Tuesday, April 29, 2014

An American Girl’s Day Off

In the movie Ferris Beuller’s Day off, Mathew Broderick plays a high school senior who plays hooky and samples the best of Chicago in one day.  When I learned that I would have a free day last Thursday, I asked myself,
            “If Ferris lived in Shanghai, what would he do?”  I made a list of the things I have wanted to do since I moved here and geared up for my day off!

Frommer's helped me plan my free day! If you are going to be an expat (or already are), I highly suggest grabbing a copy of this or a similar book

9:30 AM- I realize it’s time to get moving.

After catching up with my shows online, I rolled out of bed and stumbled to my dining room to find this view.

To quote Ferris, there is no way I could POSSIBLY be expected to handle school on a day like this.
It was time to explore!

10:25- I finally catch a cab and head to my first destination, the K11 Art Mall

For the past month or so, I have wanted to catch the Monet exhibit at the K11 Art Mall, but I heard the lines were awful.  I figured that if I visited on a weekday morning, the exhibit wouldn’t be as crowded.  Fortunately I was correct!

I was quite pleasantly surprised that I only waited 5 minutes to enter the exhibit. The show was worth the 100RMB admission.

The exhibition included some paintings by some of Monet's impressionist friends.  This portrait of the artist was painted by Renoir.
The paintings on display spanned Monet's lifetime and included caricatures, portraits and landscapes.  At first I was concerned that I wouldn't see any of his Water Lilies paintings.

I was thrilled to see some of his Water Lilies in the second room of the exhibit!  Unfortunately, no photography was allowed so I had to snap this on my iPhone and run.
After I was finished with Mr. Monet, it was time for a pedicure.

12:03- I make it 3 minutes late to my pedi appointment.

Fortunately, Jack and Chu at American Style Nails were able to squeeze me in for a much needed pedicure.

I was so excited to get a pedi!  Life has been pretty busy lately, so I was glad for the chance to catch up with Jack and Chu.
If you are looking for a good, cheap, hygienic pedicure this is the place to go!

1:15- I take a trip to the top of Shanghai.

During our 22-month stint in Shanghai, Chris and I had yet to travel to the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center, aka the bottle opener. 

Many people call the Shanghai World Financial Center the bottle opener because of it's shape.  
After a 94 floor ride up a psychedelic elevator, I took an escalator to the 100th floor to get a good view of Shanghai.

Unfortunately, fog had rolled in during the early afternoon so my pictures weren't as good as I would have liked them to be.  I did get this decent picture of the neighboring Jin Mao tower. 

If you have a fear of heights, don't look down!
Even on a dreary day, the skyline was beautiful.

My tour included a cocktail that tasted like cough syrup.  The view was spectacular, however.

When you visit the bottle opener, make sure you get your sheet of coupons for the shops on the first three floors of the tower.  I love how one can use this coupon to get a discount on PM2.5 masks. 
The trip to the top was fun, however this activity is better for a clearer day.

2:50- I have high tea at the Jasmine Lounge in the Fairmont Peace Hotel.

After all of my sightseeing, I was a tad hungry so I headed to the Fairmont Peace Hotel for tea.  I had a lovely time listening to sitar music and stuffing myself with lovely little tea sandwiches and pastries. 
The Peace Hotel was beautiful on the inside and out.

The marble floors, murals, and moldings provided an ideal setting for tea.
The folks at the Jasmine Lounge got out the fancy china for tea.

I was full after my first course of savory finger sandwiches.

In spite of the fact that I was already full, I had  to try the deserts!  I was so stuffed with scones, cakes, and other goodies at the end of my meal.  This is an experience that is best for more than one person.

The price of the tea experience was a little hefty, but I am glad I had high tea at least once.

4:05- I head home to take the dogs out and study a little bit of Chinese.

I couldn’t be completely irresponsible.  The little guys need food, and I had Chinese class the next day.

I WILL learn this language.  I WILL learn this language.
6:00- I catch up with some friends at Sushi’O

The only bummer about this day was all of my friends were working or traveling, so I had to have my day off solo!  Fortunately, I was able to meet some friends for dinner at Sushi’O!

After all of my exploring, it was great to catch up with friends.

I even managed to eat a Philharmonic Roll and edamame after my tea feast.  
8:30- I finally make it home, double-check my lessons for the next day, and head for bed.

While this adventure was fun, I was exhausted at the end of the day.  I highly recommend making and executing your own Ferris list!