Work ▹ Coffee ▹ Walk
Oh gosh… I am such a lucky wife and mother! Sometimes, when I go to the downtown park – my favorite place for shoots – Justin and Eli will come with me. It’s not that I need them to come with me, but I really am soooo very happy when they do. I love knowing that we are all in the same park during that time. Even though I’m working, and they are out of sight, it just brings me such joy. The truth of the matter is that while I am shooting, it is hard to think about ANYTHING else except what I am doing at that very moment. I have roughly an hour to get good pictures (sometimes less if there are toddlers involved) so there isn’t much time for day-dreaming!
Last Monday, while I did a shoot these two soaked up some sun and enjoy this playground…
Look at him running towards Mama! I love the sweet look on his face when he sees me, and then starts racing over to me. His run is still a little reckless, and often involves stumbles. But he is so much more steady now than he was a year ago. Goodness, he has grown so much! Nevertheless, we cringe whenever he runs really fast. Funny how you can only watch, pray, and hope that they don’t get hurt. You can, however, only hold them with an open hand because they are going to run, they are going to fall, and they are going to get hurt.
It seems we are starting a tradition, whereby we walk one block from the park to a beautiful cafe called Maan Coffee, and then take a long walk home if the weather is good.
“Maan Coffee (漫咖啡) is a chic Korean cafe chain specializing in waffle and toast. The decoration is an eclectic mix, with lanterns on trees, chandeliers, vintage chairs, and rustic furniture, etc, which is in keeping with the style of other branches.
The name Maan is transliterated in Chinese as “漫” which suggests leisure and being romantic, which is indeed the vibe that the place provides.”
~ Source of Quote (Check out this website for some amazing pictures of other Maan Coffe Cafes)
Sooo many choices all displayed in these glass-covered shelves. Eli chose a pita-type bread that resembled a pizza.
We assumed that he would want a waffled, but I don’t think that he recognized them. They were loaded with toppings. We haven’t yet got Eli gluten-free, but we moving towards that. Justin and I have VERY few options when we eat out in China. Trying to be healthy here is no easy feat, but we are doing really well. It’s really all about knowing where to go, and where not to go, when you want a meal. At cafes like this – which we love because of the vibe – we just stick to the coffee. They don’t even have cream (that isn’t pumped full of sugar) so I have switched to Iced Americanos.
The teddy bears at Maan Coffee are just so cute – and really exciting for Eli. Once you have placed your order at the cashier, you are handed a Teddy bear. All of the teddy bears that they have in the cafe are a unique color. You simply take your teddy bear to any table in the cafe, and settle in. The waiting staff will come around, looking for the appropriately colored teddy, and serve you your drinks and food.
It is a pretty cute system!
Look at that pouty-face. FYI – he’s faking that in order to be silly! He does this a lot, and then starts giggling afterwards.
He definitely gets his goofy ways from his Mama.
When Eli started to look (and act) tired – i.e crawling along the couches, and not listening to us, we knew that it was time to go. When we got outside and saw how gorgeous it was, we decided that a walk along the coastline was definitely in order! Noether of us had eaten though, so we weren’t sure how far we wanted to go. We have, however, don’t this three-hour walk a number of times, and we love it very much. Our initial thought was to just walk until we wanted to catch a taxi. We made it all the way home on foot, but we were STARVING by the time we reached Laoshan!
We attached all my photography-gear to the stroller and made our way towards the beach.
Less than a block later, Eli was asleep!
Qingdao Coastal Boardwalk
We loooove this wooden boardwalk that runs along the coastline of Qingdao. It is 42 km long, which really makes me want to run the length of it before we move from this city. I don’t even care that it won’t be an official marathon. The thought that I would ran this marathon-length boardwalk that I have walked, and ran, so very many times, is a very tempting thought for me!
We entered a little area of the coastline that we had never seen before. Usually there is a lot of traffic here, so we follow the road for this portion of the coast. On this day, the road was wide open so we went in to look around. Thankfully, there was no dead-end, and we got to see some new places!
We have never crossed that bridge, or even been this close to that large gold statue. However, since we always have our stroller when we come along here. It might be something to add to the Qingdao Bucket list though (oh boy – that list need a MAJOR update!).
Another amazing morning with the family. I am so incredibly thankful for my husband and son, who follow me to shoots. It makes me so happy that all three of us love the same things – there aren’t too many people (or children) who enjoy a three hour walk along the oceanside. We do. I love us!