Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chinese New Year in Chinatown!

2009: Year of the Ox (Bull)! We celebrated in Chinatown- nice weather, delicious food and a colorful parade! When we first got to Chinatown, Tonito said "Wulumuqi!" (Urumqi, his hometown). I'm not sure if he was confused by us saying we were going to Chinatown, and maybe he thought we were driving to China? (wow, only 20 minutes away by car!). We had been learning about China and Chinese New Year at home, and maybe he thought we were going to visit? He actually asked if his friends (Drew, Gillian, and Luke) were going to be here. I wonder if unconsciously he smelled familiar spices and heard familiar sounds? He can't read, so being surrounded by signs in Chinese would not have convinced him. Who knows? :) I can't believe he has been home 9 months and this is the first time we took him! Shame on us. But is was really fun and we will be back.

(above) The entrance to Chinatown, and Maya is the Year of the Pig

Both of my "monkeys" (2004).

Tonito loves, loves dragons. We are trying to learn and teach him the difference between the lions (left) and the dragons (right).

(above) Lots of colorful mosaics and street art. The picture on the left "Welcome to Chicago's Chinatown" is a replica of gate in Beijing.

After we walked around for a little bit, we went to lunch. Joy Yee's Restaurant ( was a fantastic recommendation- we could have been back in the hutongs of Beijing:). We ordered WAY too much food because the pictures were tantalizing us from the menu. The smoothie's are fresh, tropical, juicy and AMAZING.

Something that Tonito continues to mention is that his dream or goal is to be "the dragon head" in a parade. Imagine his excitement when the dragon looked our way and passed by in front of him as he sat on Grandpa's shoulders.

At the beginning of the parade we were back 10 people deep, but slowly people left- either to meet their family members/parade participants, or to quick make their dinner reservations. So by the end we were right in the front row! Vivi said she still wants to be the tail, and if Tonito doesn't want to, she can be the head.

Here are some little snapshots of the parade- you can click on them to see the details.
What a fun day! After the parade we walked around some more and the kids each got to pick out a souvenir: Tonito picked out a litle dragon figure and Vivi got a pink umbrella. Walking through these trinket stores that were more crowded than the subway, with Maya on my back grabbing at the dangling masks, lanterns, decorations, etc- this was not an easy feat. We survived and just at the point of meltdown we headed home for naps. It was really fun for Tonito and Vivi (and I think even Maya enjoyed it!). Vivi even practiced some Mandarin in on of the stores- she said Xie xie ni (thank you) to the shop owner when she bought her umbrella:).


Sallymander said...

ooo...i'm so jealous of ur pics...i'm going to steal that dragon one for my blog....yeah joyyee is awesome...did u ever try korean bi bim bop...yum...joyyee has asian dishes from diff countries...there's one in naperville of ogden, not on ogden...but in strip center off of ogden. their bubble teas are so yummy. we'll have to meet there some time w/ the kids or hang out in chinatown.

Anonymous said...

Oh how fun! That sounded like such a fun day and must of bought back so many memories of China.

Dianna said...

I don't know why it came up anonymous but it's me Dianna.

Anonymous said...

We so enjoyed our day in Chinatown with you! The parade was very colorful and the food was delicious. But the best part was spending time with the grandkids! (and becky and Tonio of course). Love, Grandma