The Most Beautiful Day in Qingdao… EVER!
I know that sounds like quite a bold statement to make, but in our four years in Qingdao, I don’t think we have ever witnessed a more beautiful day! The skies were the bluest blue, with dozens of contrails going across it. These white lines seemed to be so low and fluffy! It was warm, but not overly hot. We knew that we had to seize the day, so we decided to do a long run by the coast. This seems to be what we love to do recently – run, stop and play, and then find something to eat (or have a picnic on the beach). To be honest, we didn’t care what we ended up doing – we just wanted to make the most of this spectacular day!
As you can imagine, with the weather so amazing, there were tons of cars parked near the beach. Unlike Western countries, where there would be allocated parking near popular areas, there is barely anywhere to park in China. Ironic, since there are just so many cars on the road! People simple just park wherever the like. There will be 3-4 rows of cars (pictured below), all parking each other in. Drivers leave their phone number in the car window, so if you need to leave and you are parked in, you simply call the owner of the car that is blocking. They then leave whatever they are doing to come and move their car.
It might sound clever, but the result of this is that people park EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE!
Justin tried to navigate our stroller through this field of parked cars, but eventually he had to go out to the main area of the road where traffic was flying by. Pedestrians have absolutely no right of way here. I really need to do some vlogs on this. It is both hilarious, and mind-blowingly atrocious!
Since it is summer, there are many “out of town” folks coming out to Qingdao to make the most of the sun, sand and ocean. Many of them have never seen Western foreigners, so we get stared at A LOT down by the beach. Eli gets touched, chased, and waved at constantly. Once he looks up at them, and they spot his HUGE blue eyes, they practically melt into a puddle. I am sure that Eli has featured in many Chinese summer holiday photos. The first thing that they do is pull out their phones and start snapping away. It really doesn’t bother us that much anymore, but we have friends who can’t stand it.
The way I see it – we are in their country, and we look totally different, so how could we expect anything different.
And above all, “TIC”… This is China! You have to be a little tougher than normal to survive life here.
The shoreline is filled with tents, flotation rings, and thousands of people. When we are running along the boardwalk, we miss most of the crowds, but still have to dodge a lot of people as we move.
Baozi For the Journey
Knowing that he might fall asleep while we were running, we bough Eli some baozi to eat before his nap. Thanks to this little stroller set up, his legs are pretty brown, and the rest of him in barely tanned at all. Last time he looked like this was when we traveled Europe for two months. I love those brown little knees!
We ended up running for over an hour, before sitting down in this pavilion area (above) to rest, drink some water, and chat. By this stage, we were feeling the heat. Even though it wasn’t too hot of a day, the sun was baking down on us perfectly. We knew that we would be returning home with some sunburnt/ brown skin!
On our way back in the Laoshan direction, we spotted a delivery man on the beach. He was chatting on his phone, while looking around. It was clear that he was searching for the person that had ordered the food he was carrying. I looked over at Justin and said, “Now THAT’S how we will know we have figured life in China out… when we can get take-out delivered to us on the beach! WOW!”
***I have an update story on this — but since I am behind on the stories because of my 10 Days of Madness, you’ll have to wait a few days to hear about that!
On this same day, with this gorgeous sky, we witnessed a glowing white ring around the sun. It was so beautiful!
“Also known as a 22 degree halo or a sun halo, the ring is caused by sunlight passing through ice crystals in cirrus clouds within the Earth’s atmosphere, the University of Illinois’ Weather World Project 2010 explains.” – Huffington Post
About a block before the beach path ended, we cut up into the city area of Laoshan in order to avoid the masses of people and cars. We had been running for over two hours, and we didn’t feel like facing the same chaos we had faced on our way out.
Justin and Eli ended up running straight to the Korean store, and I did some stair-training at the Qingdao Grand Theatre.
View From The Top
From the top of the Grand Theatre stairs, I can see our apartment complex (buildings to the very left), and the Korean stores and restaurants (across the road from the theatre).
When I was done with my training goals, I ran over to our favorite Korean restaurant and ended my run. 2 hours 20 minutes! We were all feeling very happy, with great sense of accomplishment. Above all, we were thrilled that we had made the most of this amazing weather! Our post-workout meal was Korean, of course, and very much deserved. Never really worried about calories, Justin ordered cheesy ramen, and I had a beef bulgogi dish. I scooped out most of the rice, and left only a small bit in the bowl. This dish also contains glass noodles – so the triple helping of carbs was not necessary, even after a long run.
This was one of the happiest, bluest, most exhilarating days that we have had in Qingdao in a long time. It really does feel like it was “The Most Beautiful Day in Qingdao… EVER!”
Since this day, there have been SOME nice days but nothing that compares to this one. In fact, the best weather only really stuck around for 2-3 weeks, and during that time I was still teaching Dylan every day. Now that I am free, the weather sucks. Go figure!