Miscellaneous Photos and Events - Spring in Beijing

We had dinner at Berena's Bistro with Bryan's ex-classmates from his Chinese class in February. They served good imported beers and Chinese food. We had a great time. It was definitely a multi-lingual table, Chinese, French, Arabic, German, English and then some.

(Jenny, Jenny's friend, Alex, Claudine, Bryan, Teresa, Nancy, Bob, Jean-Claude)


This is the Shuang Xiu Park, next to our house. When we arrived in Beijing it was bare and not very inviting. Now it's beautiful, lush and full of blooming flowers. This is the view while we wait for the elevator.
We often enjoy walking through the park instead of walking on the street. It costs a mere 0.20 yuan, which is about 2.5 cents. Ornamental peach trees bloom all over the park during the spring. Too bad there aren't any peaches that come later. The best time for viewing these flowers is from the middle to the end of April.
Here's Nancy by a lilac tree. You can smell its wonderful scent from meters away.

A lilac flower up close.

Here are some pretty flowers growing in the park. We don't know what they are called.

Nancy's 26th Birthday!

April 24. This was the first year that Nancy spent her birthday in a country other than the U.S. For dinner, we went to a delicious Thai restaurant called, Phrik Thai. It had been a long time since we'd had good Thai food. We had chicken red curry and beef red curry, chicken with eggplant, pad thai, and a cucumber salad. Nancy also had one of her newly discovered favorites, fresh squeezed watermelon juice. Of course, with all of this we had fragrant jasmine rice. After we returned home from dinner, we decided to stuff ourselves with some ice-cream cake. Yes, Nancy's absolute favorite...Baskin Robbins' mint chocolate chip ice-cream with chocolate cake. It was scrumptious! What a treat! Yes, they have Baskin Robbins in Beijing. It's a good thing it's not close to our apartment or Nancy would be there all the time.

New and different fruit in Beijing.

Here's Bryan enjoying a little yellow melon. There's not a specific name for it. It's a beautiful yellow color and the inside tastes a lot like a honeydew melon. These melons are sold at farmer's markets, at street stands, and by farmers who ride bicycle carts around the street.

A typical Saturday morning:

Hmm...the whole street outside of our apartment was full of barbers and hairdressers. We were not sure what the occasion was, but maybe it had something to do with the coming May holiday.


A street vendor on the end of our street selling sheets and sheets of something...perhaps glutinous rice flour sheets for something, maybe tofu skin, we never found out.
Some ladies enjoying the beautiful Saturday morning. Nancy thought that the child was really cute.
Nancy made a dish with these lettuce roots and bamboo shoot. Lettuce root normally has a very hard, difficult to peel outer skin. However, in Beijing, since labor is inexpensive, Nancy is able to buy these roots already peeled. How convenient it is to live here.


Bryan enjoys some Jello brand vanilla pudding (loot from Jen, Nancy's sister) with his banana. What a scrumptious combination!


Another yummy dish that Nancy made one day. Beef with asparagus with ginger, garlic, black bean sauce and oyster sauce.


Could there be anything more delicious than olive bread and cave-aged gruyere?


Nancy's dad working hard on his computer. Bryan thought it would be nice of him to put his computer next to Nancy's dad's for company. Notice how he put his computer in the foreground as to make it appear larger. What a clever trick. In reality, Bryan was comparing his measly 14 inch screen to Nancy's dad's 15 inch screen. Nancy just shook her head while playing solitaire on her 12 inch screen.


Bryan has been dreaming about an authentic La Costena burrito since we arrived in Beijing. Unfortunately, the burrito shops haven't quite made it out this far. So, Michele, being the awesome person that she is, went to La Costena and bought a bean and rice burrito and a chicken adobo burrito for Bryan. Then, she froze the burritos and brought them over to Nancy's parents' house. Nancy's dad hauled these frozen burritos all the way to Beijing and when Nancy's dad arrived, the burritos were defrosted and ready to eat. The verdict: DELICIOUS! Especially with the Tapatio hot sauce that Michele brought during her visit in April. It's just like at home. Here's Bryan eating the bean and rice burrito. The chicken burrito disappeared the next day while Nancy and her dad were out shopping.

Here is some of Nancy's home cooking on display for all the world to drool over.

Greek salad - feta cheese (sent with Nancy's dad from the USA), cucumber, tomato, onion, and a light oil/vinegar dressing.
Asparagus, egg, and parmesan ... one of Nancy's favorites!

Forest took us out to dinner to celebrate Nancy's dad's arrival in Beijing. We went to one of Beijing's government-run restaurant, where you choose your dish from pre-assembled ingredients in a big refrigerator.

Does anyone feel up to some black chicken and turtle? We passed ...
Here's everyone well satisfied after the delicious meal.


Fresh ingredients are plentiful and cheap in Beijing. There are numerous markets within walking distance of our apartments. Nancy's fascination with food has produced these lovely pictures of some of the produce available to us.

Melon. Mushrooms, which would be four or five dollars a pound in the USA, are about fifty cents a pound here. These oddly-shaped mangos were unfortunately not very tasty.


Bryan and Kai are about to tuck into one of Nancy's delicious home-made stir-frys.


Sheujin came over for "mexican food night". Nancy made some awesome burritos and rice with beans, which was enjoyed by everyone.
Bryan's Tapatio hot sauce from the States was a welcome addition.


Dinner with Theresa, Jean-Claude, and friends. Nancy made asparagus risotto, delicious!


The Gao family took us out to dinner at a fantastic local restaurant to celibrate Kai's time in Beijing.


Nancy takes pause from her work long enough to flash a beautiful smile.


Here are some delicious braised pigs feet. There's a nice lady who lives in a neighboring apartment building who sells them on the street almost everyday. Bryan stayed away, so Nancy had to eat them all.
Our newly covered couch. Colorful, eh? We covered our couch because during warmer weather, we wear shorts around the house and we don't like it when our legs stick to the vinyl surface of the couch.
Yes, the always delicious wild consomme Pringles! They were actually very tasty, but we couldn't quite pick out the consomme flavor.

Here are some oddly flavored potato chips that are available for sale in Asia. Yummy!

Back to: Michele and Alex visit Beijing! (Part III)

On to: Parks and Forest

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