Friday, September 21, 2007

Shanghai - Day 2

Today is our 2nd day in Shanghai and things are not going well for us! There is a typhoon headed here, which means it's been raining non-stop all day. It's expected to actually hit tomorrow at noon which means tomorrow will be shot too, we are so bummed. Outside, some stores are boarding up their windows because the winds are expected to be very strong. Besides the rain though, Shanghai is really neat. It seems more like a big city than Beijing, more like New York. Our hotel is very nice which is good since we are basically stuck here. We can hardly even take a taxi out because there in such demand, it's too hard to get one back and we don't want to be stranded.

We arrived in Shanghai about 10:30 yesterday morning and it was a beautiful day. We headed down to the Bund which is the waterfront and walked around for a couple hours and then had dinner. We took a taxi across the river over to "Pudong" where we went to the top of the Pearl TV Tower for an awesome view of all of Shanghai. We were probably up there for about 2 hours and got to see the sunset. We're so glad we went there yesterday because there would be no visibility today or tomorrow.

Today we woke up, had breakfast, and went to the hotel gym, hoping the rain would stop. It didn't look too bad so we took a taxi down to Old Shanghai. Unfortunately, it started raining pretty hard while we were there so we had to take refuge at Starbucks and then at a little dry hut that served Tsingtao (Jeff's favorite Chinese beer) for 15 RMB ($2). After a couple hours of sitting, we decided to go back to the hotel - easier said than done! We could not find a taxi because they were all being used. We actually got into one and the guy wouldn't take us because our hotel was "too close" (at least that's what we think his reason was). We stood on the side of the road getting DRENCHED for about 20 minutes and then decided to walk and try to find a taxi on the way. We probably walked about 3/4 of a mile before we finally found a taxi. When we got back to the hotel we were completely soaked. Luckily it wasn't cold or else we wouldn't have been laughing about it like we were at the time.

We went back to our room to dry off and then had lunch at the hotel early this afternoon. The rest of the day has been pretty uneventful, we watched some tv, took a nap, and then walked a block away for dinner at a chinese/japanese noodle restaurant. Now we're back at the hotel for the rest of the night and it is still pouring. We had wanted to go see the US women's soccer team play Nigeria in the world cup which is in Shanghai, but can't because of the rain - Jeff is really bummed so we're hoping we can catch it on tv in our room. We are really hoping that the typhoon will die down tomorrow afternoon so that we can go explore Shanghai a little more.

Before Shanghai, we had a pretty fun weekend in Beijing. On Saturday morning, we went with Deanne to the "dirt market" which is this huge outdoor flea market where you can buy practically anything. We ended up getting a few art pieces there for "dirt" cheap :). Then, the highlight of the trip so far, we went to the Great Wall which was AWESOME. Not only was it amazing to see the great wall, the spot that we went to had a tobogan track that had to be a mile long. We ended up going down it twice because it was so fun. After the great wall, we drove by the olympic stadiums which were also amazing, and then to a traditional "Peking Duck" restaurant - yummy!

Sunday we went golfing again, this time it was Jeff, Mario, Nico and me. It was a beautiful day and we had a great time. Then we drove to the stables where Deanne and Talia ride to see Talia take her lesson. I am amazed by people who can ride horses, for some reason, they scare me so it was really neat to see her (she's only 12) make the horse walk, trot and canter (run) on command. After watching her ride, we went back to the shopping center to try on our clothes again and then to the Hard Rock for dinner.

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