Thursday, October 28, 2010

Beijing Duck

I saw a review for a Beijing Duck restaurant in a local English magazine. Last Saturday night we  headed out with the Brewer's to give it a try.

The taxi driver ended up dropping us off not at the address we gave him, but at another duck restaurant. It was a very popular place, because we had to wait 30 minutes for a table. We ordered a whole duck and a few other dishes. The whole duck head and all was wheeled out on a cart and carved in front of us. You put the pieces of duck into these thin pancakes and put this yummy brown sauce on it as well. It was very good. We also got some delicious fried corn, an okay beef dish and a scary tofu dish that I was afraid to try. We ended this great evening with chocolate milkshakes from McDonald's!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Brynn and I made homemade pizza for dinner one day last week. Brynn has become quite the little helper. She even made me put one of my aprons on her before we started. Brynn did an excellent job and only ate half of the toppings before we cooked the pizza!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Matt vs. The Sundial

Last Sunday after Brynn's nap we decided to go to the amusement park, Happy Valley. We have season passes and it is only a 30 minute scooter ride from our apartment

Brynn got to ride the merry-go-round

Eat McDonalds nuggets

and feed the fish

Somehow I talked Matt into playing what I thought was a game show or something. There was this wheel in the middle that looked like Wheel-of- Fortune.

The object was to be the last person left on the "Sundial" as it spins you very fast, while changing directions.

Matt did a great job, but ended up in the three way tie for second place. It was hilarious to watch and you would only find a ride like this in China. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Staff Retreat

The day after we got back from Beijing we had a three day staff retreat. Since I am not at the school a lot, it was a great opportunity for me to spend time with staff I don't see often. We visited several different types of religious sites around  Chengdu. It was a great experience!

 This picture makes me laugh, because it describes my life perfectly. Chasing after Brynn! Matt took it from the second story of an Islamic Mosque in Chengdu.

The reason for this face is the next picture.

Incense being burnt at a Buddhist temple we visited.

The second day of the retreat we rode the train to Mt. Qingcheng. You may remember a previous post were we visited the mountain during a torrential downpour. Thankfully we had great weather this time. Nobody told us how hard it is to hike this mountain, which consists of steps that go straight up. We made it about half way up and enjoyed lunch. Brynn slept on Matt's back most of the way up. She did wake up in time to enjoy the much easier walk down.

Brynn and Mommy on the last day of the retreat.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Great Wall of China

The Perdue's had a quiet week. We got back into a routine and I feel almost caught up on everything except.... blogging.

The last day of Matt's conference was over at noon. We hired a driver and along with the Whitlock's, Kirsten and Kimberly we headed out of Beijing to the Great Wall. It was another beautiful day. It took about an hour and a half to get to the portion of the wall we were visiting. 

 This is up heading to the entrance of the Great Wall. Brynn was enjoying being carried piggy back style.

 This is the section of the wall we visited: Mutianyu. Matt knows some of the history because of an Eastern Asian class he took in college. All I know is that it is a huge wall with a lot of steps :)

 We rode these cable cars up to wall. It was a great view. A little scary, but much better than having to walk all the way up there.

 Here is view of the wall from the top. The picture doesn't do it justice. The wall keeps going in both directions as far as you can see.

 Brynn got flipped around to the front. As you can see there are a lot of steps. I was so nervous carrying Brynn and mostly concentrated on the very uneven steps.

 Brynn and me with the mountains in the background.

 Brynn hanging out on the wall. I so wish she was old enough to remember her first visit to the Great Wall. Not many people get to experience this great wonder. I did the next best thing and took a ton of pictures of her.

Brynn and Daddy taking a rest along with way.

If you look in the middle of the picture you can see the Toboggan track that we rode down. When we got to the top, a Chinese man told us it would take an hour and a half to walk from where we got off the cable car to this spot. An English man told us it would be  a 30 minute walk. Thankfully the English man was correct and it just goes to show you there is a cultural difference on the speed cultures walk.  The Toboggan ride was the highlight of the trip. I went down with Brynn strapped to my front. It was a little scary at first, but when I got the hang of it, we had the best time. Matt got stuck behind a Chinese lady that rode her brakes the whole time, so he didn't get to go as fast as he wanted and was a little disappointed.  Matt took a video on the way down. Hopefully, I can get him post it soon. We finished the day by eating at TGI Friday's, which was right by the Olympic Bird's Nest.  The next day we visited Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City. We were all a little tired from the day before and it was very crowed. Hopefully, we can revisit these sights again when we are more rested and it is not a national holiday.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Beijing Zoo

On our second full day in Beijing, we decided to take the kids to the zoo. It took a little while longer for us to get there than planned....two hours of riding the hotel shuttle, subway and walking.


All of the walking wore Brynn out and this is her after we got to the zoo. It was a beautiful days and the zoo was really nice.  The only problem was about half of China thought so too and decided to visit the zoo as well.

This is a picture of the crowds. I don't think it does it justice. There were a LOT of people there. The crowds didn't seem to bother Brynn, because she kept on napping.

Brynn did wake up in time to see the elephant, giraffes and her favorite the monkeys. Here is our attempt of a group picture. Emma, Brynn, Peyton, Owen and Mason and some random Chinese kids.

Brynn's face cracks me up in this picture. She is doing her monkey sound. One of the monkeys was a showoff and performed for the crowd. Brynn loved it!

*Matt woke up at 3am to watch the Bama vs. South Carolina game and you all know how that turned out :( It was probably a good thing Brynn and I were asleep along with the rest of China. A funny thing or at least I thought it was funny was that there is a rooster that lives nearby and Matt swears it was taunting him the whole game. He says the rooster was crowing or whatever rooster/gamecocks do, very loud and nonstop all morning and that it was driving him crazy. I fear for that rooster's life if Matt can find it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beijing-Part 1

All last week Sarah would ask Brynn what we were going to "ride on" Friday. Her answer was the same every time.... scooter. Sarah would say not a scooter, but an airplane. Finally Friday, she got it right along with an airplane sound and a point to the sky. We wonder how many 19 month olds know how to say scooter? Probably only the ones in China. 

After we arrived in Beijing, we decided to skip check-in and head straight to Outback Steakhouse. Some of the Chengdu gang  and I were craving steaks. We took a quick taxi to downtown Beijing and enjoyed an expensive (more than the States), but tasty meal. Following dinner, we decided to go back to the hotel for bath time and bed time for Brynn. Instead of taking a taxi back, we decided to save some money and take the subway. BAD IDEA. Since it was the Chinese National Fall Holidays, Beijing was extremely crowded and the subways were slam packed. As we prepared to board, we noticed that every car was maxed out. In our group, were us, the Brewers and Kimberly. Getting us all on one train car was not going to happen, but we tried anyway. In China, common sense does not exist in certain situations. Instead of waiting on people to exit and then boarding, the Chinese just smash into each other. This smash effect happened in full force with us, as I attempted to push Brynn's stroller into the crowded subway car. A Chinese man helped me get Brynn onto the car, but Sarah and the Brewers were unable to fit. The last people on the train were actually getting shoved by the attendants, so that the doors would close. As Brynn's stroller began to get smothered, I noticed that she was very scared. I jerked her out of the stroller and held up her high. Her eyes stayed as big as half-dollar pieces for the next hour. Luckily for me, Kimberly got on the same car and was able to get us to the proper stop. Sarah and the Brewers met us a few minutes later. Kimberly has a great picture of Brynn's face on the subway. I hope to post it soon!

The next day Sarah and Brynn stayed at the hotel and rested. Brynn got the play outside and catch up with her friend Esther. They had a great time and got into a lot of trouble together. I attended a conference during the day and enjoyed getting professional development in many areas of teaching.

Brynn playing on the swing
Brynn and Esther being silly

Holding Hands.

On Saturday night after a long day of playing for Brynn and classes for me, we decided to head out to one of the local markets with the Spatas, Whitlocks, Travis and Glen. We dined at an Italian restaurant called Annie's. It was amazing. Sarah and I split Buffalo Wings, Stuffed Mushrooms and a Bacon Pasta called Cabanera. Brynn even got to make her own pizza by smashing out the dough, adding cheese and sauce. She ate most of the cheese before the pizza was cooked. After dinner, we headed to market. Sarah and my bartering skills were put to the test. At the market, the seller starts with some astronomically high price and twenty minutes later they come down to your price. You have to walk away twice, tell them NO a hundred times and even go look at other vendors with similar items. In the end, I walked away with a North Face jacket for $20, Sarah and Brynn both got Ugs for $25, Sarah got a Red Pea Coat for $45 and Brynn got 4 pair of tights for $8. I almost bought a set of golf clubs, but decided to wait until I actually have time to hit golf balls. A new set can be purchased for about $120-150. They have all major brands. After we got our shopping fill, we headed to Starbucks for a night cap of Hot Chocolate.

 Brynn's Pizza.

Miss Emma's pizza.

Check back soon for more parts of our Beijing trip which included a visit to the Great Wall! Matt

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


We made it back from Beijing last night. We had a wonderful time catching up with friends we met at our pre-field orientation, eating some great Western Food (Outback and TGI Fridays) and seeing some awesome sites (Great Wall of China). On top of all of that, the weather was beautiful and we enjoyed sunshine every day. We are spending the rest of the week with our school staff at a retreat. Hopefully I can catch up on blogging and post some pictures that we took in Beijing next week. I am way too tired and have a mountain of laundry that needs to be taken care of first.  Here is a sneak peak of our trip to the Great Wall. Did I mention it was awesome????