Summer 19′ – Home, Waco, and MLB

Hey there!

Long time no see! I took a bit of a blog hiatus this spring and summer, because Taylor and I were busy and I was soaking up every second in America with our friends and family. The two of us were hopping all over the place this summer, so it’s a bit confusing to keep up with. Here’s a breakdown of what went down during our crazy summer vacation!

I started my time in South Carolina for a bachelorette party in Charleston. IMG_0049Untitled design-5

…and I spent a lot of quality time time with Maybelle! She’s living her best life with her grandma on the farm. ❤ Untitled design-4img_1238.jpg

Afterwards, I flew to Lancaster for 6 weeks. Thankfully, my parents let me invade their space for a majority of the summer. 🙂 IMG_0394.jpgUntitled design-3IMG_0308IMG_0946img_0177.jpg

I went to my best friend Katie’s beautiful wedding and watched her marry her soulmate, Jon. I was also reunited with my best college gals! This night was filled with loads of dancing and reminiscing, which is exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I left the wedding feeling so much joy for Katie and Jon, and thankful for sweet friendships that the Lord blessed me with years ago.  IMG_0269Untitled designIMG_0234

For a long weekend in July, I flew to Waco with Lindsey and Lacie for a girls trip to Magnolia! We chose the perfect time to visit, because it was the annual warehouse sale weekend. The sales were so good that Lacie and I had to buy an additional checked bag to get all our things home. Ha! If you want a separate post on Waco, let me know. DSC_6096.jpgUntitled design-2.jpgimg_0614.jpgIMG_0464

After the Waco trip, I flew back to Lancaster for the last half of my time there. During the time, I celebrated my dad’s birthday, my 27th birthday, welcomed my best friend Grace’s new baby boy into the world, and enjoyed my final days in my adolescent home. My parent are selling their beautiful home in a few weeks and building something much more manageable within a few minutes away. I’m excited for the change, but it’s always bitter sweet saying goodbye to a place you’ve known as home for so long. DSC_6118.jpgimg_0988.jpgimg_0406.jpgUntitled design-7IMG_0439

At the end of those 6 weeks in Lancaster, I flew back to South Carolina to meet Taylor and the China MLB team! They were playing in a few tournaments here in the States, and stopped at Taylor’s house for a team cookout! This was one of the coolest days of my life. It was surreal to have both of our worlds come together.DSC_6191_1DSC_6178.jpgIMG_1098DSC_6169DSC_6180

Taylor and I spent the next two weeks in South Carolina jumping between family and watching the China MLB team play in America!IMG_1185Untitled design-6

At the end of August, we parted ways again and I headed to Seattle for a cruise to Alaska and Taylor headed to LA for a mini vacation with the MLB staff. I will write a separate post about my Alaska trip! 🙂

At the very end of August, we flew back to China! 🙂

A Little Bit of Nothing

Hello there!

It’s been awhile seen I’ve sat down and written anything on the blog. I last wrote about our short trip to Xi’an, but that was weeks ago! I haven’t written anything since then because nothings been happening over here on our side of the world! We have a busy month up ahead, so I thought I’d throw together an update on the little bit of nothingness going on right now.IMG_8957IMG_9167.jpgIt was a struggle trying to come up with a list of things we’ve been doing, because we haven’t been doing anything fun or unique! Here’s 3 random things that have happened since we got back from Xi’an:

1. Taylor traveled to a neighboring city to work at a baseball tournament. There wasn’t much to do in the city he was in, so I stayed behind in Nanjing for a few days by myself. I met up with him at the end of his trip. Untitled design-2IMG_9069.JPG1

2. While Taylor was away, I planned a surprise birthday party for him! He turns 25 this month, but we’ll be traveling so we celebrated early. All our China friends met at KTV (karaoke) and we had a blast celebrating Taylor! ❤ IMG_9147img_9127.jpg

3. I started working again! I’m freelancing for a company that I’ve worked with in the past. I’m so thankful to have something of my own to do!2As I said, we haven’t been doing much over here! We’ve been working hard and preparing for a busy summer. Other than that, we’re alive and well. 🙂 We leave for Phoenix next week, where Taylor will be working with extended spring training for two weeks. While we’re in the states during that time, I’m flying to Chicago for 3 days to meet up with family! At the end of two weeks in the states, we’ll fly back to China together for one month. Then, I’ll fly back to the states at the end of June for the summer. I’ll be bouncing around between PA and SC! IMG_9180Our upcoming plans are a bit confusing, but I’m excited to be in the states for the summer! Stay tuned for some photos of our upcoming trips. 🙂

Thank’s for following along!

 

A Short Work Trip to Taiwan

Happy Sunday!

Taylor and I have been hanging out in Taiwan for the past couple weeks, and we just returned to Nanjing. We’re in the middle of figuring out some complicated Visa bits-and-pieces, so the two of us were flown to Taiwan for work purposes. This was our first time visiting Taiwan, and we had a great time.

Our flight out of Nanjing was super delayed, so we switched from a flight to Kaohsiung, to a flight to Taipei. Thankfully, it was only a short 2 hour flight. Once we arrived in the capital though, we had to take a 2 hour train ride south, to Kaohsiung, where we stayed for the next 10 days.1IMG_78482After breakfast each morning, Taylor got picked up at our hotel and headed to the school. While he was away, I would hang out at our hotel. I caught up on reading, worked on the blog, and watched TV. I’m not one to go out and about in a city I’ve never been to all by myself, so I didn’t do much.4IMG_78731During the evenings, we would eat dinner either around the hotel or downtown. Taiwan has some great night markets, which we spent one night exploring together.2We also found out that there was a Costco in Taiwan (PRAISE), so we had to go. The food menu was almost exactly the same as the American stores, so we ate dinner there for a little taste of home. We didn’t have our membership card on us, but I wish we did! I would’ve loved to stock up on snacks to take bake to China. 3IMG_7864We weren’t exactly tourists during our 10 day trip to Taiwan, but we’re thankful for the opportunity to see another country!IMG_7874I’m sure we’ll be back one day!

xoxo

Weekend in Beijing | Part 1

Taylor and I just got back from a weekend trip to Beijing!

As China residents, we’ve been dreaming about visiting this city together for a few months now. It’s so close, yet so far! Taylor had visited Beijing maybe 4 or 5 times before on his own, but I only visited for a few hours before my flight to Hawaii back in July. We waited until October to visit for a few reasons:

  1. It’s way less crowded. Tourists who travel to China can usually be found in Beijing and Shanghai during the summer months.
  2. The weather was much cooler, making it more enjoyable to walk around.
  3. We wanted to see the Great Wall of China while the leaves were transitioning.

With that being said, you should consider visiting Beijing during the Fall too! I’m so glad we waited. I think this is the best time to visit China in general.

We took a high speed train from Nanjing to Beijing Sunday night after Taylor got off work. We left at 7pm and arrived around 11pm. For some reason, the train station in Beijing wasn’t allowing anyone to exit through the taxi station so we were all pushed to the street. Our estimated DiDi (Chinese Uber) wait time was over 2 hours!! They also weren’t allowing Taxis to come to the street where everyone was standing in the cold?? #china In order to get to our hotel, we had to jump in a taxi with a complete stranger and pay him half the ride just to get out of the area. After driving for 15 minutes, we got out and tried ordering a DiDi again. Thankfully, we only waited 10 minutes this time.

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The next morning, we headed to the MLB China headquarters! We’d heard only good things about it, so we wanted to check it out ourselves. This was like a baseball lovers dream space!

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We had lunch with Tay’s boss before heading to the Beijing Zoo!

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It only cost 19RMB ($3) each to enter the zoo and see the panda exhibit! If you don’t want to see the panda’s, it’s even cheaper!

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After a few hours of walking around, we went to Tiananmen Square. It’s located in the center of Beijing and was built back in 1415 during the Ming dynasty. We had our photo taken in front of the entrance for 15RMB ($2.50) as a keepsake! 🙂 By the time we got to the square they were shutting things down, so we got to walk from the front gate to the back gate for free!

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One of the biggest reasons we enjoy coming to Beijing, is for the food! If you’re an American looking for comfort in China, then you HAVE TO check out Sanlitun. It’s a big western area and we love exploring here. We had dinner at The Local, which is Tay’s favorite! I ordered a hot spiced apple cider and the chicken parmesan sandwich. Both were amazing!!

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After devouring our dinner, we went next door to The Bookworm for drinks! This was the cutest place ever and I wish there was something like it around us in Nanjing. As a bookworm and all things cozy myself, this was like heaven to me! It’s a library/bar/cafe! We each ordered a whiskey sour and skimmed books about China. I could literally spend all day here.

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We topped off the night with some ice cream from Cow’s! I was in the mood for something extra sweet, so I ordered the birthday cake flavor and Taylor ordered the peanut butter cup!

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We crashed early once we got back to our hotel because we had to be up early the next day. We were traveling to the Great Wall of China in the morning! Stay tuned for part 2 of our Beijing trip! xoxo

 

 

Quiet Time in The City

I wish I had something super exciting to share in this post, but to be honest we haven’t been been doing anything wild and crazy these last few days! We had plans of going to X’ian last weekend to see the Terra-Cotta Soldiers, but we just wanted to chill and enjoy our city instead. Another huge MLB tournament started today, so Taylor will be working basically every single day for the entire month of July so we wanted to get some relaxation in our own city. August will probably be busy as well, so we’re laying low and trying to stay cool.

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Since we’ve been laying low in the city, we’ve been eating at all our favorite restaurants. One night, while we were eating at our favorite “Mexican” restaurant, we saw a young couple that looked about our age. Tay went over to say “hello,” and they invited us to join them for dinner. We gladly joined and ended up making some new friends! They were very friendly and are from the South! We went to dinner with them again the following night at an Irish place they recommended. It was tasty, so we’ve added it to our list of great restaurants.

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The weather is extremely hot and humid right now. I think it’s way hotter and way more humid than anywhere we’ve ever lived before. Not to be dramatic or anything, but the humidity is so thick it’s suffocating. It’s also China’s rainy season, which really affects Taylor’s work schedule.

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Taylor and I decided to explore the city by bike the other day and it was awesome! It’s such a good way for us to stay active and see more of the city without taking the metro or taxi. The bikes are owned by the city, and you rent them through your phone. It’s a little hit or miss, because you unlock the bike and can leave it literally wherever you want. It’s nice because you never have to return the bike to a certain drop-off location, but you just never know where you’ll find a bike. There’s so many of them though, that they’re not difficult to find. We paid $2 each and can now unlock and ride any bike for the next 30 days.

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Our translator took us to the Jining Temple the other day and it was beautiful! He said it was his favorite temple here, so he was able to give us our own private tour. 🙂 It was fascinating to learn about his beliefs.

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We also had our first KTV experience! KTV is Chinese Karaoke and it’s a BIG DEAL here. This is their way of relaxing and having a good time on a Saturday night. It’s so different from America. You rent a big room with all your friends and take turns singing whatever song you want! Nobody stands in front of an audience, and you’re basically singing while everyone is doing something else! 🙂 There is no pressure to sing well and it’s so much fun! We can’t wait to go back!

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This is about all we have going on at the moment! We’re enjoying our time here, but working hard to power through these long days of baseball season!

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Talk to y’all soon!

Working in Nanjing

Good afternoon!

Taylor and I are packing up and getting ready to head to the train station, because we have a work conference in Anji, China! Typically, everyone meets in Shanghai for the conference, but since we all work in big cities they wanted to get us out and into the mountains. It’s going to be a nice Marriott with a golf course and beautiful mountain views so I’m not mad about it! 🙂

Most people know that Taylor and I moved to China for work, but not many people understand what exactly we’re doing here. Whenever we get asked about what we do by people here, they automatically assume we’re teachers. While we do technically work at a school, we aren’t teachers. (*warning: a lot of baseball pictures from the international tournament up ahead)

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Taylor is employed with Major League Baseball (MLB) as an athletic trainer at one of their development centers in China. There are 3 development centers in this country. One in the city of Nanjing, Wuxi, and Changzhou. The MLB has a team of boys aging from 14-18 and they are divided by age and skill into each center. The hope is that these kids are developed and able to sign with a Major League team. If they don’t sign with a MLB team, the hope is that they can attend an American college to play baseball, where they continue devloping. Taylor is the head athletic trainer here at the Nanjing location. This location has the oldest and most skilled boys in the program. He’s at every practice and game, making sure all the players are healthy and ready to go. Taylor really enjoys baseball and traveling, so he’s basically in heaven!

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Before moving to China, I wasn’t planning on finding a job right away. Taylor’s schedule is pretty travel heavy, so I didn’t want to be tied down with a completely different schedule. However, before we left, his amazing cousin asked if I’d do some social media marketing for them remotely! This has been the perfect fit for us! It gives me something to work on during the day, and I can still travel around with Tay! 🙂

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Our work weeks are different here. Taylor works Wednesday through Sunday and has Monday and Tuesday’s off. I work every day, but it’s all remote. The two of us will usually wake up around 8:30 every morning to get ready for the day, walk to Starbucks, get in a taxi, and be at work by 10. Once we get to the school, we do a little work then head to lunch at 11:30 before the students eat. We get lunch every day, whether we’re on the road or not. The Staff at the Nanjing MLB office has been extremely welcoming, and they allow me to work from a desk in Taylor’s office every day. While Taylor is working with the players, I get all my own work done! We leave the office as early as 4 and as late as 6 for the day. Typically, the team plays a game on Saturday and Sundays, so those hours are a little different!

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I was telling Taylor the other day, that our first week here and our fourth week here feel like an eternity apart. I was having endless anxiety attacks and couldn’t see myself staying, but I’ve slowly started to fall in love with the country and the people. The rewards for being here are so much greater than either of us expected. We both work with the most amazing people, and they take care of our every need.

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This past week, Taylor was the athletic trainer for the 16U Team China team that hosted an international tournament. The winner advanced to the USA, but sadly we didn’t win. It was just neat to see the other Asian countries, and Taylor working for Team China.

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We feel extremely lucky to be here, and we’re enjoying every minute of it! This weekend away in Anji will be refreshing and exciting. Stay tuned for pictures from that trip! 🙂