Seriously, I had intended to do the next blog post *days* ago, but I was enjoying my four-day weekend. I went to the movies once, sat around in my pajamas a lot, and stuffed myself silly with scones and jam and cream this morning at the Rose Garden. SO not looking forward to work tomorrow ;)
Anyway, after our trip to the zoo to see the pandas, our next stop in Shanghai (yes, we're still on the first day of our trip to China...I have been VERY slow with sharing the pictures) was the Yuyuan Garden, which was first built in the 1500s by this guy Pan Yunduan as a present to his parents.
The crazy part is the garden is in the big fat middle of Shanghai, but you really can't tell once you get inside. You can't hear the city at all and I don't think I could see any skyscrapers from in there, either. Pretty amazing.
One of the best things about being a small group with our own tour guide is that it's not hard at all to get pictures with all four of us together.
And there's Lee making like a shishi dog :) We saw several pairs of shishi dogs, or pixius, or whatever they are. I refused to go lifting up any statues' tails to check if they were shishi dogs or pixius...come to think of it, I think the pixius usually have wings or a horn or both. So maybe these really are shishi dogs.
I had to take a picture of the cub under the female shisa's paw, kind of a fun detail shot don't you think?
The garden kind of winds around through several distinct courtyards, and in one part there was a hallway divided in two. Jessica (you can kinda see her behind Missy in this picture) asked if we could guess why they would have divided the hallway in two when it goes to the exact same place, so I guessed that one side was for men and one side for women.
I was right. Jessica said I was the first one of all her tourists to guess the correct answer.
Here's another viewing area with pretty flowers...wonder what would be the best time of year to visit here? It was gorgeous when we were there so I think that the beginning of May must be a pretty good time.
It was overcast when we were visiting the garden so of course the sky just looks white :( But I love this wall, I think when Lee and I buy our own house we should build a wall with a dragon like this on top. Just 'cause it would be cool.
Hey look, there's another shisa in the lower left corner. The gardens here aren't just flowers and trees, they have a lot of rocks placed in a decorative fashion. That's my kind of garden...much harder to kill rocks than it is to kill flowers. I've got two black thumbs.
We saw several doors that were not just the normal door-shape, so of course I took a few pictures. I liked this one and another one that was shaped like a vase.
Whenever we see a bunch of flowers in one place, Lee just hands over the camera without even asking if I want it. I already have hundreds of flower pictures (quite literally) but I love to take new ones :)
This was my favorite flower shot of the day, I just loved how it turned out. I love hydrangeas...I had them in my wedding bouquet and we had a little hydrangea plant at our house in North Carolina.
Lee took this picture...actually, I think he took more pictures than the rest of us combined. It's always interesting to me all the stuff that they have on the roofs of Chinese buildings and Lee says he only took pictures of the roof stuff because I asked him to. And he's not sure that he took this picture, so maybe I did after all. He's giving me editorial comments as I type this.
But look, there he is in action with the little camera :)
So there you have it, highlights from the Yuyuan Garden, a place of serenity in the middle of the hustle and bustle of modern Shanghai.
Found one more picture to share...
So this was from back at the jade place, I knew we had a picture of us all in front of that boat. Turns out I was looking in the wrong folder on the CD of Missy and Bennet's pictures. And now you have an idea how big that thing really was!
Promise this time I'll be back by Wednesday night with more pictures. Should still have maybe two posts for Shanghai.
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