Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Girls night!

My daughter, Kimmy, went to South Korea this summer
to visit a friend of hers.
While there, she bought facial masks 
(because they are really, really cheap) 
and brought them home.
So when we had the "little girls" over,
we did facials!
 Here's Kimmy, Kylee, and Myah...
and Me!
We had a lot of fun and they worked really well!

Chinese Architecture and the Summer Palace

At the Summer Palace, this is a sign for the different buildings.
 The gold rooflines represent emperors.  
 Many of these buildings had roof charms.
Although they consisted of different variations, but marching in an outward direction.
They serve different purposes, but the beasts in the middle (an odd number)
are set to pounce on the man in the front, who is riding a Phoenix,
should he fail to perform his duties.
 Rocks are revered in China, especially to artists.
Rock sculptures are seen all over the country.
 All through China, we saw pagodas, tucked among new buildings and historic buildings.

 The pictures of the marble boat below
were taken on the grounds of the Summer Palace and 
built during the Qing Dynasty.

It was beautiful and the boats in the background were so colorful!

Monday, August 29, 2016

More of Beijing

Another breakfast - pretty much the same as before with a few minor changes.
The "fuzzy" brown thing is a steamed, white yam.  
My friend said it is probably a yucca plant.
American traditions? hash browns and bacon.
 Before our stop at the Great Wall, we stopped at a jade factory.
This technician is polishing a jade figurine.
 The food in China was absolutely delicious!
It was always served family style and usually had 10 or more entrees.
And the rice was so good!
 This is The Summer Palace where different emperors lived.
 I love the story behind this photo.  I was sitting on our bus and we were on the freeway.
Traffic is so heavy in Beijing that it comes to a standstill quite often.
I looked over and this young man was asking me to take his picture.
So I did.  The Chinese often want their pictures taken with Americans
or just like to have their pictures taken.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Okay - I'm back!

Several friends have asked me why I'm not doing my blog anymore, and asked me to keep it up.  Well, I really enjoy having a blog and sharing my life, but it is a true commitment.  So... I have decided to try again.  A great place for me to jump right back in would be to share my most recent trip to China.  My trip was a 10-day tour of China, starting in Beijing, then Xian, 
and ending the trip in Shanghai.
Upon landing in Beijing, the one thing that struck me and I noticed right away
is that the Chinese love beauty.  There were flowers everywhere.
These roses were on the side of the freeway.
I had to wonder who kept them flower boxes clean and 
the bushes pruned.  It would be a very dangerous job.
 Most meals, except for 2 nights, were included in our tour.
The first night we arrived was one such night.  
I traveled with my friend, Pat, and we were tired and decided to 
eat at the restaurant in our hotel to make it easy.
I ordered a wonton soup, which was really delicious, but not like what we get here in the States.
We also ordered a small pot of jasmine tea - which was really a smooth,
wonderfully flavored tea.
What we didn't know until the bill came?  The price of this small pot of tea was $24!
No wonder it was so good.
 This was our breakfast the first day.
Fresh cut up fruit (usually watermelon), fried rice, 
stir fry vegetables, steamed sweet potatoes, noodles, and coffee.
The coffee was always "iffy" in China.  In some hotels, it was hard to find.
They usually offered something familiar to Americans.
On this particular day, it was they offered french toast and tater tots.
 On our second full day in Beijing, they took us to the Great Wall.
This was one thing I really wanted to see.  
It was more amazing than I could have imagined.  
This picture was taken from the top of one of the peaks of the Wall,
looking down and back up the other side.
I just want to say - I MADE IT TO THE TOP!
They offered t-shirts you could buy, but I decided I didn't really need one.
It was a beautiful day for hiking to the top even tho' I did have to make a few stops.
 On the first full day in Beijing, we went to Tiananmen Square. 
It was a bit rainy - light sprinkles/misty actually - not enough for an umbrella.
I show this picture because of the lady with a mask over her face.
Pollution is horrible in Beijing so some people choose to wear masks. 
Here I am standing on Tiananmen Square with the picture of
Mao Zedong (a/k/a Mao Tse-Tung/Chairman Mao) behind me.

More to come...  This is just the beginning of the trip.