Friday, November 2, 2012

The Shanghai Adventure - Day 1

 Hello from Shanghai.  We made it safely after a 24 hour day of traveling. We have had some issues with the internet so hopefully we can get caught up in the next day or so on our last two days in Shanghai.   Eric planned our time in Shanghai so I had no clue what our days here would entail.

We woke up Thursday morning and got our first peek of Shanghai from our window.  The amount of skyscrapers in this town is unbelievable.  There are 23 million people in Shanghai.  It is hard to even fathom.

Eric had made appointments for massages for us for our first morning in Shanghai. We have been running hard getting ready to leave so he thought it would be a great way to start things off.  I couldn't agree more.  We got directions from the hotel to the place he had made appointments.  We had our map in hand and we were ready to go.

As we began walking the sights, sounds and smells all came flooding back from when we journeyed to China to bring Max home.  It is so hard to explain, but there things you will taste, see, hear and smell that just scream China.


The little ones on the streets are too hard not to be totally taken by.  This little girls was just sitting on her little balance bike eating a hard boiled egg. 

As we began walking we had one problem,  it was a little hard to follow the map and read street signs when they were all in Chinese.

We found our way down streets and through an alley when we finally saw the little white sign that said "Massages!" Only a couple hours in and we knew the next couple days could be an adventure.


The Massage continued to be an adventure as we tried to communicate with a language barrier about all the logistics.  We finally found our way back to our room.  My massuse kept saying "you have a tired neck and back" as he was rubbing out knot after knot.  It was a good call by Eric to try to get us to relax a bit before 
the real adventure begins.

We made our way back to our hotel to get ready round 2 of our Shanghai Adventure.

The second part of our adventure was a cooking class. We jumped in a cab and showed the driver some characters scribbled in Chinese hoping we would end up where we needed to go. 

We waited a few minutes hoping we were standing in the right place when from around the corner ran a gal waving at us with a big smile on her face.  I guess the 2 Americans were easy to pick out in the crowd.  Sherri took us to the market to explain to us how the Chinese markets work and show us what ingredients we would be using to make our dishes. 

The Chinese markets are unbelievable in every sense of the word.  Again there are sights and smells that just scream "China!" The first floor was the meat market.  We saw everything from pigs feet to cow tongue to crabs to shrimp to fish being weighed and killed right in front of us.  

Frogs anyone? 

The next floor was fruits, vegetables and spices.  Sherri had an ipad and would show us different pictures of fruits and vegetables as she tried to explain to us what they used various items for and how they grew.

The tables and tables of vegetables were pretty amazing. 

It was fun to actually find out what various seeds, spices and nuts were that were common in Chinese dishes.

We then made our way to Sherri's apartment where we met Helen.  It was pretty amazing to be in a typical Chinese apartment kitchen with two Chinese gals.  We began by prepping all of our meats and vegetables for our dishes.  

We then began mixing our ingredients together for our Kungpo Chicken, Chili Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings. The Chinese people seem to take time to slow down and enjoy life. The same is true in their cooking.  They take their time in prepping and cooking.

Here is Eric rolling out his home made dumpling dough,

We each made our own portion of each dish.  Helen would show us how to cook it first and then Eric and I would each have a chance to try it.

Helen tried to teach us the art of making dumplings from scratch.  I kept trying to get her to teach me how to make mine look pretty like hers.

 I will say we thought we were making Chinese food at home but we really had no idea the true art of Chinese cooking. It was an amazing experience and one we are excited to take back home and experiment with. The food tasted amazing.  We left with very full stomachs but more than that we left being very grateful for an amazing experience as we soaked up the Chinese culture and their world of cooking.

We finished the night with a stroll by the river trying not to crash too early as jet lag was setting in. 


Cheri said...

Wow how exciting! I never considered taking a cooking class while in china. But we took our children s that wouldn't have worked! Thanks for sharing.

DiJo said...

How awesome is that idea... Massages and a REAL Chinese Cooking Class!!! Awesome date Eric!!!! It won't be long, and the best part of the adventure begins!!!!!!

Until then, ENJOY your time together!


Fannie said...

That really is such a great idea to take a cooking class!! Shanghai looks amazing!! Only a few more days til Ellie!! Hope Shanghai day two is even better! :)

Andra said...

THAT was awesome!!! Cannot wait to hear more about it! Your pictures of the market look amazing!

Paige said...

Wonderful idea!! What a great start to an awesome trip!

Jennifer said...

What a smart and fun way to start things out; what a thoughtful husband! Praying things continue to go on schedule for all of you!

Teri said...

What a great way to start your trip...loving following you!!!!!

Kathy said...

What a fantastic start to your trip! I love that you are wandering around China without a guide! What an adventure! :)

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