lunch + friends + flowers

One of our first students we had upon our arrival in China, was a boy named Alex. His mom didn’t speak English at all, except maybe ‘hello’, and her daughter was a student of ours too. Over the past year and a half we’ve gotten to know them as well as we can with the now only slight language barrier. I count the daughter (Tina) as one of my friends, and the kids love playing with Alex. So when they heard we were leaving China for good, they made plans with us for a lunch outing.
They had planned on a picnic of some kind, but of course the weather decided to have Monday be the one rainy day in the middle of sunny days. So we ended up having lunch at a restaurant we’ve been to before actually, ‘Goose Island Restaurant.’ Some name huh?

It just happened to be Christian’s birthday, and they insisted on bringing a HUGE cake, and they even brought him a remote control car. And by “they” I mean the mother and her daughter. Alex was in school that day which was sad, but we still get to see him a few times before we head back for classes!


This cake thankfully wasn’t decorated with tomatoes or filled with red bean like previous cakes have been …

As usual, they went all out and ordered dish after dish, until they were stacked on top of each other. But eventually dishes were emptied, and though it didn’t quite look it, we had made a very large dent in it all by the end.

The potatoes covered in a honey/sugar glaze were Gracie’s favorite, and Lily was loving the sweet bread/pineapple … things. (aka the stuff on the red plates in the picture above. Eating out is always an adventure (especially when you’re not the one ordering) but this meal is actually one I ate at. Which was nice for a change.

After we finished, we went for a little walk while the dark clouds above us threatened to spill their contents down on us. And it was gooorrgeeooussss. We all just kept saying how beautiful it all looked, and why hadn’t we seen the pretty parts of China before? We wandered dirt paths, stepping stones, and took all the pictures you could possibly take.





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We walked by a handful of photographers shooting the flowers, but as they started seeing us, they ended up snapping some pics of us taking pictures of the flowers. 😂 It was so nice to just walk around and hang out with people we genuinely like and have fun with.
At one point the boys attempted to climb one of the rocks scattered around, and because it was so big, Christian asked Tina if it was fake. “Of course not, it’s a real stone! Why would we have a fake one?” She laughed and we did too, but more at the fact that in Southern California it probably would’ve been a fake rock.


At the end of our outing, we split up into cars to head back. Everyone was in a car until it was just Tina, Spencer, and I left. We had a car waiting for us, and the driver was there apparently, but he had gotten out and gone for a walk in the flowers just before we went to meet him. So we stood there in the cold, hoping it wouldn’t rain. The man was very nice and apologized when he met us, but for about 40 minutes we stood there coming up with stories as to why he wasn’t there.
And I think the cold might have gotten to us or something because we were kind of cracking ourselves up. 🙈

Tina suggested that we were going to have to flee the country. “You know, because movies always start like this. Something ordinary is happening, and then someone disappears. Now we just need Jacob to call us and tell us to run and not go back home!” Spencer asked why we would have to run, and she answered, “We don’t know. The phone will cut out unexpectedly and we will just have to run.”

She kinda nailed every zombie like movie right there. Not gonna lie.


Tina on the phone to the driver, asking if he got lost. 😂

In the midst of the stress of packing everything up, and just the sadness of having to leave, it was really nice to kind of be forced to have a day out.

Maybe it’s just me, but a day out that consists of food, laughing a lot, and just looking at flowers all day is a day well spent.

4 thoughts on “lunch + friends + flowers

  1. I love flowers and I don’t see bees, so maybe the cold and possible rain kept them away. I don’t know when you will be heading back but have a safe trip, preferably uneventful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your adventures with us from China. Always enjoy your writings and thanks for the beautiful photos! You are a great writer….always feel like I’m right there with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your writing and your insight into other peoples thoughts. There will always be another adventure no matter where you are. Cherish the memories you have of China. Love you, Gma Elaine

    Liked by 1 person

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