Daily Archives: September 8, 2012

Another year at BISS – First Day of School

Monday August 27th was  the first day of school for the education year of 2012/13.  This year Oliver started in Reception (Kindergarten) while Isabelle is now in Year 3.  My 2 gorgeous children were not at all nerves as we had all been to the school the Friday before for orientation.  We met their teachers, saw their classrooms, they knew where their backpacks would go – all ready with their names!  There is a new Principle/Headmaster this year and he gave all the parents an introduction to himself, the other new teachers and plans for the coming year.  He also announced the results – outstanding that over 50% of the A Level class got A* or A grades and the list of Universities that the pupils are going onto are the very best in the world.  Phenomenal achievements and a wonderful reflection of the quality of the education at the school that our children are at.

No nerves here!  Just excitement.....

No nerves here! Just excitement…..

Lovely hugs

Lovely hugs

 

Ready to board the school bus on the first day of school

Ready to board the school bus on the first day of school

On their way.......

On their way…….

2 weeks into the new school year and they are both settled into class, like their teachers, are thrilled with the friends in their classes and are full of the days activities each night at the dinner table.  Isabelle has more homework this year than last and that is taking some adjusting to.  Oliver has started bringing his first books home to read and is all excited about learning.  It was Extra Curricular Activities registration this week, and Isabelle was keen to do Arts and Crafts and Chinese Cooking.  So, Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s will be a late night home for her as she will be having fun doing those.

I hope the rest of the school year finishes as successfully as the start of it……..

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Another August Birthday – Sunday Brunch at Westin, Shanghai

The end of August is my birthday.  Not a major number for a party, but another year is always a good excuse to have a bit of a celebration!  As the Sunday Brunch scene is so popular and so good in Shanghai, we booked a table at the number 1 rated spot – the Westin.  Not only was the food excellent, but the entertainment made this a real experience.

Family by the beautiful glass sculpture in the Westin Lobby

Brunch is set up in the main lobby level.  We had an excellent table with a great view of the balcony where an orchestra serenaded us before a couple of opera singers joined them.  After this musical delight, there were some Chinese drummers, followed by an acrobatic/gymnastic display and then a tango dance performance.  All throughout lunch, a Clown wandered around the tables making balloon animals.

Glass Centerpiece and Orchestra on Balcony

Glass Centerpiece and Orchestra on Balcony

The gymnastic display

The gymnastic/acrobatic display

More entertainment - the Clown made Isabelle a balloon heart

More entertainment – the Clown made Isabelle a balloon heart

We didn’t find out until half way through our Brunch that the Westin offers a Kids Club.  We checked it out after our Brunch and it looked like fun if you wanted to drop your kids off for more of an adult experience (especially good if there is a large group).  This clown was visiting all the tables with kids and making balloon sculptures.  Isabelle got a heart with a teddy bear and Oliver got a sword.  Even Owen got into the action:

No words needed!

No words needed!

Oliver got a sword

Oliver got a sword

There are food stations galore – lobster, crab, steak, salad, caviar, oysters, pasta, carvery meats, sushi.  The cuisine is from all around the world and is all delicious.  It all comes with free flowing Veuve Clicquot Champagne.  The cocktail options are also very varied – I particularly liked the Bloody Mary bar – pour your own vodka and then mix with whatever you fancy!  I stuck with the Champagne – it was my birthday!   The dessert options are out of this world with a chocolate lovers paradise, crepe station, many unusual flavoured ice cream, sorbet and gelato, plus the chef’s creations of the day.

Our reservation was for 12 noon and we did not leave until after 3.00pm.  The kids were not bored and I thoroughly enjoyed my birthday treat.  We will definitely be back here again!

Just 1 of the Dessert Stations (ice cream, sorbets and specialities)

Just 1 of the Dessert Stations (ice cream, sorbets and specialities)

The Crepe Station

The Crepe Station

A beautiful display of fruit

A beautiful display of fruit

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate :-)

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate 🙂

My 2 gorgeous children and me.

My 2 gorgeous children and me.

Getting a smackeroo from my lovely little boy!

Getting a smackeroo from my lovely little boy!

Silly faces from my lovely little girl

Silly faces from my lovely little girl

A perfect day out.  :-)

A perfect day out. 🙂

Shanghai Aquarium

Owen took Isabelle and Oliver to the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium which includes a very long tunnel that takes you through a coastal reef, open ocean, a kelp cave, shark cove, and a coral reef.  They all saw sharks, jellyfish, seahorses, penguins, stingrays, tropical fish, chinese fish, huge turtles and amazing coral.

The kids enjoyed everything except being stared at and photographed.  I don’t know what the fascination is for Western children, but the Chinese love to take photos of them.  Oliver is not so bothered by it, but Isabelle really does not like it.  At one point there was a lady taking video and as Owen moved around, turning the kids, the lady did a 360 around too!!  How do you explain video of complete strangers?!!!?

Oliver & Isabelle at the Aquarium

Oliver & Isabelle at the Aquarium

This Shark swam over their heads!

This Shark swam over their heads!

Hugging the Penguins

Hugging the Penguins

Oliver & Isabelle on the Starfish

Oliver & Isabelle on the Starfish

It was cold in the penguin section

It was cold in the penguin section

Beautiful shot of the jellyfish

Beautiful shot of the jellyfish

This turtle is huge!

This turtle is huge!

Wow!

Wow!

Hiding behind the fishes

Hiding behind the fishes

I & O said this area was "stinky"!

I & O said this area was “stinky”!