Typically the New Year is spent staying up until midnight with family and friends huddled around the TV to watch the ball drop. Or at least that was what mine was for the last few years. Prior to that it was usually spent babysitting for wealthy families, of which I have a very scary story which I can tell you anytime you wish...
Anywho... back to the ushering in of 2012. We left America early Friday morning, December 30th but with the various time zones we passed through, we lost a day and by the time we arrived in Shanghai, China it was December 31st. We were exhausted from our long trip (remember how I said we traveled through 5 airports? Well, we did it all backwards this time around). We had an overnight layover and always being the thoughtful husband that he is, Robert had booked a hotel for us near the airport so his little wifey wouldn't have to sleep sitting in an airport chair. I love that man! We had to cart all our stuff with us to the hotel (a total of 5 suitcases~ we had to add an extra bag on the way home on account of all the gifts and souvenirs) and that gained us some pretty funny looks since the majority of other passengers were on a short transfer flight with one little carry-on bag
(again with the funny looks from people?!).
Our hotel room was nice and we were able to get cleaned up and sleep in a comfortable bed. As to "ushering in the new year"... The government has banned most fireworks in Shanghai so there was a light show on TV instead. We set our alarms for 11:55pm and woke up just in time to see the light show and drift right back to sleep. So that was the extent of our first new year's of the year
(Wait, what?! the first..?! You might ask...keep reading.)
Robert said I can't say I've been to Shanghai since I never left the Airport property. I say I can. What do you think? I SAW Shanghai...I WALKED on Shanghai ground... I ATE Shanghai food.... I will continue to say that I have BEEN to Shanghai :) On a side note...Facebook is banned in China. I thought that was interesting.
Having traveled for a bit, we were super hungry when we got up and decided to search out some good food in the airport. We found a nice spot with a view and proceeded to eat a delicious breakfast. With the conversion rate, it ended up being pretty expensive... oh well... you live and learn
Yes, I had two cups of coffee and I'm not sorry either! :)
After living and traveling in Asia for a while, one would think we would have learned but alas we still think like Americans. As you well know, you can take a Domestic flight just about anywhere and all you will get is peanuts and a drink (if you are lucky!). Being used to that lovely American treatment, we stocked up on our yummy breakfast. But wait, we aren't in America anymore are we? Here in Asia, they actually treat their passengers like... wait for it...valued customers! Imagine that! On a 1 hour flight we were served an entire meal. Can you even fathom that?! :) I know I am over exaggerating my excitement, but it really did impress me.
Back on Korean soil... on the limousine bus headed home :) Having slept the night before, we were feeling great! We made it home at 1:50pm and got a text from the Blacks saying "we're watching the ball drop... are you?" Queue the second New Year's ringing in (for all those confused right now, we are 14 hours ahead of the states...i.e. 12:00am = 2:00pm). We quickly turned on the computer, and got to ring in the year that way too. Because we were feeling so great, we decided "Why skip church?" So we grabbed lattes and headed to church.
Good to be back to the land of delicious lattes
After church, we headed to one of the deacon's houses for a New Year's celebration. Bethany and I learned how to make a few of the Korean favorites and all around we had a great time. We had to be awake anyways so might as well be having a good time doing it!
While the women cooked, the men entertained themselves with a traditional Korean game.
My cooking teacher, Grace :)
Where there's a Korean party, there's always alot of delicious food!
So, now you see a little different New Year's than most. The great thing about traveling over New Year's is that you get to celebrate it multiple times :) Though it was out of the ordinary, that's what made it fun! One thing I will miss from last year is being able to say "Its the 011 son" (Jimmy Fallon) but other than that, I'm pretty excited to see what the new year holds, what doors God will open, and where Robert and I will end up during the duration of the year. We would appreciate prayers in the following weeks as we are in the decision process for the upcoming school year in March (Korean term). We wish you all a very Happy New Year filled with Love, Joy, and Peace.