As I am looking through all of my photos for the month of October, it feels like we have done so much. There has been travel over the break, fun with friends, and trying to fit in family time. It has been beyond challenging and I don’t know how we made it through all of it.
Our month began with our amazing trip to Inner Mongolia over the October break. We had so much fun riding camels and horses, sleeping in a yurt, and having fun in the desert. I wrote a completely different blog post over it because there was so much that went into it that I couldn’t possibly fit it all into this post. It was freezing cold there, but it was worth it knowing it would be our last big family trip for a few months. I am finding that having family time has been more and more difficult since school has started back up in September. I have become increasingly busy with my school duties and going out with friends. Calvin is swamped with his school work and his extra-curriculars. If he has the choice between vegging out on his own or hanging out with us, he is wanting to use what time he has to code on the computer or watch Youtube videos. Our little man is really growing up!
While I was in Inner Mongolia, I got an email from Calvin’s best friend from the year before. He had moved to a new school and he said that he was missing Calvin. He was hoping to meet up at a fun arcade/game center called Hi-Fun on the Saturday after we came back. We had no plans, so we agreed to have his friend and mom pick us up and take us to Wukesong. As we walked up, I realized that we have walked past this place several times and even played in the arcade on the bottom floor, but had no idea it had 2 more floors above it. The boys had a wonderful time driving in these big arcade games that barrel-rolled and flipped them over. There were also sports games like darts, basketball, and horse-riding. The third floor was the best, though. It was all trampolines, rope courses, and giant foam pits on the top floor. I have seen these in the USA, but there were so many other things to do. For example, the kids putting on harnesses and trying to jump onto swinging beams or being lifted onto a slide by handles to see how long they can hold. When they drop, they slide down in the jumpsuit so it is safe and a bit of a challenge. The boys had a great time and then we went out to lunch afterwards. It was wonderful for them to be able to hang out together and we discovered another place to bring out friends.
We had so much fun with his friend that we invited our friends Jonathan and Sarah to go the next day because they have two young boys! As we waited for them to show and Hi-Fun to open, we found that there was a store nearby filled with baby ducks, chickens, bunnies, kittens, and puppies! It didn’t have the typical pet store vibe so we asked someone waiting in line what the store was about. It turns out, that it was a store to pet these baby animals for an hour at a time. I was so excited by this and decided to surprise my friends’ family with the animal hour after we finished at Hi-Fun. So we had a great time a the arcade and won a ton of tickets. It was great and then we brought all of the boys over to the animal store to have fun with the baby animals. I can truly say it was a fun experience. The animals are so tiny and adorable. The staff gave you baskets so you could hold the bunnies or chicks, and they were so used to it. I could put a basket in the inclosure and the bunnies would just jump in. Calvin’s favorite animal right now is the duck and he spent the whole time chilling with this older duck on a pillow in his lap. It was truly precious! ❤
It has gotten so cold here in Beijing. It is that awful time when the temperature drops, the air becomes really dry, and the government has not yet turned on the radiators in the homes. This means that I am walking around in my home bundled up in sweaters and sweatpants and it is soooo cold. The government won’t turn on the heating system until mid-November and so we are having to keep ourselves warmed up. The trees leaves are turning red due to the cold and we are beginning to wear earmuffs and our thick jackets everyday. We had a lot of snow last year in Beijing and we were told at the time that it was very uncommon to see that much snow in one winter. I am not sure how much snow to anticipate this upcoming winter, but it was one of our favorite things last year to walk around when it was snowing. I may not like the cold, but I will put up with it to be able to see the snow fall from the sky!
Finally, we had our second Halloween in Beijing and it was beyond amazing. I kind of pushed my team into dressing up together and we decided on inflatable dinosaur costumes so we could call it ‘Jurassic Period’ Park. It was wonderful to be able to come together as a team and do something fun for our kids. I also volunteered myself and one of the other teachers to go to the kindergarten in our costumes and surprise them with the dinosaurs. It was absolute insanity and I knew to expect that. The Social Studies department usually goes to the kindergarten for Halloween and I have heard stories about the kindergartners attacking in the past. I can say for certain that it is a real thing. Those kids saw us coming and got so excited, that the punching and grabbing began almost instantaneously. Thank god that I was wrapped up in an inflatable dinosaur otherwise I may have ended up injured! lol.
That night, we also held a Halloween party at my apartment for some kids in the building and my friends. We had Halloween balloons, coloring, sing-a-longs, and trick-or-treating. It was really a lot of fun and I think everyone had a great time. The kids all dressed up and they really enjoyed the activities that we had set up for them. They absolutely loved the candy and pumpkin buckets we managed to find for them and I am so happy we could provide them those memories. The next night was Halloween and I was way too tired to go out and celebrate with friends like I had originally planned. Korey ended up taking the bullet for me and went out and partied most of the night while I hung out at home with our main man. We mostly watched tv shows and talked, more laid back then the Halloweens we are accustomed to!
October was a super busy month and I am exhausted. I look forward to November and the rest of the team getting to Beijing. I hope all goes well and I will see you next time!