I finally dug my bike out of the shed, pumped up the tires, adjusted the brakes, and went on a tour of my new little town. Actually, I went well outside the town limits and explored the area for a bit over an hour.
The apple blossoms are out (Apple Blossom Festival starts this week!), I met a cow, and everything was just too lovely for words.
This past October, Scotty and I got together some friends and family and drove to the Annapolis Valley for a day of good honest work at Foote Family Farm. Of course, not everything turned out exactly how we planned, but isn’t that always the way of it?
Yesterday, Scotty and I signed up for a day-long Hike & Bike in Doi-Pui National Park. It was a gorgeous day, and we set out with high hopes of seeing beautiful scenery and getting in some exercise while we were at it. (First and last photos are compliments of Scotty) Continue reading →
Mixed in with our busy schedules, Scotty and I have been making time to get out and try new things in Beijing. High on our list?
– Swing Dancing. We’ve joined lessons with Swing Beijing, and now we go every Thursday.
– Live Music. We’ve gone to some good shows at Modernista, at CD Blues, and at Le Petit Gourmand. The photo above is of the Big John Blues Band in CD Blues, with an amazing guest singer.
– Cafes. The Bookworm is an easy favorite, with floor to ceiling bookshelves. One of the gallery photos shows Scotty in a similar cafe called Le Petit Gourmand.
Some of our friends will be pleased to know that we’ve also found Noah’s Comic Cafe, which has regular games nights. So far, all the games are in Chinese, but we did get in a game of Settlers of Catan, and we found Munchkin! Continue reading →
In our new city, new country, working at new jobs and meeting new people, Scotty and I often find we are overwhelmed by long work hours and the struggle to fit more than 24 hours worth of things into a day. On top of that, the Beijing pollution this Sunday was nearly at AQI 400 (“Hazardous”), and all physical activity outdoors was strongly discouraged by the US Embassy’s air quality website. For context, today Toronto’s air quality reads in at AQI 14.
So this past weekend, we ran away to the mountains.
On our first week in Beijing, we were welcomed by the school with a trip to the Great Wall and a “retreat” where we were able to meet most of the teachers and staff we would be working with directly during the year. Between the new friends we’ve made and our own wanderings, we’re starting to learn our way around.
With the move to China on my mind, I find myself evaluating my (far too numerous) possessions and making a mental checklist of things to sell, things to give away, and things to keep. In the Things to Keep category, there are things to bring with us and things to store in Canada until we return.
It’s an interesting process, and one that brings with it a few insights about myself and what I consider to be important.
So we’ll sell the car and some furniture, give away plants, clothing and knick knacks, leave the cat with Mom for safe keeping, but keep the piano, old books and photographs, and the quilt my grandmother made me.