During Spring Break we traveled with two other families to QingDao, China, located on the shores of the Yellow Sea and also the site of the Beijing Olympics Sailing venues. I had traveled to QingDao a few weeks earlier to attend our organization’s annual ladies retreat. One of our sister schools is located in this city, and staff there have arranged special deals with certain hotels in the city. We were so blessed to be able to stay at the Shang-Gri-La hotel. The offer for us was to have a hotel suite, with two extra beds, for about one hundred US dollars a night.Upon checking into the hotel, the staff asked if they could take our family picture in the front lobby. This is not very unusual in China. One other important note about hotel check-ins in China, is that all guests must show their passport and all the information of each guest is recorded. Shortly after we arrived in our room, which turned out to be very lovely, we received a call from the front desk. The hotel guest relations lady, Ms. Chen was on the line. She noticed that this day we checked in was Megan’s birthday and asked if they could send a cake up for her to celebrate her birthday. I was completely shocked! I said, of course. We scheduled a time later that evening. After a late lunch we returned to our room in time for the cake delivery. When the door bell rang, we were surprised to see the housekeeping lady for the evening turn-down. She saw Megan and immediately offered her a pair of small hotel slippers and a little stuffed teddy bear. She also brought fresh flowers and fruit for our room.
Soon after the bell rang again and it was Angela and her colleague with the cake.
Megan was very surprised and we all sang Happy Birthday and took pictures. The cake was delicious!! Which is not always the case for cakes in China.
We felt so special. I am thankful for the way that the Lord blessed our family in the celebration of Megan’s 4th birthday. Although I do admit that I miss being with extended family for special holidays, I see how clearly God provides for those absences.Now one big difference we have noticed as we have traveled a bit in Asia, is that most hotels have a buffet breakfast included in the room rate. And we’re not talking about the continental breakfast that you might find with many American brands, like coffee, juice and a few pastries. These breakfast buffets include a full spread. One can find a full American breakfast including omeletes and eggs to order, pancakes, bacon, juices, and fruits. Also included in these breakfast buffets; Chinese foods like fried noodles, steamed dumplings, rice and noodle soups. The favorite items of our family is the bread and cheese area. This particular hotel had various types of cheeses; parmesan, swiss, gouda, and even goat cheese, along with smoked salmon and french baguettes. My favorite breakfast was a green salad, with french baguette and cheese. And to top it off, I could order a cappucino for my coffee drink at no extra charge!We spent most of our three days in Qing Dao indoors at the hotel, either at the pool or in our room. The girls enjoyed the ladies locker room, which included a steam bath, sauna, hot and cold tubs, showers, a hair and makeup room, and a relaxation room.One of the days we had to venture out to try to find Rachel a dress for the spring banquet (coming up in four days)! But that is a story I’ll let Rachel write.