Day 195: Chocolate Factory Tour 4/26/2016


Woke up early today so that the Ayi could clean our house. Once she finished we headed over to Zotter’s, chocolate factory. When we arrived we saw that the place was pretty well decorated and had plenty of English speaking staff. We had expected the tour to show us the whole process of how the chocolate was processed and packaged, but instead it was mostly a tasting tour. Not really complaining though. I tried SOOOOO MUCH chocolate. I’ve found that I’m very fond of Almond chocolate cause I kept gravitating towards those flavors. Towards the end of the tour we were at a drinking chocolate bar and there we met other people in an earlier tour. It was a family from Florida and we struck up a conversation. I’m not sure how it got brought up, but Harry Potter came up and Syd just started going off about the cafe we’re going to and the exhibit that was here and seeing the sets in London. The kids were in love with her, especially the daughter. She kept asking Syd where’d she’d been before and gasped and gawked after each place. It was really cute, the little girl definitely already has the travel bug and she’ll be going places.

After the chocolate factory we had to get something else in our system otherwise we’d just keel over from all the sugar. We stopped by this old train car that was converted into a restaurant. There we had fries and met other expats. Our conversation with them was over our travels and future plans. It was pretty cool because most of them were in their 40s and they were jealous of us! They kept saying travel when you’re young and that we’re going to see and do more than they have. I know I keep hearing people say that you should travel while you’re young, especially those in already in their later chapters of life. It really brings into perspective what we’re doing. Doing what we’ve done these past 6 months has really opened my eyes to what life should be and is. Life is just a collection of experiences and that all the material things in the world cannot make up for the memories that traveling gives you. I know that we may not be set in our careers or that we may not be following the conventional path that most take once out of college, but this unconventional life that Syd and I lead has brought us closer and enriched our lives beyond what I could have ever imagined for myself. Sorry for the mini rant there. It’s just I know that Syd and I often stress and question our choices because we know when we get back that we’ll have to struggle for a bit to re-establish ourselves and start settling down, but in the end, big picture, we’re going to be alright.

Sorry enough about that! We went to check out the Harry Potter cafe, 9 3/4, here in Shanghai. We had hoped that it would be similar to the Friends cafe that we went to. Overall it was a bit disappointing, the ambiance of the place was that of a chill cafe, but the problem was unless you paid attention to the decorations you wouldn’t know it was a themed cafe. Also the menu items weren’t that fun either, they only had a small section labeled potions. We ordered their Butter Beer expecting it to be a sweet caramel concoction, but their version was to mix cider and beer together with some whip cream on top. It was fucking disgusting… We were a bit bummed that it didn’t live up to our expectations and ended our coffee date early. We walked around Tianzifang for a bit and found a cool bar that we’ll be taking Matt to once he gets here. FREEFLOW drinks for $23 usd. YES PLEASE!

Since our Harry Potter date didn’t go as we had hoped we stopped by fancy Pizza Hut for dinner and had a nice meal. Afterwards we came home and did our shit and called it a night.


Woke up early because the ayi is coming to clean the house. I cannot wait to be home and when I have a housekeeper she actually does a good job cleaning the house and I feel that I do not have to clean after her. First, as I have stated in the past they do not use cleaning supplies just a rag and a bucket of cold water. Second, she knocked over my retainer and left it on her dirty, dusty rag until I saw it and grabbed it. Finally, no matter what she does Wally and I will still have to sweep tonight when we get home. Whatever at least she cleans the toilet. I talked to my dad for awhile because some stuff came up and it was irritating and I needed to vent to my dad. Once everything got cleared up and we made some jokes Wally and I headed out to our adventure.

The Zotter Chocolate Theater is a little out of town and takes about an hour from our house and there is a decent walk when you get off the metro to it. The walk there was ghetto!! SO much shit on the ground and not just stuff type shit, actual shit. Ya know, like always normal China things. We got our tickets and they gave us a discount in the little cafeteria so we got a coffee and a slice of cake. The coffee was better then the cake. Everything is made from their chocolate and ingredients. Next, we head into the theater and we watch a 20 minute movie on the family’s story and stuff. It was really interesting and I really enjoyed myself. Once we left they took us on a tour and we tried SSSSOOOOOO many types of chocolates. It was tasty!!! Man, did I have a sugar high. There was some weird flavors and normal ones of course. I still like milk chocolate. Towards the end we got to try their different drink flavors and the milk cocoa tasted like hot chocolate. I drank about 3 cups of it! They give you warm milk and then they put the chocolate bar in the milk and you let it melt. SSSSSSSSSSSSSOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDD! It was such a fun adventure but man I am so amped up. We went to a little food stand and got some french fries to try and get some salt since I was on such a sugar high. We met some cool dudes that were also from California. This place was an outdoor outlet mall so we walked around and took in the sites then headed to our next stop.

The next stop was going to be the Friends Cafe but we found out that there was a Harry Potter Cafe so we had to go there, obviously. It ended up being at the beginning of the French Concession walk from my book. It was not as cool as the Friends Cafe. We tried the butterbeer but it was just apple cider, beer, and whip cream on top. It was not good. I was really disappointed. The place just had some Harry Potter memorabilia and it was called Cafe 9 3/4. It was still cool to go and I am glad we went. From now on though we will go to the Friends Cafe. After the cafe we walked around Tianzafang and found some cool places to take Matt. Crazy that he will be here in 4 days. We wanted to end our night with a date so we went to fancy Pizza Hut and had some food then came home. It started raining again on our walk home but luckily we were inside before it came down harder.

Today was a perfect Tuesday (our Saturday).

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