Considering the immensity of Shanghai, today is another full day in the city. Even with two full days of non-stop sightseeing, we know we’re only scraping the surface. So today we’re up at 5am to catch the sunrise over the famous Bund River cityscape. The city really never stops; we find markets in full swing, more tai chi, kites being flown, bikes being ridden, and a whollop of August heat and humidity being enjoyed. We stopped for Dan to have a final fitting of his wedding ensemble, and then were off to Yu Yuan Garden & Bazaar. The garden part was a richly preserved historical sight – a very peaceful oasis in the middle of a bustling city. The Bazaar part was just that – bizarre! A vibrant shopping area crowed end to end with people out to see and be seen. A stop for a late lunch which includes one more fun photo of Jody (the group-elected food taster). No trip to China would be complete without taking in a Chinese acrobat performance, so we do! Finally a farewell to Shanghai at the train station. We’re on the overnight Orient Express, off to Huangshan to visit the famous Yellow Mountains!
Today we’re set to experience a full day of Shanghai, with the first event being up by 7am to experience the morning market. Vendors were already selling the day’s catch, and large groups were filling the streets with their morning tai chi – and in some cases, impromptu Badminton games. We toured the city, hitting a surprisingly hip artist’s village, then took in the cityscape of Shanghai from the 85th floor of the Grand Hyatt skyscraper. The French concession area was next, a quick break from the heat back in the hotel, and then off to an amazing dinner experience. It was Tom and Brian’s birthday, so in the true Chinese tradition, a “snake-based delicacy” was ordered for them by Dan. I’ll leave it at that – but I think it is telling when you see SuSu’s expression below. And keep in mind she is the most Chinese of all of us!
Nothing is more soothing after a cozy 14 hour flight than to relax on a Friday night in the worlds’ most populated city, Shanghai. Dan and SuSu have been planning this adventure for them themselves and their guests for over a year, and here we go! After everyone got settled in their rooms, we headed out to experience Shanghai by night along the waterfront of the Bund River. It was a great way to “meet” the city. The crowds, the neon lights, the car horns honking, the traffic, the street vendors, the families, and of the course the Bund River were all an excellent and chaotic welcoming committee.
I’ve been very lucky recently in getting to work with such great couples. On Sunday, we got the honor of meeting Laura, Scott and their puppy Nala for some engagement photos at Crissy Field here in San Francisco. For this shoot, there were no prior referrals or connections – Laura found me purely thru Google. And am I lucky she did, since they are a couple that have that special “it” – that strong bond between each other that is so wonderful to see. We aimed for the evening “magic hour” and spent the last few minutes of the weekend not only throwing the ball around for Nala, but capturing some great shots and watching the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge. Their summer ’09 wedding stands to be just as beautiful! Congrats you two! (and Nala too!)