An awesome case of the Mondays: My Labor Park adventure

I really like this statue of a man "laboring" with a hammer contrasted with the cranes and skyscrapers in the background

On Mondays I teach two English classes in the morning, and then I meet with my Chinese tutor for an hour in the afternoon. This leaves plenty of free time for me to grade papers, plan lessons, study Chinese or go out and explore the city. The Spring weather here has been beautiful the past few days, so yesterday I decided to wander around downtown Dalian for a little bit. After hopping on a random city bus that I was pretty sure would take me where I wanted to go, I reached my destination of Labor Park (劳动公园). I had been to the park once before, but I only remember it being a confusing maze of random paths, pavilions and gardens, with some amusement park rides mixed in.

The rides were all closed yesterday, but I imagine in a few weeks they'll be full of screaming kids.

I wandered around the park for about an hour, looking for a bakery that I heard had good bread and pizza. It was fun to people watch, but I was starting to do laps around the entire park and I still couldn’t find the bakery. It was almost dinner time and I was getting hungry.

Nope, no bakery here. Just a "prevailing-boom bilingual nursery" (Whatever that is....)

Grandmas and grandpas gather to play cards in the park. In the distance you can see a giant soccer ball statue that sits at the center of the park, and behind that a viewing tower that overlooks the city.

Sunset in Labor Park

Just as the sun was setting, I found my destination tucked around the corner from the giant soccer ball. I ordered a pizza and the American owners’ pre-school aged son read me a storybook. While eating my pizza (which was amazing), I chatted a bit with the owners and taste tested one of their new cookies. I bought a loaf of freshly baked bread and managed to resist buying any of the other wonderful croissants, cookies, cheesecakes and scones on display. Maybe next time!

I had two slices of flaxseed wholeweat sourdough toast this morning....perfect way to start my day!

I had fitness training with the Gaelic football team after dinner, and then bought some snacks on the way home. I sat at the kitchen table with Margaret and chatted for a bit, while we munched on my snacks and leftover pizza. (It tasted even better cold!)

Believe it or not, these jellybeans taste almost as good as Starburst jellybeans! They are dangerously addictive...

Dried sweet potato is one of my favorite Chinese snacks. They're just the right mix of sweet and chewy to satisfy a snack craving.

What a great beginning to the week!

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