Thursday, January 13, 2011

Copied from Wednesday, December 8, 2010 Travel Blog

An interesting Chinese meal - "hot pot"

Sunday, December 5th
This morning we got an early start with Lyric waking us up at 6:00 am.  Our sweet girl will lay in her crib and whimper.  She won’t sit up or call out but just lays there.  I greet her with a smile and hold her close.  She is not a happy camper after she wakes up.  It takes a little while to get a smile out of her!
Welcome to our hotel - the Ramada!
We had another good breakfast at the hotel buffet.  I’m sure the staff has to be amazed at how much juice and yogurt my family can put away!
We were able to skype with my mom and dad and Kevin’s mom and Larry today.  It was the first time they got to see their new granddaughter, and I think they enjoyed seeing her.  Skype wasn’t working as well as we would have liked but they still saw some of her and CJ, TJ and LA.
We were expecting to stay in our hotel room all day today because there wasn’t anything planned for us, but Vicki called and asked if we wanted to go eat rice noodles.  We said yes right away and put off getting our Papa John’s pizza until another day.
At the restaurant we learned they were out of the rice noodles so we had to have what is called “hot pot”.  We placed our order and Vicki was going to leave us alone to eat but we had no idea what we were doing so we asked her to stay.  She also offered to take and hold Lyric while we ate, but I told her that Lyric was hungry also so I kept holding her.  Some places we visit offer a booster seat or a high chair but most don’t.  This place wasn’t one, but it's good for me to hold Lyric while she is learning about having a mama.
Laurel is helping Lyric while I snap some shots.
With a hot pot meal you sit at a round table and there is a hole in the middle of the table.  In the hole is a heating element to heat a pot of soup when it is placed in it.  We ordered meatballs, mushrooms, potatoes, lettuce, lotus root, and pork.  For a drink, we had pu-erh tea, which Kevin thought I wouldn’t like but I really enjoyed it.
Lotus root is the white vegetable.  The pork is in the back, right corner.
The pork we ordered came first.  It came on a plate and we all looked at it in surprise.  I expected it to be added to the bowl of broth in the center of the table, but Vicki told us we were supposed to use the plastic gloves that were provided to grab a chunk of the pork onto our own plates.  Then, we were supposed to eat the pork off the bone.  Hmm… this was the type of meat that we would put in water to make a broth, maybe a soup.  I didn’t see a lot of meat on it, but there were a lot of bones, fat, tendons, etc.  I tried it, to be polite… but ended up feeding it to Lyric.  She really enjoyed it!  Oh, and you use a straw to drink the broth or maybe the juice from the meat.  I’m still not sure we were doing it right.
The Chinese use straws here a lot.  They use them to drink from cans of pop and anything else that you would drink from.  It did seem a bit different drinking the broth with a straw from our bowls :)
After we tried eating the meat it was time to add the meatballs to the broth so they could cook.  The waitress brought out some raw meat and we were supposed to make it into meatballs and add it to the broth to cook.  Well, I guess Kevin wasn’t doing it right so the waitress came over and made the meatballs for us :)
The waitress is making the meatballs in this picture.  Kevin and Tyler don't look too sure about all of it!
After the meatballs cooked we added the potatoes, mushrooms, lettuce and lotus root and let that cook.  We ate most of the soup but left the plate full of the meat.  When our driver came up to get us he laughed at the plate of meat and asked Vicki why we didn’t eat it.  We said we were picky, which is very true!
Back at the hotel we decided to go for a walk and take pictures.  We got some good ones of the different vehicles here in China.  We also went into a small store and bought 2 more Snickers bars and some other chocolate to try.  Then we stopped at the bakery and bought some more bread items to have with dinner.
We ate our bread and chocolate and watched Toy Story 3 together while all laying on the bed.  At first Lyric didn’t want to b/c we turned out the lights and she thought we were putting her down for a nap.  But then we would laugh at the TV and she realized it wasn’t nap time.  She sat with us through the whole movie – most of the time in Tyler’s lap!
Lyric thought this was great fun!
We played a lot in the hotel today.  We played play dough, colored, and looked at books.  Carissa also put Lyric in her little bathtub and pushed her around in it – she loved it!  Now we set her in it when she eats and when she plays with the play dough – keeps the room cleaner!
At bedtime I brushed Lyric’s teeth and had her kiss everyone goodnight.  As soon as she realizes what is happening she starts to cry.  I hold her in my arms in the darkened bedroom with a blanket on her while she cries.  I try to comfort her but I know that she will fall asleep quicker if I put her in her crib.  I don’t want to do this b/c I know she will rock herself, but it's what she knows so I laid her down while she was still crying.  I kept my hand on her belly and sang gently to her but she soon started to rock.  In just another minute or two she was fast asleep.  I stayed a bit longer and sang and then quietly left the room.  I pray that she will be able to accept our comforting her someday soon and that the rocking will stop.
Tomorrow we will go outside to take more pictures and will try to have Papa John’s (yes, there is Papa John’s pizza in China!) delivered.
Till next time,
One view from our hotel room.
Another view from our hotel room.

Out and about on the town!

Those men are playing some kind-of game.

Here is a little cutie with his split pants :)

I really enjoyed seeing the different vehicles!

I believe this worker makes money recycling the cardboard.


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