With the summer heat it isn’t always possible to comfortably sit outside, but there are afternoons where we have a nice breeze coming off the ocean. Almost every day, around midday, I walk downstairs (7 flights of stairs) and out of our complex to the line of little stores that run along the outside of where we live. This is, among other things, one of the main reasons why we love our new area so much. We have never lived anywhere as convenient as this. It really is a perfect location. The beach is super packed with tourists right now, but I wanted to take advantage the cool breeze one afternoon so I made us lunch and then found a quiet spot under the trees inside our apartment complex. Justin, Elijah and I sat there, enjoying our lunch under the trees. Only a couple of people stopped to stand and watch us (no shame!). We offered some food and tried to be friendly, but they just stood a couple of feet away, completely stunned. We don’t often see Chinese people having picnics, so it could have been that, but who am I kidding, they were probably just staring because we are foreigners. After we had eaten our lunch, laid back to enjoy the shade, and played with Elijah for a while, we went back to our apartment. We had one afternoon lesson, and then we were dressed and ready to head out on a run.
These two are so sweet together. Always “chatting” and playing. The view from from our blanket was pretty, and above us the branches and leaves swayed in the cool wind. It was just what we needed. So refreshing…
While I taught my lesson, Justin and Elijah played upstairs in the playroom. I know that we haven’t yet officially shown you our new apartment – we will get there eventually – but here is a small glimpse of the upstairs area.
When I’m downstairs, cooking or teaching, I hear Justin and Eli up there, and there isn’t a sweeter sound. Daddy and his baby boy, playing happily. They send me cute pictures while I’m downstairs. I love how little man now looks at the camera to smile when we take pictures. It doesn’t happen all the time, but he is happy to take pictures if he’s not TOO busy playing.
In the late afternoon we went for a scenic run along the coast. Usually we go west, but on this particular afternoon we decided to run in an eastwardly direction along the oceanside. There are a couple of hills, and with the stroller (and our current level of fitness), they can be a bit of a challenge. We were up for a nice workout, so we faced the hills and ran along the beautiful golf courses adjacent to the ocean. Eli loves to nap while we jog, so this works out perfectly.
We try to run 1km and then switch – so it’s one kilometre with the stroller and 1km without. I do double the running distances that Justin does every week, so he very kindly keeps the stroller for 2-3 km sometimes. There are days when I go out without Justin and have to push the stroller alone for over an hour. The sidewalks are atrocious in many areas here, but this wonderful route has a smooth bicycle/running path which goes on and on for miles. If it weren’t for the hills and lack of shade, I think we would run this way everyday. This really is a very beautiful part of Qingdao.