Saturday, May 2, 2015

First Visitors

About a month ago we had our first visitors here in Suzhou and it was so fun! My cousin JS and his friend D came to visit for a couple of days. They had already been to Beijing and Xi'an before stopping in Suzhou/Shanghai for a couple of days. After seeing us they were off to Hong Kong. What an adventure they were on! They have seen more of China than I have and I've been living here for seven months. I need to start planning some trips ASAP!

After JS and D got settled and some laundry started we headed out for an afternoon of Suzhou sightseeing. Our first stop was supposed to be an old canal street, but we went to the wrong spot. So we headed to the Humble Administrators Garden. Unfortunately it started raining just as we started walking there. We still went to the garden in hopes that the rain might stop. We road in rickshaws part of the way. Baby O wasn't sure what to think of this ride.
This was my second visit to The Humble Administrators Garden. This time it was very rainy, with lots of puddles and slippery spots. But the garden was still pretty.
Canal outside the Humble Administrators Garden.
The happy travelers!
After the garden we all wanted to head inside since it was still raining. We stopped at the Suzhou Museum. This museum houses Chinese art, calligraphy and handmade crafts. I forgot to take pictures here.

We headed home after the museum to relax and dry out a bit before heading to dinner. For dinner we went to Hai Di Lao Hot Pot. This was my first experience at Hai Di Lao (a hot pot chain here in China) which is known for its service. J did the ordering and he enjoys ordering new fun things to try and also ordering a LOT of food. At this dinner he decided to order snake, bull frog and pig brain! JS and D were both great sports about J's excessive (and interesting) order. All of us tried at least a bite of all three. I didn't really care for any of them, but I thought the snake was the best. My favorite part of the evening was the 'Lamian' that we ordered. 'Lamian' is a type of Chinese noodle, lā, (拉) means to stretch or pull and miàn (麵) means noodle. A guy came to our table and pulled and stretched the noodles right in front of us. I loved it!
Some of the food that J ordered
More food!
The waitress holding Baby O walked him around and played with him all evening. He loved stopping at each table saying 'ni hao' to everyone.
Eating brains! Notice the hesitation to close my mouth and actually eat it!
We all got aprons to keep our clothes clean while we ate, even Baby O. It was also a good leash :)
JS and D spent their next two days in Shanghai exploring. It was really great having them here. I learned a few things from their visit: 1. I need to have more food options in the house when there are people visiting and 2. I need to make a better tourist attraction plan (and probably do a test run) before our next visitors. Hopefully I will be more prepared next time!


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