We left Xian after dinner on Sunday night on the fast train to Xining. If you remember my last train ride it involved Sydney throwing up throughout the night and once into my hoodie. We were really hoping that it wouldn’t be one of those trips. Luckily there wasn’t anything like that to report. We had our own room on the train, so we had two sets of bunk beds all to ourselves. The girls took our itouch to the top bunk and watched a movie while Heather and I stayed on the bottom bunk putting Caleb to bed and watching a show on our computer. Heather and I sat there thinking about how fun it was to travel as a family like this and how for years to come we will be able to have these fun memories.
Day 1 (arriving in Xining)
We got out of the train and we were immediately greeted with something quite unexpected… Cool weather! When I say cool, I mean, like, hoodie and jeans cool (and that’s the best kind of cool). This was much welcomed since we had just left the hottest place on the planet (slight exaggeration :/ ) Our friend that is helping host us (Morgan) was waiting in the parking lot with his jeep to pick us up. That afternoon we went to a Western Café (when I say western café I don’t mean that it was full of cowboys playing cards, chewing tobacco and sipping whiskey, but that it was a café that served western food). They had amazing food and our kids where having fun playing together with their friends that live here. Afterwards we got settled into the apartment that our friends have graciously let us stay in while we’re here in Xining. That night our friends invited us over for a BBQ and BBQ it was! Morgan grilled up some chicken, zucchini, and some potatoes. The kids all played together in their backyard in an inflatable pool (notice I used the word “backyard”). I literally could have closed my eyes and been in America. It was amazing.
That night I was tucking Sydney in (Sydney has her own room where we’re staying) and I said to her “Sydney you’re a big girl! Are you excited to have your own room?” To which she replied, “Yeah, do you remember when I started sharing a room with Aubrey? That was a disaster.” HAHA! I’m glad that the Sydney show isn’t only in Xian, but also goes on the road.
This morning while we ate breakfast I was reminded of the uniqueness of Aubrey. As we sat around a table full of chairs, Aubrey went and grabbed a stool and pulled it over to the table to eat her breakfast. That’s one thing about her that I’m learning; she likes doing things her own way.
On our way out for the day the girls were waiting at the door to the building which is a large heavy door. I was worried they would try to open it without us so I said to Sydney “Careful that door is heavy” and to that she said “Good news! Cuz I like heavy doors.” Being on vacation has been nice as I discover new things about my children, like, I now know that Sydney likes heavy doors.
That morning we just wanted to get out and enjoy the outdoors since we were no longer in the hottest place on the planet :/ So we went to the University that is near our apartment and walked around exploring the campus. The girls found a little hill and loved running up and down it, as well as sliding down the marble staircase wall.
In the afternoon we went to the People’s Park, which is an amusement park of sorts here in Xining. It was a lot of fun, the girls feed some fish, and then we went on a merry-go-round and afterwards we rode a rollercoaster that went around the lake and amusement park. We had ice cream and there was no shortage of people crowding around us taking our pictures… In case you didn’t know, we’re kinda a big deal. That night we came home and ordered some pizza and watched a movie.
To start the day Sydney asked me if I would help her tuck her shirt into her skirt, which I did. Then she went over to a mirror and said to herself “Oh that’s fancy!” HAHA!
For lunch we went to a Thai/Western café here in town with our friends and had some delicious food. That afternoon we all had a looooong afternoon nap. And at night we headed over to our friends house to have some local food, a noodle dish and some meat on skewers, both amazing.
Well that’s the first half of our trip. Today we’ll get ready for our trip up into the mountains, which is where we’ll be this weekend. It should be a great time and I’ll write about it when we get back.
(The internet connection I have is pretty slow, so I will need to upload photos when we get back to Xian.)