Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy 2010 !!!

video

I really had high expectations on New Year's Eve and, after what I have experienced tonight... I am certainly not dissapointed.

Already in the afternoon many things were going on at the pier right under our hotel window in preparation for the BIG celebration. It is a very good place because there are first line views on Hong Kong island so people started taking positions very early to see the fireworks.

I was very tired after a very busy day of sightseeing (I thought being a baby was the toughest thing but now I know that being a tourist is also very hard!) so I went to sleep early while my parents enjoyed a nice New Year's Eve dinner by the window overlooking the famous skyline. Well.... not everything is going to be about changing diapers... they also need their romantic moments !

As I am a very disciplined-half-German baby I woke up at 11.45 sharp to get ready for the countdown. It was totally worth it. The video says it all but I will just add that New Year's Eve is very special here in Hong Kong. The fireworks are very pretty but what really impressed me was to see all the people counting down and cheering while hundreds of boats honked at the bay and the lights of the buildings went on.

2009... my first year of life has been full of great experiences and I know that 2010 is just going to be even better. Certainly, I can't think of a better start.

And... tomorrow... I will wake up very early to celebrate New Year's Eve with my abuelitos and opas ! I think I really like this globalization thing.....

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

First impressions about Hong Kong

This morning we arrived in Hong Kong quite early so, after checking into the hotel and getting a change of diaper... off we went to stroll around the city.




I don't think that Hong Kong is a particularly nice place but there is something about it that I like a lot. There loads of people on the street and many shops with shiny and beautifuls windows. I guess it is just because there is so much action everywhere... as if the city never stopped.

Maybe it is because I have just been one full week quietly at the beach but I think this place is kind of crazy ! (and it is not only because they drive on the left side of the road)



One thing that I really liked is that when, it started getting dark... the whole street was filled with lights. It is a bit like an open air disco (not that I have been to many) because of all the neon sign posts and advertisements on the streets.




Actually I am very happy to see that people in Hong Kong like lights so much because, thanks to that, we have can enjoy the best of views at night from the hotel.



We are located right at the waterfront in Kowloon island so from our room we have veeeery nice views of Hong Kong island and that "skyline" I told you about yesterday. I have to say that dad was absolutely right and I really love looking outside of the window. I think I am very lucky because... it is not very often that you can get a diaper change with such an impressive background !


Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and I have heard that there are very nice fireworks to welcome the new years so, if you all behave well... I will post a video :-)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Last day in Sanya

After one week of sun, beach and biiiiiig breakfasts we are ready to say bye to Sanya. We have really had a great and relaxing time and, today, we have celebrated the last day with a nice photo session so that I can show you some of my favorite corners... are you ready? follow me !

I already told you that the hotel is right next by the beach and here you have me sitting at the garden that leads to the sea. It is a really nice spot, so green and open with the blue of the sea at the end...

I think next time we come by I will be old enough to play football with my daddy in this wonderful grass !

And this is the pool. Yesterday you saw me swimming in the spa area with my friend Alisa but, today, I went with mom to discover the rest.

It is a really big pool, with bridges and even waterfalls ! but what I like the most are the bonsais and the pink flowers.

I am sure my oma is going to like this picture a lot because I think this is one of her favorite flowers !

Last but not least.. welcome to the breakfast patio !

The food is really good and these days I have enjoyed a lot the buffet... specially because I have discovered a lot of new foodies: sweet potatoes, lotus with sesame seeds,... even dumplings with mushrooms !

Here you have me posing at the "coconut table" where every morning a guy with a very big knife cuts fresh coconuts so that people can drink the juice with a straw. Impressive, uh? I better don't get used to this because I won't be getting many of these in Shanghai !

Now I am going to bed because tomorrow is a BIG day. Yes, we are flying to Hong Kong where we will be spending New Year's Eve. Dad has told me many nice things about the city and about the high buildings (I think they call it "skyline") so I am looking forward to it. More to come !

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Friends

Today I want to introduce you to some of my new friends.

Rita is a very nice girl who works at the breakfast restaurant of the hotel. She is very good also with other kids but I think she likes me most because she brings me toys and napkins, and she also strokes my face while she smiles a lot.

She told me that she has a brother with my same age so maybe one day she can bring him over and we can play together.

I like going down for breakfast every morning because I know Rita is going to be around and... she is not only kind... as you can see she is also very pretty !

And this is Alisa.

She is only 7 months old but she swims very well and we have a lot of fun playing at the pool with our matching floats.

The hotel has very nice pools but this is the one Alisa and I like the most because it is warmer than the others and has a lot of bubbles. I think they call it the "spa pool". Not sure what that means but it is very nice.

So, what do you think about Alisa's swimming glasses? I think I should ask dad to get me a pair like that !

Playing at the beach I can also make a lot of friends.

Is not as easy as in the pool because most of the time I am staying under the shadow playing with my toy but, sometimes, I manage to sneak out and go for a round to talk to people.

Everybody is so happy when I pop by ! I think Chinese people really like small kids and, of course, it also helps if you are a cutie like me :-)

Oups, I think I shouldn't say that :-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

All I want for Christmas...

I know it is not a very typical way of spending Christmas as we know it in Europe but, still, ... I am having a blast.

We arrived in Hainan last Wednesday and then took a cab to Sanya, where our hotel is. We arrived a bit late so it was all dark when we made it to the hotel and I couldn't see much because, by then, I was ready for my crib.

But then, in the morning, when dad opened the curtains of the room, I saw why they call this place "the Hawai of China."

Our hotel is just in front of a beautiful long beach with white sand and turquoise water. Here you have a picture of us at the balcony of the main reception. Right now we have around 25 degrees... and not a single cloud !

So it will be no surprise to you that I try and get up really early every morning to go for a nice walk on the beach, right? Mom and dad are not that crazy about it (I would even say that they are a but cranky) but then the three of us have a lot of fun because the beach is really all ours.

Ah ! nearly forgot to say that these days I have also found a new hobby... playing with the sand !

I had never done it before and have to say that it is a lot of fun, and not only because I got new toys.... but also because daddy sits right next to me and we both make figures of sand.

Well, let's say that he makes the figures and I, of course, distroy them. Isn't it fun?

So yes, is true that we are not having snow... or christmas carrols in church... or glühwein at the Christkindlesmarkt don't you think... this will be China and I may be at the beach but, I have been such a good boy this year... that Santa came all the way here just to see me and give me a present :-)

Friday, December 25, 2009

What a Sunday !

Guys, I know I owe you a post about our last Sunday in Beijing. And I am not going to leave it any longer because.... what a Sunday !

Mike came to pick us up to the hotel with the car and took us to the Temple of Heaven (天坛). It is a beautiful building where the emperor used to come every year to pray for good harvest. Looks like that was very important, specially at the time, because dad told me that many years ago it was not like it is today and you couldn't just go to the supermarket to get food... at the time people had to work hard in the fields and, if the weather was good... then everybody could eat a lot. That's why the emperor came here to the temple, to make sure that people would have things to eat.

But that is not the only nice thing about the Temple of Heaven. The building is surrounded by a very nice park (Mike told us that the place is 3 times as big as the Forbidden city!) and I can tell you that it was a crowded place indeed ! People in China really spend a lot of time outdoors... practicing tai chi... dancing with abanicos.... doing ball room dances... and I also saw them playing
something very cool... a group of people gets in a circle and they kick something from one to another. I didn't know what it was at first and then I saw that it was like a bunch of feathers with a weigth that made a real funny noice. Mom bought one of those for me so I think I am going to start playing as soon as I can walk !

Ah ! I haven't told you yet but Mike is a friend of Jerry, our tour guide in Hangzhou... and he is also very nice !

From there Mike took us to a very special place.... 1 hour away from Beijing we arrived to Mutianyu (慕田峪). And... what is special about Mutianyu? The Great Wall ! I had heard mom and dad talk about it for a couple of days already and, honestly, I did not understand what could be that nice about a wall ! and then... I saw it.

Is not because I am a baby but you really feel very small when you are at the Great Wall..... it goes on and on veeeeeery faaaaar away... as if it was never going to stop. Up the mountains, down the hills and with many steep stairs. Can't tell you how happy I was that dad was carrying me all the way ! In the end, even I got tired of seeing so many stairs so, of course, I had to go for a nap :-) I really enjoyed the time at the Great Wall, specially when I woke up, and the sun was going down with an orange light.


As you can see we really enjoyed our time in Beijing and I am looking forward to come back again for another weekend. Well... maybe next time won't be that cold and I don't have to wear so many trillions of jumpers and scarves :-) And, if I am lucky, maybe oma and opa or el abuelo and la abuela are with us and I can show them around !


Saturday, December 19, 2009

A little emperor in Beijing

Last week dad had to go to Beijing for work so, as I missed him very much, mom and I joined him there to spend the weekend touring the city.

Now it is only Saturday evening and we have already done a lot of nice things. When mom and dad finished dressing me with what it felt like a million jumpers and scarves... we left the hotel and started our tour in a very big square: Tiananmen square (天安门广场).

It is very funny because, as soon as we left the taxi, I realized that I had seen that place before... on telly! It was the 60th anniversary of the Republic of China and there were many people marching down the street. I recognized it because of the portrait of the guy hanging from a very big building. Must have been a very famous guy because today there were a lot of people taking pictures of him.

Here you can see a picture of the main building @ the square with a nice couple who came over to visit from the provinces. I really liked the square but, as it was soooo cold (-10 degrees)... I made myself comfy in the stroller and went for a nap (after all, they were not all that wrong about the million jumpers and scarves!).

When I woke up I did it in a beautiful place.... I was in the middle of another big square surrounded by red buildings and a very nice and high red house. The roof had many bright colors and I think I have never seen something as beautiful as that (besides my mom, of course :-)

The place is called the Forbidden city and many Chinese kings and princesses have lived here for many years. I just was very curious about the name...maybe another child lived here at one point and they also forbid him to touch many things... like me. In any case, I was very happy to be there and had my breakfast right next to a very nice and big lion. He didn't look very friendly but, hey, I am a tough guy so I was not afraid at all.

After that we went for lunch to a very special restaurant where they cooked food the imperial way. Not that I could try it much but I also had my papilla the imperial way... seating on a golden throne ! Isn't it nice? after all... I am the little emperor at home so... couldn't expect less :-)

Now I am very tired because we have done a lot of things so I am going to put on my PJs, drink my bottle and go to dream of all those princesses and lions that lived in beautiful palaces. Tomorrow will be another day... the Great Wall awaits !

Beijing is a very big city. Not as big as Shanghai, but still... 20 million people live here !!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas is coming to Dongxiu Lu

I have been hearing for a while that Christmas is coming. I was not very sure who that was because it is the first time I heard that name but I thought it must be a very special friend because mom and dad were very excited.

Then I was really surprised when I saw them taking a couple of big boxes from the storage room so they told me that, actually, Christmas is not a person... but a very special time of the year when you decorate the house, have nice dinners with the family and go to church to pray to the "Niño Jesus" and sing "Stille Nacht".

Christmas decoration is very cool and, even though I am not allowed to play with the candles, the house looks very pretty. Every Sunday we lighten one of the candles of the Adventskranz and we spend some time seating together at the sofa with the candles on while we listen to nice villancicos. I really like that and dad told me that it is called "Stade Zeit" ... maybe he has made that up so that I stay quiet and don't mess around?

Another thing I really like is "Pletzchen", some kind of very special german cookies that mom was baking last week. I think this is another tradition for this time of the year so I suspect that I am really going to like Christmas a lot !

The house smelled really well and, though I could not try the cokkies because right now I only have one and a half teeth, I think they are very good because dad was very very happy when he saw them and quite often I catch him sneaking into the kitchen to open the buiscuit can.

So, Christmas is a very cool time of the year and now I just look forward to having a chance to celebrate it with el abuelo, la abuela, oma, opa, el tio Iñaki y la tia Susi, tio Klaus y tia Jessi, el primito Marcel, Herbert.... yo creo que el año que viene ! Mientras tanto, mom and dad said that this year we are going to celebrate it at the beach in Hainan and will also go to Hong Kong for New Year's Eve. Will keep you posted !

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Weekend in Hangzhou (杭州)

We just returned from an amazing trip to Hangzhou, and we had such a great time that it felt like a mini-vacation more than a weekend. It is not very far from Shanghai so on Friday afternoon we took a local train and... there we went !

Our friend Jerry picked us up at the station and took us to the hotel so, as soon as we arrived, I drunk my bottle and... off to bed !

On Saturday it was a very cold day but I had with me the wool hat and scarf that auntie Susy gave me us a present in La Coruña so we just walked around the West Lake. Sooooo big !

There were a lot of tourists but most of them were Chinese. Again, I was kind of a tourist attraction because at one point I was surrounded by young girls who said I was very cute while they took pictures. Have to say I kind of enjoyed that :-)

We had a great day... and even took one of the boats at the lake that took us to a very special place... the "Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon", a landscape that is printed on the backs of the one yuan bills. So cool !

Our boat "driver" was a very nice and friendly guy because he didn't stop talking during the whole trip. I think mom enjoyed it because she could practice her Chinese.... however, I am not sure she understood everything he said because she just smiled a lot !

On Sunday, our friend Jerry picked us up at the hotel and took us for a very nice tour. He was born in Hangzhou and has lived there his whole life so he knows the place very well. First we went to the Lingyin temple and gardens. I really liked the gardens very much and, very strange... there were very high stones with many figures of the same guy. I ask Jerry who the guy was and he said "Buddha". I had never heard of him before but I think that he is very lucky because people really seemed to like him!

After the temple we went to a nearby village with tea plantations. The place was very pretty and we had some tea with a local family while I had my papilla. In any case,... one thing is clear... papa doesn't like green tea ! :-)

And then we went to a great place: the house of Hu Xueyan. Looks like he used to be a very important man who had a lot of money and also many wives (12 !). With so many people in the house he clearly needed a big house :-) The garden was also pretty nice but what I liked the most was a bird who could talk like a person and didn't stop saying "Hello" "Bye Bye" "Good morning". That was so much fun !

We spent some more time in the center of the village and then Jerry took as too the station so that we could catch the train back to Shanghai where, of course, I had a wonderful nap !

This was really a nice trip and I already look forward to coming back again. As well, Jerry told us that he has a 4 year all daughter so maybe next time I can meet her and we can be friends. Sounds like a plan !

Sunday, December 6, 2009

About my first tooth

Last days have been a bit difficult. My mouth was really hurting. I was trying not to cry too much (after all I am a tough boy) but I didn't know what was going on and couldn't help biting my finger... and everything that got on my way !

And.... finally.... the other day... I was playing with mom and when I gave her one my famous charming smiles... success ! she got very happy and congratulated me on my first tooth. What is that? and why do I need it for? she said that teeth were very important and they would help me eat many yummy things as big boys do.

I want to be a big boy but I think what I really don't like about the whole thing is the "plural" part of it... will I get many of these? well, I hope the next ones will behave better and won't hurt that much ! Papa was also very happy when he came home and I proudly showed him my "new acquisition". I have to say that being a baby is hard work but at least I like all the kisses and smiles I am getting for that :-)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Last week we had...


.. a very special visit from the Netherlands ! Aunty Tineke and uncle Fokke came to Shanghai to visit us and spent a whole week in China. I was very happy when I saw them because, even though I was very small at the time, I still remembered them from their last visit to Mount Kisco.

Having visits is great because, of course, everybody spoils me ! For example... you should have seen the amount of cheese they brought ! I had heard about French cheese but... believe me.... Dutch cheese is much better :-) They also brought a lot of boxes of what it looks like very nice chocolate. Pity that I was not allowed to try it but... I guess you can't have everything!

Anyway, we had a great week with Tineke & Fokke... and mom and dad where also so happy to see them !