Thursday, December 18


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Today we got to really enjoy Yangchun City by relaxing and walking around in the sunshine!  Oh yes, my jealous, stuck in the snow friends at home, it’s 25 and sunny again!  Getting tired of reading that, aren’t you?  (grin)

Our hotel is located overlooking East Lake and there is a beautiful public park just below.  There is a walking path, with lovely flowers, and the gondola where you can see that we posed for some photos.  The area is mountainous and really truly gorgeous! 

The public park centres around an open square where the locals gather to dance and party in the evenings.  It’s huge and well landscaped.  The park also has free public exercise equipment, which me and the girls had some fun trying out. 

You can see by the plaque that Yangchun City has been declared “Top Tourist City in China”, by the government, and for us it’s clear why.  It’s clean, safe, and absolutely beautiful.

We got up late, so breakfast never happened, but we did find some lunch downstairs in the hotel restaurant.  The hotel has a Chinese restaurant (natch) but also a “western” restaurant.  So, we thought the kids might like something besides Chinese food and went to check out the menu.  Suffice it to say that their definition of “western” food and mine are very different.  Totally different.  Not on the same planet at all, different.  So, Chinese food it was.

After lunch meant back outside for some more fresh air and walking.  We had to return to the hotel mid afternoon, though, as we were in for a surprise. 

We were meeting one of Danny’s first cousins for the first time in his life.  The man is 60+ years old and Danny has never had the opportunity to meet him.  He lives about 3 hours from here, but no one in Danny’s family makes the effort to go and see that part of the family.  We decided that since we’re trekking about, two days here, two days there, we might as well go one step further and find them.

So, at about 3:30, Danny met his cousin for the first time.  It was great.  He’s really very nice.  A little unsure what to make of me, and my obviously Chinese children who speak only English, but very nice nonetheless.

Danny had a chance to have tea with him for a while in the late afternoon and then we had all decided to have a nice dinner together.  We stayed here at the hotel, since the food is good, and it is easier than dragging the girls out to another restaurant.

We had a great dinner, including fresh scallops, fish fresh from the tank, lovely chicken soup (bird flu, WHAT), and get this - hot corn juice to drink.  Yes, seriously, hot corn juice.  When they first brought it, I was thinking that sounded kind of nasty.  But curiosity got the better of me, so I tried it.  It was actually delicious!  Nothing other than the juice of fresh corn, no milk, no other ingredients, just hot corn juice.  Funny but yummy!!

After dinner, the girls put on a show for the other patrons and the wait staff.  Keep in mind that China has a strict one-child policy, so two beautiful sisters are really extremely rare for people to see.  Add to that the fact that they chatter in English, and love to dance without inhibition in public, and you have some sense of the show!  A little boy was desperately trying to play with them!

After dinner, the girls and I came back up to the room, and left Danny to chat with the men.  The girls are really tired so they hopped into bed with PVR’d movies, and they’re winding down to call it a night.

Tomorrow morning, we travel again…..