We are taking a mini vacation from the “real world” to spend time with our little one this week. Instead of traveling to some exotic country and staying at a nice hotel, we are just taking it easy and doing things at home and around town by taking car rides and walks with our daughter.
We usually like to sleep in but it does not always work out if baby SML decides she wants to skip her morning nap. When that happens, mommy has to find ways to improvise! Instead of just playing with toys at home, I decided to take a walk with SML yesterday so daddy can sleep in. We did pretty well on our first walk out with her holding onto my hand. Unfortunately, I might have overestimated how much energy SML had to burn because I ended up having to carry her to the new cafe I wanted to check out on the fly: Cha Shu Coffee and Bubble Tea, which just opened up in August 2015. We ordered black tea milk tea with bubbles (for daddy), lychee smoothie (for mommy) and egg puffs. I definitely fell in love as soon as I found out they have egg puffs aka gai daan jai. The only times I’ve had them was in Boston Chinatown or Hong Kong. I definitely ended up going back one other time later in the day yesterday and this afternoon just for these puffs! If you have not this, it is a MUST try. They are simply amazing. Here is a link of what it looks like: http://dessertfirstgirl.com/2011/05/hong-kong-eggettes-daan-jai-for-mothers-day.html
Once daddy was awake, we took a car ride to check out Charles Ro, America’s largest train store. This place was simply amazing. They had so many different trains available! They also sell train tracks, buildings, people, scenery pieces (trees, etc), tanks, etc so you can build your own town, city, etc. They even stock up on Thomas the Tank engine toys for the little ones who are too young to play with the more expensive stuff. One of the employees there was nice enough to set up one of the trains to show SML how it worked. Though she is too young to fully appreciate this, he filled up the smoke on the trains so that she could see it puff when it was in motion. It was definitely amazing and she liked it alot. We plan on going back again one of these days to check out the operating layout (only open on Saturdays) they run on the 2nd floor.
Yesterday, we also checked out RC Cars of Boston. They sell miniature race cars and boats. They have parts that you can buy to customize your ride. They even have another room that had work spaces where you can work on your car for $5/hr or $15/full day which includes track time. There is a nice indoor track available that you can test out your cars and make adjustments in your numbered work space as needed. The cheapest car that you can buy to try out was about $100, which isn’t bad at all.
After these two places, we ended up having a late lunch at Yong Yong Restaurant. Instead of just ordering random dishes, we decided to do the all you can eat hot pot and sushi meal. SML slept through our lunch for the most part but she ended up waking up towards the end. She got to try out taro for the second time in the past week and ended up liking it this time; she was not a fan when grandpa tried to feed her it last time. She also ended up making friends with two little boys who were there with their family though she was super shy at the very beginning. The mom and I ended up exchanging numbers in the hopes that we might end up setting up play dates for the kids in the near future. It will be nice for baby SML to make friends who can speak/understand Chinese as well.
Today, we had a short visit from grandma before taking a walk around town. Instead of having SML walk today, I decided to wear her around town while her daddy pushed her stroller. I decided to back wear her using the Ergobaby baby carrier so she can look around until she passed out for her afternoon nap. We ended up going down Pleasant Street in Malden and found a new restaurant, Ming’s Seafood Restaurant. We were pretty excited to find a new dim sum restaurant has opened up in downtown Malden. Since we got there at the end of their dim sum service, we only got to try out the har gow (shrimp dumpling), shumai (shrimp/pork dumpling), ngo ba yip (beef tripe) and feng jiao (chicken feet). They were all pretty standard dim sum fare and tasted exactly how we expected. We also ordered beef teriyaki, beef udon and shrimp with caramelized walnut and mayo. The beef teriyaki and shrimp were pretty good. The shrimp had just the right amount of mayo. We probably would not order the beef udon again though but SML did like the udon noodles. The dish itself was exactly what the name on the menu suggested but we were expecting a bit more. Overall though, we would go with our extended family next time since we liked most of the food served. The employees there were super accommodating and nice.
After lunch, we ended up checking out the Malden Public Library. We went to the Children’s Room where we learned there are vids available that we can borrow for SML to learn Mandarin (unfortunately, no Cantonese). However, there is a small play area for the kids with a ton of puzzles, a puppet theatre stand, an activity cube and a dollhouse. The librarian also had a couple lists for us to take home on what are good books for us to start SML on. We spent a tiny bit of time there before we headed home. We hope to come again when they have story time on the weekends just to see how SML would enjoy it.
On our way home, we took a small detour to Cha Shu for more egg puffs and drinks. While we were enjoying these things at home, SML decided it was time to be silly! She went through her boxes (which we take to grandma/grandpa’s every week) and pulled out her shoe collection. She “put on” her snow boots and started walking around the house and decided she needed to put on her hat backwards and/or sideways. At one point, she had her hat on, one of her gloves partially on one hand and her new bracelet on her other wrist while she paraded around the living room. It was very silly but she had a great time. SML definitely loves trying to be independent and dressing up! It’s amazing how little it takes sometimes to make her day. I hope she never grows out of this silliness 🙂