Justin’s 34th Birthday
Our amazingly sweet Justin had a birthday this week!! We loooove birthdays! Well, I LOVE birthdays, and Eli loves singing “Happy Birthday To You” and blowing out candles. I guess that counts for “us loving birthdays”. If you haven’t already read about Justin’s birthday outings – there were three of them – you can link up to those in this blog post. In the meantime, I completely forget to show all of you what happened during the day on Justin’s birthday!!
We got up early to drink coffee and give Justin his birthday gift. Eli was pretty excited to tell Justin about the card that he drew on. FYI – he did not draw those stick figures by himself, but rather with my guided hand. He did do the lovely blue and green lines that you see all over the card ?
Plans for Lunch
Since his birthday was on a working day, I kept my day open so that Eli and I could join Justin at school. He had a period open after lunch, so we were looking forward to a little lunch date in his office. We definitely can’t let a free birthday drink from Starbucks go to waste, so after picking up some lunch and snacks, we popped into Starbucks for some iced coffees.
While I was waiting for our drinks, I turned around and saw Eli climbing onto a chair. The lady on the other side of the table was sitting smiling at him. They started chatting away. She spoke no English, and he only knows “Hello, “Goodbye” and “Thank You” in Chinese. Oh heck… I just realized that soon Eli will know more Mandarin than me! ? Despite the language barrier, age gap, and the fact that this two were completely strangers, they sat “chatting” for almost five minutes! HILARIOUS!
We ate sushi, salads, and various other snacks at a table in Justin’s office. The only problem was that Eli fell asleep in the taxi on the way over to the school. I know, I know… seriously, the kid has narcolepsy. I am sure that he is asleep in every single blog post that I do! Justin and I ate lunch, and let Eli sleep for a couple of hours on the couch in the office. Thankfully, Justin has his own office, so while he went to class I sat doing some work online.
When Eli finally woke up (note the “just woke up” hair) we lit some candles and sang Happy Birthday to You. The kid was grinning from ear to ear. He is really getting the hang of this now, and he knows that he should wait until the end of the song before blowing the candles. Pretty soon we will have to break it to him, that he doesn’t get to blow out the candles on every birthday cake he sees. But since he graciously blows softly from wherever he is sitting – even if the cake is across the road (or on TV) – we will let him enjoy this process. We love his face!
Banana Cream Cake
If you are wondering what the heck is up with that cake, let me explain. Okay, so cakes are a HUGE deal here. On any day of the week, at any hour of the day, you can pop out and get an elaborately decorated cake. They are just ready, and waiting for you to pick them up. They come with candles, paper plates, mini forks, a gold crown, napkins and a cake knife. Seriously guys, I’m not kidding!
The things is, this little family right here are trying our best to remain gluten and sugar free. This cake was the smallest and least detailed that I could fine. Justin also isn’t big into cream cakes. And Chinese cakes consist primarily of sponge cake and infinite layers of cream with fruit in, and all over the top, of them. Personally, I love them more than Western cakes because they aren’t as sweet, and I have managed to “tame” my sweet tooth over the years of living in the East. This little cake was the one that I thought Justin and Eli would like best – and also the smallest and “healthiest” one that I could find. I know, nothing healthy about it… but you get my point!
Playing in Daddy’s Office
Eli had so much fun playing with everything in Justin’s office. He wore his swimming goggles and used his door card as a telephone. His imagination is just flourishing at the moment – I love watching him enjoy himself.
On Our Way Home
I was tempted to just stay in Justin’s office until he was done, but with over an hour to go, Eli started to get restless. It was time to get moving so we hopped on a bus and headed home!
The guy in this photo, yes – the one shamelessly taking a photo of my son, kept talking to me in Chinese. I didn’t understand why the heck he insisted on speaking to me when I clearly didn’t understand what he was saying. I also got scolded twice by old Chinese folks for allowing Eli to wear goggles. They kept telling me that it was bad for his eyes. Is that even true? Gosh – people are so serious sometimes. hahah. The kid was talking about sharks and fish, and was clearly enjoying his “swim” home.
Who was I to ruin his fun?
We went home to change, pack a bag for Eli, and get ready for our evening plans. When Justin got home, we took him to CJ and Amber so that we could go on a date. Check out that birthday post here – The Way: Qingdao Microbrewery.
On Thursday we went to an “End of Summer BBQ” presented by the Redstar Magazine and hosted by La Villa, a French restaurant downtown. When our friends went home after dinner, the three of us stayed for the “unplugged” open-mic event. We love a bit of live entertainment! More on that here: Goodbye Summer BBQ
And the final birthday celebration took place on Saturday, the first day of our nine days off school. We took a nice stroll around a pretty street in the old downtown area of Qingdao. More in his post: Daxue Lu Explorations.
We all really enjoyed all of Justin’s birthday celebrations, and it was good to have a nice variety of outings.
Happy Birthday Justin – Wising you an amazing year ahead!!!