My apologies for the extensive delay in the continuation of my travelogue... I could blame schoolwork... Okay, I'll blame schoolwork, it's a handy excuse... better than "I've been lazy..."
We left off on Christmas Day. On Christmas Day after H got back from class, she wrapped her presents for me and then we opened them. It didn't take that long, but it was fun, especially as she opened 2 for every one of mine and I got to see her excited responses to the different things. When she opened J's calendar, she basically started crying... I had to convince her not to... but it was definitely one of her favorite Christmas presents. Another was the webcam... I guess we mostly hung around during the afternoon, we might have watched something on the STAR movie channel (they show the most random English-language movies with Chinese subtitles). I think it was Home Alone 3. For Christmas dinner, we went out for dumplings with five others. It was my first time really trying dumplings (I would write the Chinese name, but my Pinyin is rotten...), and they're definitely on my list of favorite authentic Chinese foods. We had a great time conversing and stuffing ourselves with dumplings (so good!!!). H brought along the calendar to show off, which was fun for her. After we got back in, we connected the webcam and video Skyped with the family. It was funny, because for them it was somewhat early Christmas morning, whereas our Christmas was almost over. We chatted for awhile and showed them around the apartment. It was good. A great memory for all of us, especially those on the US side, who hadn't seen H's face since July. Afterward, we went next door and watched an old 90's Christmas movie I'd never seen before. It was corny, etc, but it was fun to watch it with the others in the group.
Well, that was Christmas. I'll focus on remembering the rest of the trip so that I can finish the account in upcoming days.