This past weekend we spent in Chongming on a BASF sponsored trip. Chongming is one of three islands in Shanghai and has many beautiful parks. Lily quickly made a new friend, the girls spent the rest of the weekend together. We started our trip at the Chonging Yingzhou Park which is right on the water. There was a nice breeze and locals walked around with crabs to sell. The kids were fascinated by the crabs and were sorry to leave them behind. Charlie had a fabulous time running around but that came to an end when he fell into a very muddy puddle. Good thing I brought him an extra outfit. After the park it was lunch. The food was not a highlight of the weekend. It was all very traditional Chinese and there were few dishes that I found I liked. To be fair I did try many new dishes, but most were just too strange to my pallet.
After lunch we went to the Xisha Wetland which is the only one in Shanghai with a natural tide and woodland beach. All along the walkways are little holes that are home to the crabs. We were given a bamboo pole with a metal ring on the end and were told to try out luck at catching crabs. The kids thought this was tons of fun and we all had a go at it with varying success, I seemed to have the best. It all came to and end though when Charlie got a bit too enthusiastic and broke our pole. We continued on the walkways and watched others catch crabs and enjoyed the beautiful park. The crabs are a part of the local cuisine as are the small snails that cover the beaches. Even if I liked crab and snail, it seemed like way too much work for way too little reward. It was very hot and humid at the park, no more breeze from the water unfortunately. I got the kids an ice cream, I think Charlie ended up wearing most of his.
Sunday we went to the Dongping National Forest Park. This is definitely worth a second trip. The park was beautiful and had lots of things to do, unfortunately with the rain we ended up taking a short train ride and walking a bit before we decided to sit it out till lunch. We did all try a local type of bamboo that you chew but don't eat. It is a little sweet and reminded me a little of corn on the cob. Charlie didn't like it but Lily did and she had fun chewing away. Despite the heat, humidity, and rain we still had a good time. I think we will have to go back in the spring or fall and spend more time at the parks.