Monday, July 25, 2011

The Dragon Boat Races that Weren't, Yet Again.

We had thought that we'd miss going to Chicago for the dragon boat races this year as I had to work and there wasn't anyone to cover for me. Luckily for me, my coworker's plans were canceled due to extreme heat, and he volunteered to work for me. I called Kevin right away to see if he still wanted to go. YES! I rushed home from work, packed, made some phone calls to tell the other adoptive families that we're coming, and find out where to meet up. I think we broke a family record to be able to pack and get out the door in only an hour.

Hannah slept nearly all the way to Chicago. It was a blessing not to hear, "Where are we going? How we know where to go? Which way? How we get there?" on this multiple hour trip. I Pricelined and got a great rate at a downtown hotel, and we went out for some Greek salad and Giordano's pizza. Mmmm! Hannah tasted the anchovies on the salad and remarked, "I can't like that." Uhhh... I did not taste the anchovies on the salad, and I can't like that either!

Friday night there were some pretty bad thunderstorms that quickly put down several inches of rain. This caused flooding on the Chicago river, and the dragon boat races were canceled due to flooding for the second year in a row, but we still had plans to meet up for lunch with several Taiwan adoptive families. Our little family went to Chinatown for breakfast and ordered a box of buns from one of the many Chinese bakeries along Wentworth Avenue. Kevin likes egg and ham best. Hannah does well with a hot dog bun. I want to taste them all!

We did a little shopping, and can always find interesting things. My buys were two pairs of Chinese brocade shoes for Hannah for only $9 each, several pairs of hair sticks for $1-2 each, a book about the dragon boat races at the Pui Tak Center Chinese Christian bookstore, and a package of sour green beans made in Taiwan. The best find was found in a cardboard box inside one of the Chinese groceries. I spied the spikes of pink and green and knew that's dragon fruit! We've only had dragon fruit in Taiwan and wish we could find it near home. They are so beautiful, and taste a lot like kiwi... just don't make you pucker so much.

Lunch at Lao Beijing was wonderful, as always. We dined on pot stickers, Dan Dan noodles, orange chicken, vegetables, and some kind of delicious spicy lamb that the other family at our table ordered.

Before kids, I was really good at taking photos of our food BEFORE dinner. Now, I'm grabbing chop sticks out of little ones' hands when she starts using them like a sword, keeping her occupied when she's really hungry and wants to know where the food is, and preventing red punch from being spilled all over me, the table cloth, and others at our table. All I've got are photos of our leftovers and my empty plate!

dinner table

my empty plate

The fun really started when the kids were winding down with their dinners. Several parents gave their kids their cell phones to play with. There were little hands holding iPhones everywhere playing Angry Birds and snapping photos of other kids. My favorite photos are of Hannah and Miss E taking turns photographing each other with my phone. They were so sweet!


After dinner we attempted to take a group photo. This is the best I could do. The kids had just been cooped up in the restaurant for two hours, it was really hot, and they were ready to jump up and down and run off some steam.

2011 gathering of Taiwan adoptive families

My favorite thing about the whole day happened during the group photos. S, the boy all the way to the right in the green and navy striped shirt, jumped up, pretended to have a microphone in hand, and started jamming to music that no one else could hear. He hopped all over his stage while we parents put our hands in the air shouting his name and egging him on. It was hilarious! Love that kid. Love that three of these kiddos all lived together in the same baby house at the same time, and now live only a few hours away from each other. Lots of blessings crammed all together for a photo on a hot summer day!

Had to have some boba tea and shaved ice drinks before our departure, of course.

heart that boba tea

And a dash and splash in Millennium Park's Crown Fountain.

dash and splash - Crown Fountain

the chase at Crown Fountain

I'm so thankful that we were able to make this trip work at the last minute. It's less than three weeks until our big gathering of Taiwan adoptive families in Texas. So excited to meet lots of mamas and kiddos that I've come to know through pictures and phone calls!


  1. I cannot believe the races were canceled again!! What rotten luck!! I'm glad you got to enjoy each other anyway, and I'm jealous that we weren't there. We hope to come again next year!! Great pics!!

  2. Sorry to hear the dragon boat races were cancelled. I love seeing all of those Taiwan cuties together and can't wait to finally meet sweet Hannah and her awesome parents in Dallas. Now that will be a challenge to get all of those munchkins together for a group photo!!

  3. We started going to the Dragon Boat Festival before Hannah came home as an exercise in learning the culture.

    Now it's a good backdrop to staying connected to our friends and enjoying watching the kids play.

    Seeing the boats race is really just an excuse to go, now. :)


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