It's freakin' hot outside.
And hot..oh, I already said that..
Because it's totally like walking out of the building straight into a Bikram Yoga studio. The humidity just takes your breath away and you feel the urge to down-a-gallon-of-water-to-replace-what-I-just-sweat out in the first 5 minutes of breathing the summer air.
And if that's not enough, I'll throw the baby in there as an excuse. Yep, I just used Sal as a scapegoat. In all actuality, he is the main reason we have yet to really get out and do much exploring of our area, other than air conditioned supermarkets and jumbo malls. Simply put, this kind of heat, for long periods of exposure, is just too dangerous for a little guy like him. Babies overheat so easily, and we're within the mindset that we really really don't want to test out any emergency rooms here.
That being said, I've got many local attractions, that come fall, will fill our weekends up with exploring our new city and its surround.
Thankfully this morning, we woke up to cooler weather ( 85 F at 8:30a) and a nice breeze--okay, the breeze was more like gusts of wind, but it really made it feel much more bearable outside...So, we did it. We left the building to do something fun!
We packed the backpack and the boy up and headed to Turtle head Park Isle ( Yuan Tou Zhu), which is located on the shore of Lake Taihu, our local lake. Lake Taihu is the 3rd largest fresh water lake in all of China. Here in China, it is common to pay a fee to enter a park, much like one would do in a US National park, such as Yosemite. We each paid 150 RMB to enter, the equivalent of $24 USD.
We had asked the driver to come back in an hour and a half, but easily could have spent the better part of a day there wandering the gardens and staircases to traditional Chinese buildings located within the park. We only saw about half of the attractions, since we were tight on time, and definitely plan on returning in fall when no one is in danger of heat stroke. I hear that in fall, the foliage is beautiful reds, oranges and yellows---something that we southern California bred kids rarely experience, seeing as the only way we know that winter has arrived is that people start to wear jeans with their flip flops.
We returned from our hike, a sweaty mess, but are looking forward to going back once Autumn arrives so that we can see the trees change color and visit the other half of the park that we missed today.