Wednesday, March 19, 2014


So... I have been to a lot of cities but I think Hangzhou (Hong-joe) tops them all! Although Boston, San Diego and San Francisco all come in as close seconds. This place is beautiful! Pictures don't really do it justice. There is so so much to do in this city! It has the perfect mix of ancient culture, nature and busy city life. The whole city is centered around the gorgeous West Lake. Everything is upscale and clean. It was so nice to spend the last 5 days in this city with much much less pollution and perfect weather! Our first vacation was a huge success!

As I mentioned before, we were supposed to go to Zhangjiajie and see the famous Avatar mountains and Tianmen mountain. Plans changed when we completely missed our 20 hour train! It was super disappointing and for a while we thought we either wouldn't get refunds or we wouldn't have a vacation at all! That was the worst feeling in the world, frantically running through the train station with our luggage and trying to understand the Chinese people as they told us where to go. We won't ever miss a train again! Good news is that we got most of our money back in a refund and we also were able to buy tickets to the amazing city of Hangzhou that was only a few hours away and super cheap! The train left about 15 minutes later. Things worked out so well and we were all super happy about it :) We agreed that it happened for a reason.

Before we even missed the train, we stopped for an hour in Shanghai and that was super exciting! I could have died of happiness! I love new places. We walked up and down East Nanjing Road. It was amazing!

The next 4 days were filled with delicious food, a festival, super cool hostels, foreign friends, pictures, a Pagoda, nighttime walks, riding bikes, dancing, amazing outdoor markets, ancient ruins, hiking, tea museum, Buddhist temple and the zoo. It was so so so much fun! I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. We were having the time of our lives! I love everyone in our group and I think we all got along really well which made traveling easier. We did the perfect mix of activities between being active and relaxing. It was just awesome.

Over and over I had the thought that I could live in hostels for the rest of my life and be the happiest girl. Seriously though, anyone down to go backpacking through Europe?! The first hostel we stayed in was like something from a movie. I was so happy to be there... it was decked with bare hanging light bulbs, doors covered in writing, rustic signs and lots of wood with pops of color. (Cassie: it was like mucho mucho). We met tons of Chinese people on our way to, from and around the city. A lot of them tell us that they have never seen an American before.. but they tell us in almost perfect English. It's crazy! We were like celebrities to them. On one of our trains we ran up and down the aisles making music videos. It was so much fun :)

Me at the flower festival

View from the balcony at the hostel

Peanut noodles every day... so good!

Sunset over West Lake...

Me and the cutest little girl that wanted a picture with me!

I took this for you Ethan...

Fun day at the zoo...

Today it was back to the regular schedule but we only have to teach 2 days this week and then we leave on Friday for Shanghai again! We'll be there until Sunday night for the church YSA conference. I can't wait!


  1. Glad you are having fun! Haha funny pics. Post some mucho mucho hostel pics please. Miss you✌ cass

  2. The pictures of the lake look soo amazing!! In jealous!

  3. Thanks :) Miss you too Cass! Yeah it was beautiful there...

  4. Love scrolling these pictures of your China adventure! and I especially love all of the nature pics... who knew China was so scenic! I want to visit now :) Miss you and am so happy you are having such a great time. Can't wait to hear stories in person at the lake house!

  5. Tay! I'm so glad you enjoy reading! I love seeing your insta updates every now and then too... you should definitely come visit ;) I just can't wait until summer! Thanks for the support... love you so much!