Saturday, September 20, 2014

Stuffing Our Faces In Shanghai

I admit it. I am 100% guilty of being a blog neglector lately.
Do I have a good excuse? Yes! I was eating, sleeping, and watching Netflix! Nope.
I do want to document how Curtis and I spent our very first wedding anniversary, though.
So that's what this here little post is gonna be about.

As I was saying, a few weeks ago, my marriage turned the big O-N-E.

Curtis and I really hadn't talked much about how we were going to celebrate even though this past year has given us lots to be happy about. I mean, in addition to getting hitched, we had a beautiful home built in KC and got to enjoy living there for a few months. Curtis totally healed from his broken ankle fiasco. And of course, we moved to China and have pretty successfully navigated all the crazy-weird-awesomeness that has come with THAT.

So yeah, I thought maybe a nice dinner was in order.

Then I got a text message.

It was sent by Curtis, who was sitting two feet away from me on the sofa at the time. It said that I should look inside my favorite decorative green teapot for a surprise.

Sitting inside the teapot were high-speed train tickets to Shanghai for the weekend. AND he booked us a room at a fabulous hotel... the kind where you get to pick what kind of pillow you want from a "bedding menu," and then sneaky elves leave chocolate on your selected pillow each evening when you're not there.

If I've said it once, I'll say it again: I am a good husband-chooser.

Since this was our second trip to Shanghai, we decided not to bother too much with sight-seeing, and instead focus on one of our shared passions: eating everything in sight.

The following photos document our shameless gluttony in all of its glory.
First stops: Yang's Dumplings for fried shrimp and pork soup dumplings, and Jia Jia's across the street for steamed versions with pork and crab. Here you can see Curtis demonstrating cautious dumpling-eating behavior since he overzealously dove in last time, only to have the hot soup squirt out and burn his nose.
No more risky dumpling eating for THAT guy.

We met up with my old college friend for a delicious dim sum lunch at Tang Court in the Langham Hotel. Poorly pictured here is a shrimp roll, turnip cakes, and slices of roasted pork belly. Not pictured at all because I was too busy pigging out were custard buns, spare rib soup, a cold mango puree dessert, and a whole lot of other dishes I somehow managed to stuff behind that stupid restrictive bow on my dress.

Goodfellas was a little gem of a restaurant I found on good ol' Tripadvisor. The lasagna (bottom left) isn't much to look at, but with layers of fresh pasta, cheese, cream sauce, and bolognese sauce, it was pretty much heaven in my mouth. Fantastically, they offered a complimentary digestif of limoncello (yum!) or sambuca (eewww.).

Calypso is a gorgeous restaurant with a chef who is so authentically Italian that I could not understand a word he said when I asked him what the soup of the day was, but it was still fun listening to him talk. Far and away, the shining star of the night was the Margherita Pizza. The crust was perfectly chewy and salty, and I coulda drank a vat of that red sauce with a straw. I don't know if I can ever eat at Pizza Hut again. (Just kidding, Pizza Hut. Nobody does a super supreme quite like you.)

When we occasionally looked up from shoveling food into our mouth-holes, Shanghai made sure to show us a few of the other beautiful and/or strange things it had to offer. Very notable were the bags of fruit juice that were being sold in IV bags for vampire wannabes (left middle), and the grown women wearing giant light-up bows on their heads (bottom middle).

So yeah-- it was a pretty great first anniversary. I'm already kinda looking forward to seeing what we'll be doing and where we'll be celebrating next year.