champagne.  Yay! 

I ordered spaghetti with homemade noodles and it was divine.  So good!  Plus, a glass of Chianti and gelato to top things off really made the dinner a success.  28 doesn't feel that bad.

So now I'm relaxing in my awesome Tommie Copper calf sleeves on our 20th floor apartment balcony...bring it, year! 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

"I Love You Americans"

Yesterday was another hot day, and so Goober & I ducked into the Burger King for a cool drink and some baby food after exploring a little North for a bit.  The drink was for her, of course. ;)  While there, an employee who looked to be about 17 or so kept coming over to us and playing with Goober and smiling at her.  He even brought over a high chair when he saw that I was feeding her the applesauce while on my lap.  He was sweet.  First he asked if we were German, then if we were from America. 
"Yes, we're American."
"Oh!  I love you Americans!"
He then proceeded to show me his ankle tattoo of a marble column-like cross with an American flag draped over it.  WOW.  So much love for a country he may or may not have ever been to.

And yet, just down the street I saw a small scooter accident happen.  A woman with a bunch of groceries on the back of a scooter collided with another woman walking along the street with her small son.  The scooter woman was on the ground, scooter halfway on top of her, moaning.  The other woman was just standing there, rubbing her ankle while her son just watched.  Nobody did anything.  Nobody rushed over to help either of these women, they just stared.  Of course, had I been without Goober strapped to my chest I would've gone over and helped the woman up, or at least done something.  If this was in the States, at least all 15 witnesses would have called 911 by now or a swarm of people would be assisting the victims.  It's crazy.  The difference in culture and expectations.

Last Friday night we had a Goober-free evening with some other "grown-ups."  Goob stayed with Trav's coworkers' ayi (like a nanny/housekeeper) for a couple hours while the rest of us went for some all-you-can-eat pizza and beer at a hotel.  Oh man.  It's the first time I've truly been away from Goob for more than 20 minutes while here and it felt pretty good.  And, I wasn't worried at all as Goober even waved bye-bye to me as she was crawling around with the ayi and the two other little girls...she was excited to be playing with new toys and taking in new sights.  Later, Mom.

After having an endless glass of Tiger beer (the waiters never let the glasses be emptied, so we didn't really know how much we drank!) and some pretty decent pizza in an amazingly gorgeous hotel, Trav, two of his coworkers and I all went up to the observation deck of the World Financial Center.  474 meters above ground (1555 feet!). OH EM GEE.  It was nuts!  The building itself is pretty spectacular (it kind of looks like a bottle opener, don't you think?) but the views from that height were breathtaking.  Even at night, it was quite the sight.  The tower next door, Jin Mao, which is 421 meters seemed dwarfed by this thing.  Really felt on top of the world.

It's hard to believe we've been in Shanghai for over two weeks now.  Time is flying, which is nice.  Hope everyone has a fantastic rest of the weekend!  Good luck, You Go Girls' Team Will Run for Ice Cream!  Wish I could be there!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Sigh of Relief

After two weeks, I finally reconnected with an old friend while here
in Shanghai...Starbucks! Coffee tasted fabulous on this sweltering
Chinese afternoon, and of course the company was fantastic as well.
Goober happily sat with me, people watching and eating her puffs like
a good little girl. It's been weird without my daily coffee fix--I
miss my good 'ol Cuisinart coffee maker. Not that I'd make a hot
coffee right now anyway: according the, the temp here is
91 degrees, but with the humidity it feels like 96. Good grief! I
need a pool, stat! And maybe a chilled glass of vino!

Since the heat takes a lot out of miss Goob and myself, we are lying
low in the apartment today. Air conditioning FTW! We'll probably
head over to the cool indoor pool in a bit, where a mass of local
Chinese women will distract her from her swimming lesson from me. Heh

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Clap Clap!

Whenever Travis or I say "YAY!" Goober claps and says a baby version of "yayyyyy!"  Wouldn't that be just perfect if my kid's first real word was YAY?  Ha ha.  Totally perfect.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Greetings from Shanghai!

HEY ALL!  Remember me? ;)

Apparently this is the norm in China
Just wanted to give you all a quick update.  After a long 10 hour flight, another 3 hour flight and an interesting ride in a van we made it to our apartment in Shanghai a week and a half ago! 
Even though I haven't been doing a whole lot of running, I've been walking a ton with Miss Goober.  In fact, Goober is a rockstar it seems.  Locals swarm around her and touch her feet, fawning and gushing over her.  It's strange and cute and annoying at the same time.  So many people have stopped us on the street (or even interrupted our lunch at a restaurant) to take her picture.  It must be the blue eyes.  Either way, it's interesting for sure.  And it makes people here a lot more friendly too!
Goober gets her picture taken by some adoring "fans"
 Running here would be nearly impossible.  The sidewalks are narrow, the weather is hot & extremely humid, the air quality sucks (hello inhaler!) and the traffic, well, I'd probably be hit by a bus in two seconds.  There might as well be no stop lights, signs or lane's a free-for-all.  Scooters rule the streets by far, and they even drive up on sidewalks to avoid traffic jams.  And don't get me started on the honking.  This city is just one big collective HONK.  Horns are used as frequently as the gas pedal...

It's still quite the experience!!

I only have access to Blogger/Facebook a little each night or morning, so it's rare.  I must say I miss reading your blogs, and I'll have a ton of catching up to do later.  In the meantime, I'll try to e-mail post or regular post as much as I can.


Friday, September 2, 2011

In Japan!

Hi all!
We made it to our first stop in Narita, Japan! Goober was completely awesome on the long 10 hour flight! She's an international airplane rockstar. :)
Looking forward to Shanghai later tonight!! Yeah!


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