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Spring Festival/ Chinese New Year Part 1 (Monday thru Saturday)

Beijing Travel Blog

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from the Di Tan Park temple fair

Warning- there be a few pictures of food herein.

Spring Festival started on Monday for me, though for EF it technically started on Tuesday.  But I have Mondays and Tuesdays off, ergo, my holiday started on Monday.  I haven’t done much of anything very exciting, though I have some pictures to document what I’ve done.  Monday and Tuesday were spent preparing for the Pancake Party that was Tuesday night.  There was a pretty good turnout- Wandi and Jan (from my school), Kim and James (married couple from Librette’s school- GuoMao) and Claire (from XiZhiMen).  There was much pancakes (a few plain, mostly banana and chocolate chip), no bacon, plenty of Sprite (I actually call it the Chinese name now), maple syrup and a lot of talking and laughing.  People came around six and the party didn’t wind down until 3am.

from the Di Tan Park temple fair
  It was a good party!!!  There was also a dumpling run while me and Jan stayed at the apartment.

Wednesday was spent cleaning up and not doing much else.  It’s cold out there, plus there isn’t much open for the holiday.  There, however, were a lot of fireworks.  And I do mean A LOT!  At all times…I don’t think they sleep.  And I’m not sure how expensive fireworks are, but I’ve heard they aren’t cheap.  It’s like they work all year to save up for Chinese New Year.  But there were some great displays, bright and colorful.  And I have some grainy video on my camera. 

I left bright and early on Friday morning to head to Andingmen on the circle line to meet Scarlett at 9:30.

dumplings!
  From there, we went to Di Tan Park to the Temple Fair.  We already had tickets, so we didn’t have to worry about that.  It was great!  Lots of vendors, and I didn’t buy anything.  There was jewelry, masks, toys, crafts…just nothing I was really interested in.  We saw a reenactment of the “king” praying for protection for his people.  Didn’t get to see much of it since there were so many people there.  Then there were games, like at fairs.  Reminded me of the Company 2 fair that they used to hold just behind the fire station.  Had food too.  I actually sprung for churros with chocolate sauce.  There was just something about churros in Beijing that I couldn’t resist.
the dumplings all prettified
   We left soon after, and headed to Scarlett’s house to make dumplings.  We had to take a taxi there, and it was a little far.  She lives in the north of the city.  It was a lot of fun, and I got a movie in as well.  We watched The Kingdom which was actually pretty good- really like Jason Bateman in it.  And then there were the dumplings, had leeks in them.  The ones I made were ugly.  Ugly dumplings!  I do like the joke.  Scarlett and her mom both tried to show me how to do them better, but it was hard when I was doing them left-handed and they were both right-handed.  And yes, there are pictures!  And some video.
me enjoying a little Baskin Robbins ice cream
  After eating dumplings and some other food, Scarlett and I hung out for a little while.  Leaving was an interesting affair since we had to walk to the subway.  It was the Line 5 which is the newest line.  It was nice.  It took 12 stops to get to Dongdan, which is where I changed for the Line 1 to take me home.

Saturday I took a trip to Lido, where I met Wandi.  I took the bus #707 which went by cool places such as the Kerry Center, Hard Rock Café, the Lufthansa Center and the Kempinski Hotel, Lady Street and then to the Holiday Inn Lido.  While waiting for Wandi, I had my usual tall Mocha Frappacino in Starbucks, then went to Baskin Robbins for some ice cream- one scoop of mint chocolate chip and one of chocolate chip cookie dough.  Then Wandi and I headed to the lobby of the hotel, got our That’s Beijing magazines and then visited the Olympic store (yes, I sprung for a pin and a set of chopsticks).

the door to the Hard Rock Cafe Beijing
  From there we headed to the Jenny Lou’s.  How cool it is!!!!  Two floors of Western goodness.  Yes, I bought stuff- including waffles!!!!!!!  And couscous and some other things.  From there, we found the DVD store where I went nuts!  Now, I was looking for Torchwood, which I didn’t find, but I did find plenty of Christian Bale movies (still want The Machinist)- Batman Begins, Rescue Dawn and I’m Not There.  I also got Season 3 of Criminal Minds (probably just part of the season, like I have for CSI:NY), and the other half of Grindhouse- Death Proof.  From there, we met up with Librette and Paula (another teacher- I met her at Wangfujing, she’s now at SanYuanQiao).  Then we went to another DVD store, but I didn’t buy anything and their prices were over inflated.
my waffle!!!!!!!!!! With butter and REAL VERMONT maple syrup. I'm convinced I have the most awesome parents on the planet.
  Then Librette took us to another place where I added Brokeback Mountain and Tristan & Isolde to my collection.  Then it was off to home to drop stuff off (and we missed the stop for the Hard Rock Café).  After some tea, we left only to find that the Hard Rock is closed for renovation until May 8th, but the gift shop was still open.  I looked at the shotglasses, but you had to buy them in pairs and the pair costs 100RMB.  So from there, we headed to SanLiTun to the Rickshaw.  It’s a restaurant that serves Western food…has TV screens.  I watched some EPL and rugby (and did I ever want to call my cousin to explain rugby to me).  The mozzarella sticks weren’t that great, but the marinara was okay.  The chicken wings were pretty good, but I’m no expert on those.
My ice cream from Baskin Robbins at the Holiday Inn Lido.
  From there, we split for the night.  Among the burning questions that I needed the internet for- I did find out last night that Fulham lost 1-0 to Middlesborough and that Derby lost to Tottenham.  And that it's Eddie Lewis and Benny Feilhaber that play for Derby (I knew 2 Americans did, I just couldn't remember who).

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from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
dumplings!
dumplings!
the dumplings all prettified
the dumplings all prettified
me enjoying a little Baskin Robbin…
me enjoying a little Baskin Robbi…
the door to the Hard Rock Cafe Bei…
the door to the Hard Rock Cafe Be…
my waffle!!!!!!!!!!  With butter a…
my waffle!!!!!!!!!! With butter …
My ice cream from Baskin Robbins a…
My ice cream from Baskin Robbins …
our Christmas tree- and yes, its …
our Christmas tree- and yes, it's…
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
Jan and some of the students celeb…
Jan and some of the students cele…
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair- …
from the Di Tan Park temple fair-…
from the Di Tan Park temple fair- …
from the Di Tan Park temple fair-…
the dumplings- the ugly ones are t…
the dumplings- the ugly ones are …
Christmas tree again
Christmas tree again
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
from the Di Tan Park temple fair
the guitar sign outside of the Har…
the guitar sign outside of the Ha…
in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Li…
in the lobby of the Holiday Inn L…
dumplings
dumplings
in the subway from Scarletts house
in the subway from Scarlett's house
in the subway from Scarletts house
in the subway from Scarlett's house
in the couryard to my apartment co…
in the couryard to my apartment c…
at the Hard Rock Cafe Beijing
at the Hard Rock Cafe Beijing
in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Li…
in the lobby of the Holiday Inn L…
More Fireworks from my 12th floor…
Fireworks from my 12th floor balc…
The dumplings that were made on F…
Beijing
photo by: Deats