Season of Busy

I think it goes without saying that this has been by far one of the busiest semesters of our lives. Mostly because of work, but we have also had plenty of family fun. My last post was focused on our fall break, but we had a few fun activities prior and since that break, so I’ll do my best to summarise it in this one post. I’ll try to keep it as brief as possible, but no promises.

On one of the last weekends of September, Donnie and I snuck away to HK for one of our favorite Asian beerfests, Beertopia. I was in HK already for a meeting, so I hurried down to the central waterfront and met Donnie at the gate. We wandered the grounds tasting delicious beer, enjoying the balmy weather and running into a few of our beer friends. We tasted some really yummy beers that night, including a watermelon sour, which I haven’t been able to find again since. Unfortunately, I was pretty beat from the day of travel and meetings, so we called it quits pretty early. I had to be up and back to Shenzhen for a soccer tournament, which ultimately ended up being canceled. I was glad to be home though, and we curled up for a rainy day with movies with Paul.

After our epic trip to Seattle, October was a blur. Donnie or I or both of us had travel each week of October, so it was a balancing act of trying to see each other and have family time. I was wrapping up my season of coaching Middle School girls soccer, starting with a tournament in Guangzhou. So the week we got back, I left Thursday early morning on a bus with Callie and Amanda (my assistant coaches) and only 9 girls for 3 day tournament. It was brutal, hot and we had so many injuries. But I had a blast hanging out with Callie and Amanda and enjoyed a nice hotel room all to myself for a couple nights. We didn’t end up in last place, which was surprising and the girls were making so many new friends. Needless to say I was happy to get home on Saturday. I had left the tournament early to get back for the Captivating Gala (we’d gone last year and it was fun), but I was so exhausted and Paul was running a fever, so we opted to stay home and chill as a family. Sad to miss the gala, but not sad to have the time with my boys.

That next week was another full one. Paul helped me carve a pumpkin for Halloween. I was supposed to be helping him, but he’s still a little too young to handle the knife work.  We went to Taps with Amy and her fiance Rich to celebrate Taps being around for 2 years. We had some good beer and food and then we were starstruck when Sam Calagione walked in. We were like giddy fans and took a picture with him before he left. I still can’t believe I got to meet the founder of Dogfish Head! So cool!

Donnie had to go to Macau for a conference that weekend, and I had two soccer tournaments to coach. One was on a Thursday evening, the other on Saturday. Paul joined me for the second one, and we left a little early to head to Macau to hangout there for the evening and next day. We left the tournament at around 12, grabbed first class tickets on the ferry and were chilling with Donnie by that afternoon. He had been upgraded to a super sweet suite, and we took advantage of the space, enjoying room service and relaxing. We tried to go swimming, but the pools were a little too cool for my taste, and the sun wasn’t directly shining on us. We did a little shopping at Marks and Spencer and then we ferried back Sunday evening in time to get back to work Monday. It was a quick trip, but I think we’ll take Andie and Ben back when they come visit in February.

 

The next week, Donnie had to travel again. This time to a conference in Bangkok. Before he left, we met up with the Shenzhen Homebrewer’s group to plan for this years SZ beerfest. Those guys are a little crazy, but it’s always a good time. Donnie left on Wednesday and was planning to stay until Sunday. We decided to take advantage of the opportunity and as soon as we could, Paul and I hopped on a flight to Bangkok. Unfortunately, Paul had to visit the dentist, so that had to be done before we could enjoy our time there. (We’ve since been to the dentist 3 more times). Our trip was low key, mostly eating yummy Thai food, shopping and swimming. We didn’t have much family hangout time because Donnie had to be at the conference most of the time, but it was nice being there with him. We stayed at the same place we did the last time we went to Bangkok, and went shopping at the same crazy market. It was hot and crowded and crazy, but that’s Bangkok. I was pretty tired when we finally got back home, but another week was looming and we jumped straight back into it.

The next couple of weeks were a blur. Paul didn’t want to go trick or treating because he felt so bad about his teeth, so we had a low key Halloween. I did dress up for school that day as an emoji with a few other gals at school. I went to HK for a day for WWW and then had a nice day off to meet up with Lariska. She was in town to visit and it was so good to see her! She’s looking to transfer from Moldova and I secretly hope she comes back here. We enjoyed some coffee, but we didn’t have much time to visit, since I had to take Paul back to the dentist. The next week I was back in HK and at another Shenzhen school for professional development, and we had the SZ Craft Beer fest that weekend!

Last weekend was the third annual Shenzhen Craft Beer Fest, and Joe graciously gave the homebrewer’s a free tent again this year. We were a little more disorganized than last year, despite our best efforts, but when we arrived Friday night, mostly everything was set up (with a few hiccups) and the beer was flowing nicely. It was so nice to walk around and see so many familiar faces, and to hangout with some really cool brewers. We didn’t stay too late on Friday, and were back as a family relatively early on Saturday. The day seemed to go much more smoothly on Saturday, we got in our groove and people were happy to partake of our homebrew. I was much less worried about making money or pushing our beer this year, so it was a lot more fun. We wrapped up around 4:30, and headed back to a Hilton we’d booked in Futian for the night to be nearby. We weren’t planning on going back, but got some urgent texts to come back to help, so we ended up festing until about 9:30pm. It was cool, but at that point I just wanted to be asleep in bed. 🙂 I’m looking forward to the next meeting to debrief and plan for next year. I think our meeting is next week.

That brings us to this week. I’ve jumped back into playing soccer with the ladies of shekou, which was especially wonderful this week because Stephanie was visiting! Everyone came out to play and it was just like old times. It was a great way to finish out the week, since we had professional development again this week. Paul hungout with Amy while we headed to school for meetings all day Friday and Saturday. But all the stars aligned on Friday night and we were able to have an impromptu patio party with some of the original Shekou soccer girls. Amanda, Steph, Laura and Kitty came over. We stayed up way too late talking and laughing and enjoying the newly redesigned patio that Donnie had finished that day. It was a little rough on Saturday, but well worth it.

And so here it is, Sunday eve, getting ready for another November week. Thanksgiving is this week, and I’m looking forward to that, as well as in 20 short days we’ll be on our way to Texas. This fall has gone by so quickly, but even though work has been very, very busy, it’s been lovely autumn season and I have no complaints. ❤

Love to all and hopefully I’ll have time to post again before Christmas!

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