I love my kids. They are sweet, funny, smart, and a pure joy to teach. However, every now and then I wish I had a day off to refill my bucket by having a picture perfect day to explore Shanghai… especially when the day looks like this.
|I was so happy to have perfect weather for my day off!|
While watching the touring production of Ghost The Musical, I received a great birthday present from one of my local teachers.
|Okay...if you insist.|
After sleeping off my sugary birthday cake filled weekend, I hopped out of bed and headed out to enjoy a beautiful, girly day in Shanghai!
Stop One: Starbucks
I was still feeling a little sluggish thanks to sugar withdrawal, so I stopped at Starbucks for a hair of the dog Frappuccino.
|The seasonal Tiramisu Frappuccino is exactly what I needed to put a little pep in my step.|
Stop Two: Sephora
Attention Sephora fans! The American rewards cards and American gift cards don’t work in China, however Chinese folks have their own rewards card. Sign up and get some freebies on your birthday.
|No girly day off is complete without a Sephora fix.|
|Happy birthday to me! :)|
Stop Three: Van Gogh Alive!
After I was caffeinated, I strolled over to Xintiandi to see the Van Gogh Alive exhibit at Taipinghu Park. Van Gogh Alive is a “Sensory 4” exhibit integrates projections of the artist’s masterpieces, quotes, and classical music. The combination of art forms was mesmerizing.
|What was once the fashion week tent is now a Van Gogh exhibit.|
|At times I was completely overwhelmed by the floor to ceiling images on the screens.|
|The combination of color and sound was intoxicating.|
|At times, Van Gogh knew what he was talking about.|
|After seeing Japan, I have a new appreciation for some of his paintings.|
|I think this blossom painting was my favorite. I highly recommend visiting the exhibit during the week. It gets a bit crowded on the weekends.|
|Beware, they do have a gift shop/ tourist trap at the end of the exhibit. If you would like to send me the big, earless Van Gogh bear, please contact me via the Facebook page for more info. :)|
Keep in mind, the exhibit doesn’t include original Van Goghs, but in my opinion it was worth the price of admission.
Stop Four: Xiaolongbao at Yu Gardens
One part of every perfect day is at least one xiaolongbao meal. While I had visited Yu Gardens many times, I still had not tried xiaolongbao at the Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant. I figured the restaurant wouldn’t be too terribly crowded on a Monday, so I hopped on Line 10 and headed Yu Gardens to grab some lunch.
|The xiaolongbao were filled with crab and pork. They were a little zesty, but incredibly delicious.|
|These larger dumplings contain crab soup. I don't know why I waited so long to try them!|
Stop Five: Yu Gardens (The actual garden part of Yu Garden)
In the corner of the Yu Bazar, there is a garden that I had yet to visit. So after lunch I strolled through mazes of trees, flowers, and koi ponds.
|I had no idea the garden at Yu Gardens had so many beautiful buildings.|
|The maze of buildings and gardens was surprisingly peaceful.|
|Some kids spent their Children's Day playing with the Koi.|
|The only drama in the area was between the turtles and the fish who kept chasing each other.|
The trip was worth the 40 RMB entrance fee.
Stop Six: Time to Play with the Dogs
It was Children’s Day, so I figured I should spend some time with the four-legged kids.
|My fur kids were very happy to take a stroll around the neighborhood.|
Stop Seven: Subconscious Day Spa
After my stroll I needed a little rest time, so I headed to Subconscious Day Spa for a massage.
|My friend Jume introduced me to Subconscious, aka Spa Heaven.|
|In Shanghai there are many places to get massages. I prefer Subconscious because it is clean, comfortable, and quiet.|
Stop Eight: Movie Time
It had been a while since I visited my local movie store so I strolled down the street to check out the latest and greatest flicks.
Stop Nine: Cheese N Fizz
As I was walking to the movie store, I noticed Cheese and Fizz was having a happy hour special on bubbly.
|I'm a huge fan of any place that has "cheese" in the name.|
|Pink roses and a little bubbly was a great ending to a wonderful day. However, there was more fun to come!|
Stop Ten: JW’s California Grill
All of my adventures had made me hungry, so I grabbed Chris and headed to JW’s California Grill in the Marriott Tomorrow Square. It was gourmet week, so we got a good deal on a four course preset menu.
|I had really high hopes for dinner. The menu looked wonderful.|
|The second course, Lobster Bisque, was very tasty!|
|The skirt steak was less than impressive. It needed a sauce or some starch to pep it up.|
Unfortunately, I was underwhelmed by the meal, but I did have a great day. I can’t wait to rediscover Shanghai this summer!