Arrival, the streets, and the Bund

Trip Start Aug 16, 2007
Trip End Mar 02, 2008

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Friday, August 17, 2007

We left Houston with the help of Rita, our lovely friend and nanny, who got us and our luggage to the airport!!  Armed with 11 bags and 3 children we started our adventure.

We made a quick, wonderful stop in LA to see David (Lorenzo's brother) Haleh, Rubinaz (wife and niece). We had a great visit and were spoiled and cared for complete with Korean massage and scrub.  Alison was scrubbed to within an inch of her life - not joking!!  Shedding old skin in preparation for new Chinese skin? 

The Nintendo DS was our travel necessity (purchased for the trip for both parents and children) and continues to be a good source of inspiration when things get desperate.  Chiara is happy with Winnie the Pooh or Barbie Princess Movie!

Shanghai is exciting and vibrant.  We already wish we could stay for a few years. This is our neighborhood where we often eat street food for breakfast (Lorenzo daily)!  

Everyone lines up and gets them fresh and hot on their way to work.  It's best not to look at the cooking site as you will definitely have second-thoughts.  Our favorites are fried bread with chives and a crepe like pancake with egg, chives, and cilantro.

We headed off to one of the many street markets that materialize early and disappear by mid-morning.  At the moment we are buying some fruit and vegetables on the street.  We don't buy our meat and fish on the street (or frogs or turtles).  We often shop at a Japanese supermarket as they have strict standards about the products in their store and have great offerings.  But unfortunately, their prices are that of Whole Foods - oh well, so much for saving money on food while in China!

The Bund is the embankment along the Huangpu River.  Lined with Western style large buildings from the 1930s, it is beautiful to walk along the river and look across to Pudong (new development less than 10 years old that is now as large as Chicago) and then back to the grand boulevard.  It is especially beautiful at night with all the skyscrapers a glitter with light.  Some of these building have been renovated and house some of the city's best international restaurants and bars. 

The kids and Alison went up the Oriental Pearl Tower (Shanghai's landmark building) - the big tower you see with the three balls at varying levels.  We got a great view of the immensity of Shanghai and the endless sea of tall buildings that make up the modern Shanghai landscape.  Among them is what will be the second tallest building in the world - short by 2-3 floors of the tallest because they ran out of money (or so the story goes).   
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