Happy New Year! 2011 ended a bit sadly as our Center Manager left DE to go finish some coursework for his PhD. We had a big delicious dinner at a local upscale hot pot restaurant to say goodbye.
The FTs at my center went out to a bar for New Year's Eve. There were lanterns being sent up in the air, fireworks and the most subdued countdown ever at midnight. It was laid back and fun. We rarely get to go out on Saturday nights.
We had Sunday off for New Years Day, and I went to services with my friend, Jessi. She's Mormon, and I have never been to a Mormon service so since we had the day off, I decided to accompany her. She said it wasn't a regular service because the first Sunday of each month is mostly testimonials from congregants. It was different, but the people were nice, and I enjoyed listening to people share their experiences that strengthened their faith.
Then off to the hot springs! There are famous hot springs about an hour east of Nanjing. They were cool, but expensive, and I'm not sure why they're so famous. I don't think they are naturally occurring. There were several different types of pools; initially we had a hard time finding one that was actually hot, but eventually we succeeded. We also sat in a pool with those fish that eat your dead skin. I lasted about 10 seconds and then chose to explore instead. After a couple of hours we were thoroughly relaxed and exhausted and headed home. It was nice to start the new year with an adventure.
For the weekend, I stayed home and relaxed. I've been traveling a lot and need to save some money and energy for Chinese New Year. I cleaned, studied Chinese, napped, booked the rest of my Chinese New Year trip and explored some more of the city and the metro. I found a park with relics from the Ming Dynasty and a small art museum. Great fun!