From China to Germany and Back

This past weekend was a whirlwind of dining and shopping of various different cultures, in another country. Canada, eh? We took Reese out of the country for the first time of her life to spend the weekend in Vancouver with Billy, Val and the family. We left Friday afternoon and just managed to hit traffic due to an accident near Everett that slowed our roll…right to a stop to get out and relieve Reese from the car for a while. We visited some prospective pets (fish, cats, rodents and birds) in a pet store, she pushed a cart around Ross for a while, and then decided that we should get dinner at Olive Garden, which was okay at best (but the breadsticks and salad were great!). Reese topped it off with peeing on the changing pad in the Olive Garden bathroom and then later got poop all down her leg while we waited at the Canadian border for about 20 minutes.

Sitting for a bit at Olive Garden

But she persisted, watching videos and pictures of her and Lottie together managed to keep her entertained during the last 20 minutes of the drive to our Airbnb rental in the neighborhood of Kerrisdale. We arrived sometime after 9 PM, way after Reese’s bedtime and Ainsley and Cyanne were already asleep. We managed to clean Reese up and changed for bed and got her to sleep, despite the excitement of a new environment. We spent several hours after the girls went to bed catching up with one another over a bottle of wine.

We staggered out of bed at various times Saturday morning before we were all up a little after 9 AM (I will be so happy if Reese ever sleeps until 9). The girls had fun playing with each other until we got ready to go get our first dim sum meal in Richmond, BC. We first stopped at Empire Seafood Restaurant where we managed to get a table right away in the elegant dining room. This wasn’t dim sum on push carts but dim sum to order and it was tasty and delicious. Bryan declared best shu mai of his life and the green beans, egg tarts and har bows were all equally delicious and piping hot. Reese did alright despite being tired and we decided afterwards to continue our stroll of Chinese food with Reese in the stroller so she could sleep, which she did.

Girls playing chase in the front yard

We explored Richmond Public Market and Bryan tried bubble tea for the first time. We then stopped at a noodle house, expecting thick and chewy noodles but were sadly disappointed at this restaurant. At this point we were needing to get Reese a little activity from sitting all day.

We headed to downtown Vancouver for the German Christmas Market. The very front of the market showcases a magnificent carousel that Reese apparently remembered riding in downtown Seattle. She was itching to go for a ride and after waiting in line for a ticket (and we were going to purchase an unlimited ride ticket) we were told that it was only for kids 2 and up. Major disappointment!!! Reese wasn’t happy at all about this. We quickly moved away from the sight of the carousel and did some dancing to the live Christmas music, the adults got some mulled wine, and we proceeded to shop the market. We mainly took in the sights and sounds of the market and only bought a sausage that we were able to sample and was delicious and reasonably priced. After spending two hours at the market, the three of us walked to the nearby gelato shop we have been to several times before to get the most expensive but most delicious gelato of my life. We went back to the house where Reese and Ainsley were super giggly girls the rest of the night. We once again stayed up late talking a variety topics over some wine before I had to get to sleep.

Reese was my early morning wake up call again. We had a couple hours awake in the house before everyone else was up. We spent a brief time at the park across the street to swing but it was in the upper 30s so I came back to drop Reese off with Bryan and then went for a rare 3.5 mile run by myself. I came back and cleaned up and then we packed up the house and headed back to Richmond for more dumplings. This time our lunch was at Su Hang and we had some of the best soup dumplings, Shanghai style noodles and other delicacies I’ve ever had. We finished that up with their free coconut pudding for dessert and then we said our goodbyes to the Tung family before making our way back home.

We had another 30 minute wait at the border but no real traffic on the way home this time. Bryan drove the whole way and I took a little cat nap. We got back home early because we were going to attend the holiday party at church but we were so exhausted we decided to stay home instead and that was a good idea as we had laundry, dishes and other things we needed to do around the house before the week ahead.

One more full week before a nice long break and I can’t wait for that break! Happy we got to spend some time with friends during the holiday season before we get to spend some quality time with family next week.


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