Wednesday, February 9, 2011

3 Months Ago 30/365

3 months ago today I woke up at 5:30 am in anticipation of the beginning of a new adventure and the closing of an old one.

This was moving day. But not just any moving day. This was moving to a new country day.

After stuffing some more things into a suit case I decided to take a walk. I took my usual walk, the one I took every day. I loved this walk in the morning because of the hustle and bustle of people going to work. In the evening it was fun to see every one coming home from work. Hand in hand with boy friends and girl friends. Meeting for dinner. Running home with groceries. I really enjoyed this walk.

morning walks are best
I stopped by Starbucks to pick up a Christmas gift for my friend Jenny and I was so excited to see they already had their red cups. I always look forward to the red cups as a mark that the Christmas season has arrived and I was really hoping they would show up before we left. I felt like it was a little gift to me from Starbucks.

the alley walk to our house
I walked home down the alley that is a  make shift vegetable market in the mornings and took pictures of the vendors and the children walking to school. I tried to take in every detail of this walk. The vine that had grown up past the brick wall. The smell of morning bao zi (steamed bread) mixed with... was that sewage? The old people as they walked home with their produce.

our street corner and apartment
When I got to the street corner I stopped by our favorite coffee shop, Cafe 85, and ordered our favorite drinks. We would miss these drinks. As I waited for our Sea Salt Coffee I took video of the morning traffic and tried to drink in the faces of the people who walked by the window. Some of these people I'd walked pasted almost every day for the past year and half. I would never see them again.

The rest of the morning was spent frantically packing and cleaning and putting things in a pile for our friend Shelly to take home.  Shelly came around lunch time and held the baby while I threw everything left in the fridge away and tossed what ever could not fit in our suit case and that I couldn't find a home for.
Shanghai breakfast

We finally managed to get everything into the van that Shelly had lovingly rented for us and we were off to the airport. In all the rush of trying to get out in time to make our flight, while also trying not to forget anything, I tried to say good bye to each room. To the elevator and the numbers that were in a mixed up order. To the bad fish smelling hall. To the New Year's decorations for last year, and finally to the guard at the doors that we called "yeye", Grandpa. He had been there the day the baby was born.

During the drive to the airport Shelly and William and Baby got a much needed nap while I cried and said my good byes to the city that had been our home for 3 years.  I tried to take in the colors of the buildings, the last views of the World Expo site. The bridges. The smells, and finally the farmer's fields and run down houses of Pudong.  I would miss this city and I wanted to say a proper good by. I wanted to be sad to be leaving this great city, and my wonderful friends. I let me self cry.

The rest is a blur. We checked in. Shelly made us laugh.  We promised to visit her. We went through the various security check points, 5 of them I think, and we were on a plane or in an airport for the next 20 hours.
shops setting up for the day

That was 3 months ago today. We said good bye to our home in China and became residents of the United States again. We lived in China for 3 years, 3 months, and 9 days. We loved it. We hated it. We learned a lot. We grew a lot. We changed a lot.

the morning commute
I treasure our time in China. We got to travel and see a lot of different things, climates and parts of China. We learned to speak some Chinese, and to understand more than we could speak. We got to experience big city life, both without a baby and with a baby. Which were to totally different experiences. We had  a lot of fun as well as a lot of frustration.  We met amazing people who touched our lives and are life long friends. It was a wonderful adventure.

Now I'm looking forward to our next adventure. Life in the Midwest United States. Or is it upper Southwest United States. I'm not sure. But I'm looking forward to figuring it out.

So what are we doing today? Today we got up early to get ready for another adventure. This one is a little smaller and a lot less stressful. We are going on  a road trip to visit some good friends and to spend some time talking about our experience in China.  I've been looking forward to this trip for 3 months. I'm so glad we don't have to go through any security checks.

I love travel adventures. Big ones and small ones.


  1. Michelle,
    It sounds like you really loved China. I know you must miss it. Your photos are GREAT! I looked at the ones you have posted on flickr ~ truly AMAZING!

  2. :) Here's to many more great adventures to come!

  3. Aw Thanks Janna. <3

    I'll drink to that Eva!