Made it to Kyoto, one of the most amazing cities  we have traveled to.  The first hotel in Okayama provided eye warmers which heated up for about 10 minutes after they were opened.


Ohiopyle Visitors Center and Meadow Run

Yesterday we stopped by the new Visitors Center at Ohiopyle State Park.  The boys and I had been earlier in the summer but this was the first time for Ryan.  The park did a really did a great job with the building and surrounding area.  Yesterday was quite a hot day, and it was nice to detour inside for a few minutes to get some water, cool off, and check out the exhibits and gorgeous view of the falls.  After the Visitor’s Center, we walked over to Meadow Run and hiked up the stream.  The water was fairly low, so this time boys opted to skip on sliding down the natural waterslides.  Instead we opted to keep hiking, alternating between boulder scrambling along the edges of the stream and hiking on the path through the woods.  It was a gorgeous walk and we had a such a great time that we didn’t get home until evening.  Despite the late hour, Ryan started up the grill to make a batch of his famous Double Smoked Chili.  We finally ate around 9:30, and it was worth the wait!



Breakfast with the little guy

Oliver and I are usually the first up on the weekends and we enjoy going out for breakfast while the rest of the family is still sleeping. It is a bit hard to find places open before 8 on the weekends. We wandered around a while this morning, eventually found a coffee shop that opened at 7:30. Then after a pre breakfast snack we moved on to Mr. Pancake Plus which opened at 8.  



Spread the Bagel on Nanchang Lu makes some great bagels. We walked over this morning and Parke decided to bring Marshy along. She loves going on adventures. Walking in the city doesn’t seem to stress her out at all. Lots of interesting things to smell and lots of cats. 

Haloween at Shama

Before we moved, the kids had noticed the candy and decorations and whatnot going up in Ann Arbor, and asked if there would be Halloween in China, and we told them probably not. Boy, were we wrong! There are Halloween displays everywhere, pop up shops, and about 10 zillion parties to choose from. Because we were totally unprepared, there was a bit of a panic about not having costumes, but then I remembered…we live in Shanghai! Land of the many many many tailors! And so that problem was easily solved…we bought a couple of masks, and then headed over to the tailor section of the nearby fake market to order up some capes. (Eli ordered a custom shirt, too. More on that later)

Today our apartment building is hosting Trick or Treating, and then a party. I had to do some searching, but I eventually was able to locate what I’d consider to be Halloween candy, bite sized pieces of familiar US brands. Turns out I needn’t have worried, there were an amazing array of things being given out. I’d also considered just buying a bunch of full size candy bars, since they were easier to find. Thank goodness I abandoned that plan, as there were 130+ kids! and the imported candy bars are outrageously expensive.

If you’re looking for photos of Eli, you’ll have to wait. He ditched us today in favor of a skateboarding camp over in Puxi. The folks that run his skateboarding after school activity also do weekend clinics, so he’s signed up for that the next 5 weekends. Hopefully he’ll finish up in time to join the party before it winds down.