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The kind of Mixed 2018 Review

For the past years I have been not doing really many of such reviews. One I clearly remember was the Amazing Year 2014 Review as it was really a wonderful year full of great memories. The past years on the other hand have been more like “meh” compared to 2014. Now 2018 is something totally different as it will be definitely a year I will remember for a very long time due to its ups and downs.

Nathan the Taekwondo champ

The year started kind of slow and I thought back about the past years living in Germany and how it changed since we moved here. Besides that I also had another part of the “New Apartment” series which is still not entirely solved thus far. One big thing I had going on was my family research combined with a DNA test to find somehow some relatives somewhere on this globe. I am still in this whole research but have once again hit too many brick walls and for now I just wait for some lucky discoveries when someone adds to their family tree at some point.

In March things changed a bit as we arranged our trip to China and also had finally the confirmation that we could travel to Japan in May! Though we were excited to go once again to China and enjoy the good food there and kind of experience the strange Chinese family with their weird requests the main thing for us was Japan. For so many years we wanted to travel to Japan but it never worked out. Either it was the Japanese Embassy in Finland telling us the wrong information regarding the visa for my wife or we simply had suddenly no time for it. My wife planned the entire week in Japan for nearly two months to make it as perfect as possible for us and especially for Nathan. I don’t know why but I have barely any memories about April even though we wouldn’t fly to China till near the end of the month. Guess we were just busy with work, keeping Nathan busy with sports and being way too excited about our holidays.

Mount Fuji

May was the most amazing month for us in years as we were in China and of course in Japan. Blogging wise I didn’t do anything and wrote all about the wonder of Japan in June. Tokyo and Osaka were just so wonderful and Nathan really enjoyed the few hours we had at Thomas Land.  Each day in Japan we had a blast and thinking back I still can’t believe that we actually experienced all of that. I must say that all the planning my wife did for this holiday surely paid off. Usually all her preparing and planning are totally messed up as I wrote later in summer after our two-week holidays in Finland.  The time in Finland was way too short but we did go to Moominland which had been on my bucket list ever since I was a child!

With Autumn approaching we got a new family member, Haruki the Shiba. That tiny dog gave us so much joy thus far and by now he tripled his weight and can fart like a champ. In fact whenever he does release some gasses he cannot take the smell either and runs to another room. He is a strange little fellow with his constant smiley face. Ever since we got him I only started to see how many dogs we have in the neighbourhood. Even now I still encounter “new dogs” with their owners living somewhere nearby and I’ve been doing the rounds with Haruki for four months now. Besides Haruki we had another last highlight and that was visiting Lego Land in Denmark. We didn’t plan to go there this year but after finding some ridiculous good deal we just had to go. Two days of rain but also two days filled with Lego and that is all what Nathan cares for. I also got myself some goodies and went on updating my computer and rambling about my gaming history.

Haruki when he used to be cute

And now I come to the absolute depressing November after having such a great year till then. This month was just cursed as one bad thing after the other happened. Workwise we were totally overloaded, my wife got her wallet stolen,  a mirror crashed down and my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. I think that was by far the worst month I can think off. I mean after so many good memories this year everything was just destroyed in one month. By now we are over most of those terrible happenings but just remembering back makes we feel really empty and also angry. But life goes on and December has been rather positive without anything bad thus far.

How was your year 2018 so far?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

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Experiencing China

It has been now over six months since our last holiday in China. It was a great trip and we are already planning for next years holiday session in the Middle Empire. I have mentioned it countless of times that for so many years we never really managed it to go anywhere besides Xi’an. This year was different as we had that wonderful week in Japan (Tokyo, Thomas Land and Osaka) and we are kind of planning on having next year a week-long trip in Thailand. This is not set in stone especially when taking into consideration that we should have been already to Korea, Taiwan, Bali, the Maldives and so forth. Main problem was always that my wife turns into a complete couch potato once we arrive at her home in China.

Some temple somwhere in Sichuan

Anyhow even in case we won’t manage it to Thailand I am still looking forward to visiting China again. For one it is of course the food and I think I don’t need to touch that subject again as writing about it and sharing pictures makes too many people hungry. It is for me more like the whole experience in China. Even though I have seen so little so far it has been always such an interesting experience especially as each region or even parts of the city are so different. I have been mostly only to Xi’an but already there each section of the city has its own vibe. It goes as far as each “block” can be so different compared to the next one. For example the area where my in-laws are living looks to many people (like my parents) like a city shortly after an air raid while as the next block is a complete different matter as everything is relative clean and nice looking. However between those blocks the feeling is already different as in the older parts everywhere you have those wonderful street kitchens which are more rare or even non-existent in richer areas.

Music in the streets

It feels sometimes to surreal to drive on some roads passing by mountains which look like just from paintings. To have old temples and other historical buildings right next to some huge shopping centres. Just going a bit outside the cities you even encounter traditional clay brick buildings and even cave houses. Of course there are always downsides to the whole experience especially due to pollution or overcrowded tourist spots but it does not really bother me that much. For me each holiday in China is unique as even in Xi’an I find new interesting thing which each visit. For next year we have another novelty as we kind of have to decide where we want to stay: Either in MIL’s new apartment in the middle of nowhere or in the old one where FIL is staying right in the city center with all the best food around. Guess this decision is a no-brainer.

Do you have already plans for holidays in 2019?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

The Family at Legoland Billund

Last week we visited Legoland in Billund, Denmark. The whole trip to Legoland was rather spontaneous as we had no intention at all to go there this year but my wife found suddenly an offer (nearly 50% off)  we just could not resist. Our little Nathan who is a giant Lego fan had no idea at all about visiting Legoland and we kept it a secret till the end. Lego is the most valuable toy brand in the world for the past four years or so when it surpassed Mattel. The brand has its roots in Billund, Denmark,  where it still has its headquarters.

I’d say this is old Hans Christian Andersen

I had tons of Lego in my youth and so did my dear brother (who is 20 years older than me…) so Nathan got already a lot of Lego from my old sets and will receive more in the next years  (old Pirate ships and of course lots of trains). I can’t really say why but I have always loved these toys and still love to “play” with it. For me it is just so fascinating what can be all achieved with these simple plastic bricks. Nathan quickly got a bit bored of Lego Duplo (which is for smaller children) and changed to real Lego when he was 2-3 years old. By now he has built on his own some sets for 8 + years old kids and together with me for 16+ years. The instructions are usually no problem at all for him but few smaller technic bricks can bring some difficulties.

Adventure Land!

Back to our trip to Legoland. As I said before we didn’t tell Nathan at all about this journey to Legoland, he only knew that we would visit some nice place far away. The theme park is roughly 2h away from our hometown by car so it was no problem at all for the kids. Even though we tried our best to keep it a secret from Nathan he eventually found out about it. We managed it really close to the theme park but just 5min away he spotted a road sign with “Legoland” written on it. Though our big surprise was gone it was still lovely to see how happy he was so we went to the check-in at our motel at the Legoland Holiday Village. Needless to say everything is Lego inspired there and our rooms had one of the old Pirate Themes (from the 1990s).

Scary boatride

We had the bad luck that on both days it was raining. Thanks to the rain Nathan got his only souvenir, a Lego rain poncho. Even though it was raining on both days we had fun and even got in between some sunshine to warm up a bit. Each time the rain got too big we went into one of the inside locations such as the Atlantis by Sea Life Aquarium, some cafe or the 4D Cinema. Somehow we managed not to get soaking wet and let the kids have fun. As our visit to Legoland was so close to Halloween they had started to decorate the park a bit. This was not entirely to Nathan’s liking as he got scared a bit by a few things such as some witches or a Mummy sitting on a bench.

Mighty Nathancuty not scared at all

The park is very well maintained and clean. Nothing appeared to be worn out or dirty even though we were there during the off-season, on a Monday and it was raining. So the staff is doing a great job no matter the weather and time of the year. We had such a good time there with the kids that we definitely want to revisit the park again. Not that we go next year or so already but when Nathalie is also old (and tall) enough for some of the rollercoasters. This time she always had to stay behind with one of us and watch Nathan having the time of his life. Thankfully the kids were not too demanding and we were spared the fate of spending money on overpriced Lego in Denmark (+30-40% more compared to Germany!).

Lego Diver

In case you are interested in visiting Legoland in Billund I recommend to stay at least for one night there to visit the park on two days. There is really much to do there, especially with kids so one day won’t be enough. Besides that I suggest also to eat in one of the restaurants in Billund as the ones in the theme park are a bit on the expensive side and really full the entire time.

Have you visited a Legoland before?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily