Well we have some fun news! The Petersons will be taking our first family vacation, as a family of 6, and we will be departing in two weeks! We first started thinking about a trip a couple months ago and things have just fallen into place since then. For example, friends of ours offered for us to stay in an extra apartment for free. Then we had to get over the hurdle of getting permission for Lily to travel outside of Xian, which we did. Then there was this little issue of raising the money for the trip. We were looking at needing to raise $900 for the whole trip (that’s pretty reasonable considering it includes everything for a family of 6). It was shortly after we had come up with a budget for the trip that a generous family gave us $1000 to cover the costs of our trip. Lastly, a few days ago we heard it can be tough to get tickets to Xining (because it’s travel season), our hearts sank, but luckily a couple that lives here got us in touch with a travel agency that was able to secure the train tickets for us (WOOT!). We feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity!
Our plans are to travel to Xining on an overnight train, which is a 12 hour train ride away (OUCH!). We will be staying in Xining for 8 days in our friend’s spare apartment. It’s much cooler in Xining, so we’re looking forward to that. Also, there are a bunch of cafes in Xining as well as the mountains being nearby. We’re so excited to have this time to bond and create memories as a family. We will leave the night of August 7th on the train. We’ll keep you posted on our trip.
On another note our summer has been pretty good, but the last few days have been kinda tough. I think we’re missing our friends/family and also missing our routine. To cheer myself up, I thought that I would include my top 3 things to do during the summertime here in Xian. And I would love it if you could take a minute to write your favorite thing to do during the summer at the bottom of our post.
3. Taking the kids to the playground and play places - One thing I really like about Xian and particularly the area we live in is that there is no shortage of kid’s playgrounds and indoor play places. Our neighborhood has a simple playground, but in the summertime it can be so refreshing to get outside and just let the kids run around. (As long as they avoid the areas where other kids have gone to the bathroom)
2. Qu Jiang Lake - Another favorite of mine is getting into a taxi with the family and heading to a lake area (called Qu Jiang) and spending the morning or afternoon. There are 4 playgrounds there for the kids to play on and then we head to the lake and walk around. Last time we were there we found a little place to buy some fish food and feed fish and our kids absolutely loved it!
1. Pizza, Floats, popcorn and movies - At the top of my list are the nights where we get some pizza (or Heather makes us some homemade pizza) and afterwards we make a couple ice cream floats to cool down with. Then ending the night with a big bowl of popcorn and a movie, this is easily my favorite summertime thing to do.
"Homemade pizza YUMMY!"
Honorable mention: We’ve also had a few water fights on hot days and that has been tons of fun!
So those are some of our favorite things to do in the summer, but want are some of your favorite things to do as a family or by yourself? Add your thoughts in the comments area.