Thursday, February 11, 2010

Christmas in Review

It's February. Since the last review seemed to be a hit, I decided to update you all the way to the end of December this time using the same format. It's not quite as exciting since it covers a shorter period of time...and I didn't document all of Christmas since I was cooking up a storm. Christmas itself was a bit of a tornado what with the arrival of my friends from the States just hours before the arrival of Baby S. And then we were hosting Christmas at my place with a little group for Christmas morning and then a host of single folks for Christmas dinner. It was lots o' fun, but I'll admit a bit hectic. Hence the derth of photos from Christmas day.

First...the Christmas tree. There it is and there it stayed until somewhere towards the third week of January. It's a tradition amongst us to have a slumber party, aka a slumbie (slumby?)

Then we begin eating...after preparing. Here's LoBaby with one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. A cheddar, apple, sauteed onion pie. Good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'm not kidding, you must have this at some point in your life. Don't tell your cardiologist.
Here was my breakfast contribution...picture didn't come out so well, but ze sticky buns ver not bad!
We watched a reading of the Cajun Night Before Christmas while waiting for goodies to get good. It's a classic of the south. I have a well-worn signed copy of the book that I got as a child, which sadly I keep forgetting to bring over.

Then we opened gifts. We didn't take that many pictures, but I got some great stuff--much of it things that were mine already, which my friend Amanda had brought over from the States and wrapped. My roomate Pidge's mom sent over gifts for us too, which was so sweet!!! Especially this little number, it's a rain proof bonnet, which I should have worn today come to think of it.
And now we cut to dinner. No pictures from the kitchen because you couldn't have wedged a camera in there with all the people and dishes and ovens in it. Thanks again to everyone who helped make extra dishes and washed dishes! Would have started throwing dirty plates out the window without you! So I don't know what these people here were doing. I call this picture 'The Bookends'--i've got two others with each of them respectively doing this Precious Moments pose.
Me and my Pidgling. Plus, it seems, an advertisement for twocities gallery--everyone go there and buy lots of art.
When I came out of the kitchen, my friends had prepared a wave for me. I love the wave! It's like being a part of something bigger than yourself. Right guys? I'm still cool right?
I joined in...why wouldn't I? I swear there were other guys at this party, they're just invisible when photographed.
Then Christmas was hiss. What am I supposed to do with the 330 Christmas songs which I played almost nonstop during Christmas? So my two friends from the U.S. and I took a little trip to Suzhou, 'the Venice of China' which is very close to here. It was a great day out. We took the train. Do they have these hammers on all trains? Don't you want to use one to crack a window? Would that not be the most satisfying feeling? Crack...all your troubles go away...if the train isn't moving and you can run faster than the guards.
We went to a garden. In lieu of showing you pictures of the garden--it was pretty, but you know what Chinese gardens look like already--I took a picture of myself in a mirror. Now I'm a real photographer because this is one of those artsy things that photographer people do.
This is the best jump shot picture I've ever taken in my whole life. It looks like they're watching themselves jump. Where is that little rabbit with the pocket watch?
So I have a money shot and then this almost money shot. I decided to share this one, in case you were inclined to steal the other.
Then I took a bunch of pictures of this dried up hydrangea. I just love it. I don't know why.
We got some bubble tea at this quaint little shop on the side of the street called DuDu.
That's my friend from America. Isn't she funny?
We then went off in search of "real China." Which is easier to find in Suzhou than SH. I often hesitate taking pictures of people here because they are often suspicious...I was far enough away from these old people that they couldn't stop me. Ha! Take that!
I don't usually photograph dogs...who has room on their computer for all those files? This one though was funny. Look at him. Hilarious. He lives in a little basket just the entrance to these two pagodas we found randomly.
Who knew that pagodas could just pop up out of nowhere? I know nothing about these pagodas except that there were two of them side by side and it only cost about $1.20 to get in to see them.
Then we jumped some more.

My friend loves taking pictures with old Chinese men. Go figure. Everybody has their vice I suppose.
There are always flowers budding here...even in winter. Just like home...although none of our flowers bloom at the base of pagodas.
A temple wall. Great color.

We searched high and low for a Chinese bridge & at last, just before we headed back to SH, we found one.


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