Winter Wonderland Gala
This past Saturday evening, the QISS staff, community and friends came together at the Shangri-La hotel. The aim was to raise money for a much needed charity, and of course, enjoy a fabulous evening together. Through the co-operation of the QISS PTA, QISS staff, QISS Board of Trustees, and the Qingdao Red Cross, this annual event was truly a success. The QISS PTA was able to donate $20,000 to two young children who need care for their heart conditions.
If you are one of our long-standing readers, you might remember our post from last year, when we attended the Great Gatsby 1920’s Gala. This year the theme was “Winter Wonderland”. We invited a few friends, and we were thrilled when four of them decided to join us. If you didn’t read our previous post about this evening, then be sure to check that out here: A Magical Night at the Shangri-La. We got ready for the gala in our room, upstairs, and then came down to the Grand Ballroom. Compared to having to get a taxi from Laoshan (like we did last year), this was really an amazing upgrade!
Be sure to check out link for more pictures – our room and the breakfast in the morning. Eli slept at a friend, so we were alone for the night and this was really a wonderful treat. Nothing quite beats dressing up, going to a gala, and then sleeping a hotel!
All Dressed Up
Above, My dress – from all angles. I have to say that I love love love this dress. It is soft, comfortable, and it was really affordable! I’m a huge fan of mermaid-style dresses and this one flared out a little at the bottom. I knew that I definitely wanted an off-the-shoulder dress, so I was just thrilled when this dress arrived and it fit so well. Yay for successful online shopping!
Below, The Happy Couple!
We were basically dressed like we were going to our own wedding, but HEY, that’s what we loved about this evening. Both of us were dressed up to the max, and we felt amazing! Justin’s suit was also from a VERY affordable online store, and his fit him like a glove too. What a blessing!
Once we were all ready to go, it was already 6pm. We poured a quick drink, toasted to a good night, and then made our way down the the Grand Ballroom. It felt like we were celebrities! Who gets ready in a fancy hotel, gets to wear a beautiful dress, and then attend a fancy gala? It was amazing!
Before entering the hall, we gathered for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (–> FANCY! I totally had to look up the spelling for that word). We met with all of the staff, parents, and our invited guests, and enjoyed some time mingling and wandering around. The hors d’oeuvres were so tasty, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled when Justin placed a glass of bubbly into my hand.
We played a fun game that involved throwing dice. If you rolled a 1 or a 6, you could take one of the gifts on the table. The really entertaining part came when all of the gifts on the table were claimed. We were then allowed to walk over to other tables to steal gifts. All the while, we had no idea what was in the gifts because we weren’t supposed to unwrap them. Justin was being a real jokester, and he had my laughing uncontrollably! I love it when he acts silly!
Here’s a little secret about me: I have amazing luck in raffles and competitions. We bought a couple books of tickets, and we won two prizes. The first was a frame and a fresh vegetable delivery voucher. The second was a cake, made by the bakery located in the Shangri-La. Woohooo!
When the dance floor finally opened, we were all dying to get moving. Someone grabbed my camera and took these pictures of Justin and I. They are blurry, but I love them because they show us being silly, romantic, and having a blast!
We all had an amazing evening at the Shangri-La, and I am so glad that some of our friends were able to join us.
It was a really special event, where many magical memories were made.