We never thought that my parents would visit us, however, in spite of the relatively short plane trip, due to the cost and inconvenience of obtaining a tourist visa and their own busy work schedules. However, at the end of March, they suddenly decided to look into coming, and within a matter of 2 or 3 days they had gotten visas and squeezed a trip into their schedule!
We were so excited to have them stay with us! Angel graciously worked his job and my own last week, teaching almost all of my classes, so that I could act as their local tour guide. Most of what we did with them was nothing huge or dramatic, and no, they didn't see the Great Wall or Forbidden City or any of China's most famous sights, given that we're in ShenZhen, but we gave them the best view we could of our everyday life here and some of ShenZhen's coolest sights.
Angel picked them up from the airport by himself. I had a class to teach and wasn't sure if we'd make it home in time for class so I stayed home just to be safe. As it turns out, they made it to our house 10 minutes before I had to leave for class!
Since they had arrived, we brought them along with us to school! We got permission from the school for them to observe one of my classes, so during this lesson on jobs, I had the added pressure of teaching not only in front of my 50 high schoolers, but also my parents!
They got to explore our school's big, beautiful campus, and meet all of our coworkers. Consensus from our coworkers: I look just like my dad, and my parents are very young.
At the local park, the flower art in honor of Labor Day was still up, so they got to see that.
We took them to our favorite restaurant serving SiChuan food for dinner, and ordered a rather tame meal of chili pepper cabbage, minced pork green beans, kung pao chicken, and spicy noodles. Dad and Angel are adventurous eaters, but Mom and I don't tend to get quite so adventurous when it comes to food. I'm way more picky than mom...but just thinking about the green beans and cabbage at this restaurant makes me salivate. This was only the first day!
I took them to Window of the World, since Mom had thought it was really cool when we told her all about our visit. We're going to be seeing the non-miniature Angkor Wat this summer!
I found that I missed several landmarks during my first visit to Window of the World. This is their take on the Grand Canyon, which is actually a really large chunk of the park, and I have no idea how I missed it the first time!
We also visited DaFen Oil Painting Village--where dozens of shops sell paint and calligraphy supplies, and other shops sell hand-painted copies of famous paintings and various other sorts of art. It's a fun place to wander--while the majority of the art is created off site, there are painters stationed in little alleys all over, and we overheard a couple in discussion with one of these painters about setting a price for him to paint a copy of one of their bridal photos. This is a place I love to explore.
Of course, we had to go to DongMen, which has been our most frequent destination for Saturday shopping during our time in China.
Snacks at DongMen. Angel and Dad enjoyed their Rou Jia Mo.
Sure, we could cross the normal bridge that the cars use to get across this river when coming home from the metro stop, but what fun would that be when you could be crossing like this instead?
After work one afternoon, a saner person might have decided to take the evening off, but we decided to take the 1.5 hour bus ride to ShenZhen's beautiful coastline.
It would appear that a real perk of having children young is that when they're grown up and living in China you can keep up with them when they are determined to show you the entire city in 4 days. We also went to the ShenZhen museum, a halal noodle shop, and Walmart. We tried to take them to our favorite huo guo or steamboat restaurant but found, after the long walk there, that it had closed down! We stayed moving, but there's still so much I would have shown them if I'd had the time.