Family Favourites: The Sullens

Sunday, 8 March 2009

It's a long way from Birmingham, Alabama, but John-David and Christy Sullens are loving the urban lifestyle they enjoy in the Lido area, where traffic is not as congested and everything is within walking distance. John-David works in construction while Christy home-schools their three children Amber (12), Tyler (7) and Emily (4). Here are their Birmingham-to-Beijing favorites.  

Place for Weekend Fun
The new Goose ‘n’ Duck Pub – the food is good and the kids love the indoor batting cage, basketball court and air hockey table.

Way to Burn Off Steam
Walking in any of Beijing’s parks. Our favorite is the Purple Bamboo Park (Zizhuyuan) – it’s so peaceful, you forget you’re in a big city.

Birthday Celebration
We don’t have parties but each child gets to pick what to have for dinner or a restaurant to go to. And of course – homemade cake or cupcakes.

Restaurant for School Night
Peter’s Tex-Mex Grill. It is really close and the kids love the smoked bacon burger. Plus, they have a small corner for Emily to play in.

Place to Take Friends From Home
Ritan Park, to eat at a restaurant named Xiao Wang Fu (北京小王府). They have the best lemon chicken, and the park is pretty.

Good Report Card Reward
Shopping; Amber buys music and movies, Tyler buys Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, and Emily buys dolls’ clothes.

Place to Go When Homesick
Steak and Eggs. The food is good and the staff friendly. Emily adores [the owner] Paul – she even has a framed picture of him in her room.

Cold Weather Activity
Skating in boxes at Si’de Park. It’s never crowded and we can walk there.

Indoor Play Place
Si’de Park (a huge sports-themed park across from the Rosedale Hotel). They have a large indoor playroom that has saved us from the winter doldrums many, many times!

Beijing Daytrip
We love to go to Beihai Park and spend the day driving the rented boats. We never get tired of the Summer Palace.

Beijing Street
Liulichang. The shops are pertty and people are friendly. It's a good place to find something special.

First published in beijingkids magazine and on the beijingkids website.

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