DALIAN, CHINA -- A city by the sea

Jeanette Kakareka

During our two week holiday from working at English National Ballet, we decided to go back to visit my boyfriend's hometown! 

We took a 10.5 hour flight, had a 4.5 hour layover in the Beijing airport, and then another hour to Dalian. We were so tired and confused and hungry! It was my first time meeting Jin's dad, so this wasn't necessarily the best state to be making first impressions in. When we met him at the Dalian airport I tried to say "it's nice to meet you" in Chinese, but I totally panicked and Jin had to explain what I'd meant to say.

One of the very first days we went to have a sauna day--my first experience! They also had a pool so we swam for a while.

I had met Jin's mom before, and she is the sweetest! She made such an effort to make me feel at home and also made me special food when I got sick one day so I could have something familiar.

I met most of his immediate family including an aunt and cousin. Jin and I also got the honour of making his dad's parents their first spaghetti dish and witness their first attempt at forks! In turn, they gave us lessons on dumpling making since the Chinese New Year was coming up.

We also drove around the city so I could see all of the good sites and brave the outside temperatures. Thanks to Jin's dad who was happy to take a day off of work to drive around in the cold for us! When we were in the city of Dalian, we made it to the aquarium where they had some very happy animals swimming around, getting fed and pet by their handlers.

We even walked down to the beach and collected some sea glass and threw skipping stones.

Jin's family certainly is lucky to live here. It's a very clean place with lots of trees and mountains and beautiful views of the sea. And actually, we did climb to the top of one of the mountains right by their house!

Saying goodbye to our holiday and to his family wasn't easy, but I can't wait to visit again!