Chinese Cuisine

As I did after I finished my posts from Iceland, I am doing a food wrap up of sorts for Beijing and Xi’an. Authentic Chinese cuisine is very different than what is served in American style Chinese restaurants. We knew it would be very different, but we were surprised just how different the food was. We rarely came across anything that our version of Chinese food even resembled. One thing we also learned is that Chinese cuisine varies greatly based on the area within China. Beijing is considered northern China and thus has a very different traditional cuisine compared to cities in the Southern part of the country. Xi’an food is more of a mix of multiple cultures due to it’s location at the start/end of the historic Silk Road.

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Temple of Heaven (China Day 8)

Our flight home from Beijing didn’t leave until early evening which gave us the entire morning and early afternoon for a bit more exploring. I had purposefully saved one of Beijing’s most popular attractions, the Temple of Heaven for the final day since it was a Sunday. Sunday mornings are known to be the best time to visit the immense park because it’s the day that has the most locals out playing badminton, cards, and a variety of other activities.

The Temple of Heaven was first built in 1420 and was where the Ming and Qing emperors held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. The park was continually expanded and eventually opened to the public in 1988. This was one of my favorite places we visited in Beijing and watching the locals enjoying their weekend morning was a lot of fun and brought a lot of smiles to our faces.

Locals enjoying a Sunday morning at the Temple of Heaven

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Rio 2016: Summary


While I have lots of other posts to get to before I even reach my posts on the Rio 2016 Olympics, here is a quick summary of first thoughts upon returning. It was an interesting trip of contrasting thoughts and opinions on the Olympics and Rio in general. While we loved the Olympics and everything we did in relation to them, our feelings on Rio were starkly different. Rio is very beautiful from far away, but up close and personal, it wasn’t my favorite place I’ve visited. It’s dirty and polluted and often comes with an odor. We found good food difficult to come by and didn’t have a lot of must see attractions besides the commonly visited ones.

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Photo of the (yester)Day: Last event

Last event of the Olympics for us was badminton. Having never really watched badminton before, it was quite fun. Sad to be headed home though. 

Photo of the Day: Sunset

Had an awesome tour of Rio today and took a break from watching Olympics. Ended with a gorgeous sunset on Sugarloaf. 

Photo of the day(s): Food Tour and Brazil Volleyball

Went on an amazing food tour in Rio yesterday that culminated with passion fruit caprinhas and today ended with Brazil volleyball. 

Photo of the Day(s)

Had a few long days so forgot to upload these. So many memories made here. 

Photo of the (yester)day: Sunset 

Sunset over Ipanema 

How to Plan a trip to the Olympics

One of my must do things has always included going to a Summer Olympics. I’ve always loved the Olympics, heck I did a couple school projects on the history of the Olympic Games during Middle School and High School. So when Chicago was in the running for the 2016 Games, my husband and I decided if they got the bid then we would totally go (it’s about a 5-6 hour drive from our house). But then Rio won the bid and we figured, why not still go? Rio’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit and yes, the Olympics will make it a complete mad house, but still, why not? Fast forward several years, and a couple friends of ours are totally on board with going to the 2016 Olympics also, so we wait patiently for information to be announced. It wasn’t always easy to get the information, so I figured I’d get a blog post together on how to plan a trip to the Olympics (or at least how we did it).

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Photo of the Day: Yumi

Said goodbye to Yumi as we head south to Rio. She’s going to miss us but thanks to Barkbox she can celebrate with Olympic themed toys. 

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