Last Saturday we had planned to meet our friends downtown for some sightseeing. Trent and Angie will be leaving Qingdao soon so we are trying to get in as much time as we can with them. We met at The Diner for some lunch, and grandma joined us too. The five of us enjoyed delicious food and good company while chatting about what we would like to see after our meal. I hadn’t really noticed, but Justin’s allergies were beginning to bother him, and by the time the bill was paid, he was finding it hard to keep a smile on his face. Itchy eyes and nose, with a strong urge to sneeze… This season is beautiful, but towards the end of spring, the pollen and other bits floating through the air begin to get the best of many of us. In fact, here we are again, on a Saturday afternoon, and earlier today we had to return to our apartment because of allergies. This time it was me, and not Justin, who was suffering.
Knowing that we wouldn’t be able to properly enjoy ourselves, we let the others go ahead with the sightseeing plans without us. We headed to a coffee shop instead. It was safe to assume that since we had been sitting outside for lunch, some time spent indoors might help. We were disappointed that our sightseeing plans had fallen through, but we still ended up having a wonderful afternoon together.
On Saturday afternoons, it is “buy one, get one free” on all cocktails at The Diner. Justin’s drink, called “The Dude”, was what we really wished was on special. It is basically what we would called a Dom Pedro in South Africa. Ice Cream mixed with Kaluha. Oh, so delicious! The gas had been turned off in the area, so we could only order certain meals on the menu. I was upset that I couldn’t have my favourite, the Pecan encrusted Chicken Salad, until I tried this amazing dish…
|The Diner Salad|
What a delicious salad! This is probably going to be my new go-to meal at The Diner! Chicken, bacon, egg, cashews, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes and lettuces. Elijah got to munch on tons of things because his friend Wendy was working, and she loves bringing him all kinds of snacks. He had apple, carrot, bread and various other bits off our plates. Some of it he ate, and some of it he tried to feed to Wendy! Such a kind boy, isn’t he?
|“The Chill” Burger|
If you saw our blog post on the Best Burger in Qingdao Competition, then you’ll remember that I absolutely LOVED the burger with the guacamole and cheese. It was without a doubt my most favourite of the 14 burgers we were asked to judge. Of course, Justin had to see what all the fuss was about so that was exactly what he ordered. He loved every single bite of it! As much as I loved my salad, I was rather envious of his burger when it arrived!
*For those interested, The Diner won the award for the best burger in Qingdao.
Apparently I wasn’t the only judge who thought that this burger was incredible!
After lunch we walked to the nearest pharmacy to get some allergy pills for Justin. We then said our goodbyes and walked to a cafe to relax and decide what to do next. We knew that Justin would be better off indoors but we were just not ready to go home yet!
We ended up at X-Ray Coffee, the cozy cafe filled with hundreds of stuffed bears.
I went there on a mommy date with Liz last year, check out that post here.
While Elijah lay back and had a nap in his stroller, we grabbed some coffee and sat down to relax. Justin started to feel much better after about an hour, so when little man awoke we let him play around with the giant teddy bears for a bit.
Next stop was to find some dessert. We had heard that there was a good bakery close-by, but we had never gone looking for it. Finding good bread and pastries in China can be quite a challenge. There always seems to be a bit of a mix up when it comes to the flavour combinations – the bread is too sweet, and the pastries are either filled with red bean paste or pork floss. Eww! Our western palates are not used to such combinations, so we are always thrilled when we find baked good that remind us of the way that they are made back “at home”.
Before long we found the bakery, and bought a few of things to sample.
We definitely liked the two on the left the most!
Feeling – sort of – okay, Justin suggested that we start walking in the direction of our apartment. It was an absolutely beautiful evening and the city was starting to come alive. Ordinarily it is a 15 minute taxi ride home, but since I have been wanting to run in the direction of downtown, I was interested to see what the sidewalks were like along the way. We walked and walked, taking in the sights and sounds. Even though our sightseeing plans had fallen through, we were happy to be spending this quality time together. I am also pleased to report that the path looks good, so Elijah and I will be taking a jog in the direction of the city centre in the next couple of weeks.
We ended up walking until the sun had set and it started to get a bit chilly. The colours in the sky were absolutely lovely, so we didn’t want to miss a minute of the view. We were actually almost home but the road started to get steep, and we didn’t want Eli to be out later than he had to be, so we hailed a cab. Unlike today, where we had to come home due to allergies, we were happy that we got to make the most of what seemed like a “written-off” afternoon.