|<3 airport lounges|
We began the trip on a high note. Recently we decided that we needed to change our credit card (read: HSBC is the devil's bank) to something more lucrative in terms of miles. So we got an AMEX linked to Cathay miles and one of the many bonuses is lounge access at airports across the world.
|No, please leave the bumf in the bindon|
The HK lounge is nothing exceptional, but free food with salad bar, and coffee and beer isn't a bad way to start a trip. We really enjoyed HK airline and their entertainment systems, arrived on time, hit zero immigrations lines or issues, and hopped in the first cab that was right outside. This is not the China we'd been hearing about.
We arrive 2 hours earlier than expected to Vanessa's, Paul's cousin. Vanessa has an amazing flat. A flat that would eat ours and still have room for more. 2 more. Vanessa also has the cutest little sweat heart dumpster kitten, Lou. And Vanessa also has the biggest most welcoming and fun personality of anyone I have met in a long time. She's had an amazing life so far spanning Pittsburgh, Norleans, Ecuador, and now China, and I have no doubt she'll keep doing great things all around the world.
|Big wide spaces with a huge lack of people. Amaze.|
Day 1 we managed to get up and out of the house by 2, as we had a bit of a session the night before. Paul and I ventured down to Yang's dumplings near People's Park. These deliciously greasy, soupy, meaty, and bready dumplings were the beginning of the end for Paul. But damn were they good.
|Paul <3s Yang's now....|
|Windows on the Park at the Radisson|
|Tourist Tunnel. A must.|
|Wonderful tapas + wine set at....Las Tapas in the French Concession|
We then made our way through Pudong to the Aquarium, which was great, and back to Yang's dumplings. Only one order this time, and we got to watch as the dumplings were steamed in copious (copious!) amounts of oil before being pried off their industrial wok and onto your plastic plate. Delicious.
Later that day, and Paul was feeling none too good from dem dumplins. I felt fine, but that's probably because I only had 2 and he had 16. Live and learn. We eventually made our way over to the French Consession, which is just lovely! Tree lined streets, cute little apartments, and no one! Everywhere we went, we were shocked by the lack of people. This is China, isn't it?? And to top it off we visited (one of 2 times) Boxing Cat Brewery. It's a Shanghainese brewery that we were first introduced to in HK as it appeared as a guest tap at the Globe. It was even better in SH and totally made us nostalgic of seasonal beers back home. Pumpkin beer, anyone?
|Tasty Yunnan dinner with Vanessa at Lost Heaven|
|Mao's house. It's MAO'S HOUSE|
|Paul <3s Boxing Cat Brewery|
And did I tell you!? I have accepted a new job! Marketing and Sales (title tbd?) for Ginsberg + Chan. G+C is a small (I believe I'm #5) fine wine merchant located in Happy Valley. Hello, island. The portfolio along with the owners really impressed me, and definitley convinced me that this would be a great place to work, learn, and taste. Woot. And a side bonus, the job doesn't start until September 1st, which means summer vacation continues on.
|Smell ya later, Shanghai|