Yuyuantan Park and Cherry Blossoms

4/8  line 1, Military Museum stop, exit A or E2, walk north

Cost: adults Y10, kids Y5, under 120 cm = free

It was a nice spring day so we suggested to the WAs that we check out the cherry blossoms that were supposedly blooming at Yuyuantan Park, out towards us.

Top left picture… before entering the park, you walk by the Millenium Monument (I think it houses an art museum of some sort). The Military Museum is also in this area but there were too many buildings blocking a good shot of it. The bottom two pictures are organized dance groups in the park. Because of the cherry blossoms, there was a fair or something of the sort so the park was more crowded than usual and there were various booths set up selling stuff.

Bottom left: Squidgems was avoiding the camera all day so we were
glad he finally joined the other kids for this group shot.

Above picture and this story from PS: I walked over to a tree, snapped a picture of some flowers, and turned to leave. A Chinese guy waved me back over, showed me a patch of flowers that was less wilted, used his hand to block out the sun, and told me the Chinese word for photograph, and motioned for me to take the picture. When I did, he told me “Beautiful!” and left. So, thanks random Chinese guy. It does look beautiful.

We took a boat from the western side of the park back to the middle. It was Y10 per person (Squidgems was free). Apparently our friend S told her little sister, A, who was afraid, that she’d pay her Y100 if the boat capsized. We were quite an attraction. Everyone in our boat was super excited when we got on and people in boats we went by were trying to take our picture.  grin emoticon

Bottom right picture: This adorable little girl toddled over to Squidgems’s scooter and then her dad sort of looked at me like, “can she take it for a spin?” He put her on it and she pushed away with an adorable smile and giggle. Squidgems was very worried.

grin emoticon

Sugar blowing…
These are just the blossoms on our walk home from our subway stop.

China Life



A shop called NancyK! The employee didn’t understand when B told them (in Chinese) that my name is Nancy K. I don’t think they knew the name of their store. They just sort of looked at me like he’d told them it was my birthday and all they could do was smile my way. (Joy City Mall, Xidan)

On display in a subway station… it looks like a tissue box shaped like a subway train car.


B and I went on a date to Nanluoguxiang Hutong in order to buy a couple souvenirs I wanted (they only had one in stock) and to get dessert waffles. Couldn’t figure out how to buy the dessert waffles. China. So we had this yummy frozen yogurt instead. I got Oreos, strawberry sauce and kiwis. I think B’s is all mango and coconut. It was delicious which helped make up for the waffle failure, and the dinner near failure. (We went to a second location of a yummy restaurant I’d gone to for lunch with some women from church. The second location only had two of the same menu items as the place I went for lunch. 😦  )


This poster showed up around town during Spring Festival to warn about when you were allowed to set of fireworks.

Facebook Posts

3/5  For the first time in 36 hours, the VPN on my computer is working long enough for me to check my email and Facebook. China’s gov’t is in session, which means there’s a crackdown on blocking websites. Our VPN company credited everyone two weeks for free rather than try to fight it.


We’re only in China for one more season, and 8 days of official summer.


I made a pecan pie yesterday with the pecans I had leftover from our Pi Day pecan pie. I also had a bag of peeled, cut and drenched in lemon juice apples in the fridge that I forgot to take on our Friday field trip and leftover pie crust. Will and I fashioned an apple pie in a bread pan with the leftover crust, the apples, sugar, brown sugar and cinnamon. It turned out quite yummy!

It’s never comforting to be riding on the subway while the subway tvs are broadcasting news about bombs on another city’s subway. #Brussels

I just got the VPN to work on my phone for the first time in a couple weeks and my phone went NUTS with notification noises from all the emails and Facebook notices that it has missed.

3/30  Just as I’m leaving Asia, Weezer announces an Asia tour.

I read an article titled “Potty Revolution,” about how much China plans to spend on fixing up their public restrooms. I read the article title to the kids and explained the Cultural Revolution reference but had to explain this wasn’t a Chinese news source. Buddy said, “The Chinese newspaper would call it ‘The People’s War on Toilets.'” Ha!


  This is on our elevator door. Squidgems’s translation, “no stickin’ your fingers between the doors or blood will come out.” He’s had better translations of it, but this is the only one I can remember right now.

I miss driving around in a car and blasting the music so loud it blocks out all other noise. ‪#‎mykidstalknonstop‬

There was a guy smoking IN our subway train on the way home tonight.

I made Princess Sparkley read Romeo and Juliet so we could watch the Baz Luhrmann version of Romeo + Juliet. Now that she’s finished, stinkin’ China and Netflix and the internet and our vpn aren’t cooperating so we can’t even watch it. frown emoticon

China’s a bit on my nerves this week. No one knows how to drive. I had to wait in line for more than 5 minutes yesterday in order to purchase a roll of tape (less than 30 cents) from the stationary section of my grocery store because stuff from that section has to be purchased separately from your normal groceries. They just spent last week putting new asphalt tiling in front of our neighborhood grocery store (the whole parking lot) and today it’s all being torn up by an excavator. The internet. There’s nothing yummy to get when you go to the grocery store and have the munchies. My kids are normally on the shy side, but China has made Squidgems especially shy because everyone is always looking at him, touching his hair, trying to make him talk to them, handing him random food, etc. ‪#‎RantOver‬ ‪#‎IThink‬‪#‎IllProbablyHaveToGoOutsideAgainBeforetheDayIsOver‬

Beijing Zoo

3/25  line 4, Beijing Zoo stop, exit C1

Cost*: adults Y14, kids Y7, under 120 cm = free
*combined ticket is zoo+pandas and this is the off-season price since we went before March 31

Baby lemurs! And more.

The zoo isn’t as sad as most of the reviews we read. It was frustrating to see all the zoo patrons feeding the animals (throwing muffins to the bears, feeding lettuce and other vegetables to the camels and ostriches, etc.) and the elephants/hippos/rhinos were all inside in their tiny enclosures instead of outside.

Beijing Planetarium

3/18 line 4, Beijing Zoo stop, exit D

Cost: adults Y10, kids Y5, under 120 cm = free

There wasn’t a lot to do at the Paleozoological Museum so we decided to check out the Beijing Planetarium next door. Note, none of the movies are in English here. Entrance is for both building A and building B.

It was super cute. While I was taking the picture of PS in the spacesuit, Squidgems came over and held the astronaut’s hand. When I turned to walk away, there was a group of Chinese people taking the picture too.

Top right picture: a tiny model of the Beijing Ancient Observatory.