Shanghai

After spending our first night in Shanghai, we awoke to an amazing hotel breakfast. With “American” breakfast foods like fruits, yogurts, cereal, bacon, and eggs and Chinese cuisine such as noodles, buns, and assorted meats and vegetables, we ate maybe too much food and set out to the Shanghai museum, despite the rain. 
On the way to the museum, Joyce, our amazing tour guide, told us about the history and exhibits of the museum, including jade, furniture, and paintings. When we reached the museum, we received our audio guides and were given about an hour and a half to explore the museum. Pictured below are some of the beautiful works we saw at the museum. 
After a delicious lunch, we went to the Yu Garden, the home of a wealthy, upper class Chinese family in the Qing dynasty. Although the garden complex was built by said family, it was added to over time by its other owners. The ornate gardens featured jade statues, koi fish and dazzling landscapes, pictured below. 
After leaving the gardens, we walked to the Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street for some independent shopping. We explored the city streets, looking through small shops, haggling for better prices and buying some beautiful gifts and souvenirs. We then met up and went back to the hotel to freshen up and/or nap before dinner.
Despite the jet lag, we ate another delicious dinner and set off for the theater to see Era: Intersection of Time. Sadly, we could not take pictures or videos during the performance, but it was dazzling with daring and dangerous acrobatics, silks, motor cross, bicycles, and much more. Even though the show was very exciting, the power of jet lag proved too strong to keep the majority of us awake; many slept either during the performance or during intermission. 
Tired from our exciting day and the 12-hour time difference, we retired to our hotel to sleep and get ready for our next day in Shanghai.
Monday morning we had another amazing breakfast at the hotel, this time with the addition of scallion pancakes, dumplings, and pork buns. After we checked out, we went to the Jade Buddha Temple where we walked around the temple and saw people praying to the Gods and learned about the history of the different Buddhas. Unlike the day before, it was warm and sunny. We then went to the Shanghai World Financial Center where we took an elevator up 97 floors in 60 seconds. From the 100th floor, we saw the Huang Pu River and other well known skyscrapers such as the Oriental Pearl Tower. We had lunch at a restaurant a few blocks away and had a range of delicious food ranging from sweet and sour tofu to sticky rice balls. We drove by the Bundt and saw the ground view of the skyscrapers. We then head on to the train station to go to hangzhou to meet our host families.

Shanghai

Boston–> Shanghai

All of Friday and most of Saturday was spent traveling. We all arrived at the airport by 9 o’clock. Our flight from Boston to Detroit was nice and short; it was like a sample of our 14 hour flight to China. We had a two hour layover in Detroit, which we spent finding lunch. There were many options as our terminal was extremely long; there was even an indoor train! 

Waiting at the Detroit airport

Our flight to PuDong airport was extremely long. Most of us tried to stay awake for the majority of the flight because we wanted to get accustomed to the new time. A lot of us watched movies to keep us awake.

Once we got to the airport, we met with our Shanghai tour guide, Joyce. We then drove to our hotel, which was about 40 minutes away from the airport.  

Once we got to the hotel, I met my mom’s cousin, whom I call Thomas 舅舅. 舅舅 (pronounced jiu jiu) means uncle in Chinese. He treated us to hot pot, which is 火锅 (pronounced huo guo). We cooked our own food. We were given raw vegetables and meat. There were pots in front of us where we put the raw food in to cook. Once we were done eating, we headed back to the hotel to get some rest. 

The soup base for us to cook our food
Boston–> Shanghai