May 7, 2013

My China Adventure – Birthday in Shanghai, cont’d…

Still my birthday, in Shanghai.
After the Bund in the morning we went to Yuyuan Garden, a beautiful, peaceful place that’s been there for some 400 years. The photos speak for themselves.
After the garden, Suze and I decided to go to a Shanghai market. This was less Susan’s idea than mine. Okay…it wasn’t Susan’s idea at all. The market is where there are 20,000 vendors selling various and sundry knock-off items, and they mostly have the same thing as the next guy, and you bargain for everything. It’s pretty daunting, actually, because they are all waiting, like vultures. You walk around and they call out, “Lady, you want bag?” “Lady, you want T-shirt?” “Lady, you want Rolex for five dollar?” If you make eye contact or spy something you really want they swoop in for the kill. If you have a lot of stamina, and the ability to extricate yourself, you can get some great stuff. Four of our group went with us. The men (and Suze) had had enough after about half an hour but some of us were intent on finding the perfect thing for the perfect price.
So, after a while we took a break for sustenance, and went to the Marriott for a lovely lunch at the elegant JW’s California Grill. No lazy susans here, thank god. I had French onion soup and Caesar salad and a glass of delicious wine – very different from the fare we’d been eating, and fitting for a birthday lunch.
After lunch we went back to the market for round two, and then headed back to the hotel for six and a half minutes of relaxation and then were picked up to go back to the Bund for the riverfront night cruise where the buildings were lit up in a spectacular fashion.
Whew! This was a full day.
Oh, how could I forget…on the bus on the way to the cruise our guide Oscar announced that it was my birthday, and two days before was the birthday of Javier, half of a lovely couple from Columbia, and he presented us with the cutest gift, just because that’s the kind of guy he is.  001Isn’t that cute? It looks like a bottle of wine (which I was ready to chug) but voila! it’s an umbrella. 
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After the cruise we were on our own for dinner. Suze and I were both tired, and I had caught a cold at lunch (it came on like gangbusters right around 12:30) so we weren’t feeling up to going out again. Instead we had my birthday dinner at our hotel, The Crowne Plaza. I had the most delicious dumplings and won ton soup. Truly, it was elegant. And of course a glass of wine.
China 142
Except for the cold it was a perfect birthday.China 141
Here are the rest of the posts:
Part 1 
Part 2 

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