Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yantai Thanksgiving

"'Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
And all through the foreign teachers' building
Not a teacher was stirring
Except the four of us, who were killing time before our midnight train to Yantai."

So began our Thanksgiving weekend. We caught the night train and arrived in the beautiful city of Yantai on Friday morning, where our American friends greeted us with an American breakfast. Mmmm.

For lunch, we went to a place the Yantai team calls the "Happy Restaurant," which faces the sea and has American food. I think you can guess why it's so happy.

With Elizabeth, my host for the weekend and friend from training, enjoying the seaside behind the happiness restaurant

Now I will mention my only non-food-related item of the weekend: After lunch, we walked down the boardwalk to Yantai Hill, where the European embassies and settlements were located after the Opium War. Yantai became one of the port cities that was forced to open in the unequal treaties that followed the war, and many people from Germany, England, and other countries settled there. One highlight was seeing Hudson Taylor's former church.


Chinese rose, European building

Some of the explorers on the Holly Path

We went back to the campus. Sara and Jess and I peeled two dozen apples for the next day's pies. We only meant to peel 12, but we got carried away comparing our peeling techniques and pretty soon there was enough apple to fill a huge wash basin, or approximately three pies.

Excessive apple peeling in Liz's living room

For supper, we ate Joni's homemade chili.

The next day, we had more homemade delights for breakfast, including Liz's pumpkin-chocolate-chips, Alan & Connie's granola, and Tarah's banana bread.

Then came the big meal. We were all VERY happy that team Yantai had managed to secure turkey, because they are hard to find in China!

Sue with the turkey, baking to perfection in the restaurant oven

The restaurant kitchen where our two turkeys were baked, because their ovens were the only ones big enough. (My oven is the size of my microwave, and team Yantai's are no bigger.)

Elizabeth welcomes the group

Some of us walked off the meal by heading up the hill to the 80th anniversary park the school just built.

We had a Thanksgiving service together, played some cards, and ate more food. Then we had some cookies and went to bed.

On Sunday, we took our 8-hour bus ride home. All in all, it was a great weekend. I loved seeing friends and seeing a new part of Shandong Province. And the best part is, I'll never need to eat again.

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