July 15-17

Aug. 10th, 2006 03:26 pm
rendiru: (great wall)
At this point I fell behind in my journal-keeping. The day after our concert was our departure from Xi'an to Jinan. My family was on the later flight once again. S, J and I walked down to the bank to restock our wallets while C had breakfast. We had a couple of street vendors glom onto us right outside the hotel, but once we shook them off we didn't have any more and could walk in peace.

The sidewalks weren't as crowded in Xi'an as in Beijing, but we still had to watch out for traffic using the wide sidewalk as an extra lane.

Leaving Xi'an )

July 16 )

Confucius )

We headed back to the hotel for a quick shower before attending a farewell dinner put on by the vice-mayor of Jinan in our honor. There were many government dignitaries there. There were a couple of glowing speeches from representatives from both sides of the Pacific, then dinner was served while local musicians provided our evening entertainment. We were tired when we got back to the hotel, but we left with such a warm impression of the people of Jinan.

July 14

Jul. 29th, 2006 10:16 pm
rendiru: (great wall)
Concert day! We began the day with a tour of a jade carving factory downtown. They showed us different grades of jade, with the finest being composed of translucent apple green and lavender. Stones that are less translucent are lesser quality. We didn't buy anything at that shop except for a pendant for J.

Wild Goose Pagoda )

That evening )
rendiru: (great wall)
I can't believe I forgot to write about this!

After the welcoming ceremony, we were taken to a restaurant for a dumpling feast. Dumplings are like holiday food in China - they are served on special occasions. Like all the meals we had that weren't buffet-style, this was served family-style, with the dishes placed on a lazy Susan in the middle of the table and people serving themselves as they wished. There were appetizers on the table, but most of us were eagerly anticipating the dumplings.

Each dumpling was made in a shape that indicated what was inside. Those filled with pork may have looked like a pig snout or had a curling tail shape. The walnut dumpling looked just like a walnut. There were dumplings filled with pumpkin, seafood, chicken, pork, beef, and veggies. They just kept coming and coming. They must have served us nearly 20 different kinds. We were happily sated when they cleared the table and brought out a covered dish suspended over a brazier. The fuel in the brazier looked waxy - I think it was Sterno or something like it. The dish contained soup. The server lit the fuel and came back after it was boiling to add miniature dumplings to it. The number of dumplings in your bowl indicated your luck. We were told not to worry if our bowl didn't get any dumplings, as this was just an indication that a person would have no problems. :-)

The heat from the burning fuel overcame on of our singers, who had to move to a cooler area to recover, and the fumes sent several of us away from the table with burning eyes. The presentation was fun - the flames leaping out of the sides of the brazier were entertaining - but I wish they could have used less irritating fuel.

July 13

Jul. 29th, 2006 04:56 pm
rendiru: (great wall)
This was another touring day. Our first stop was within the city to a factory where Terra Cotta Warrior souvenirs and lacquer furniture are made. Our group was taken to see the lacquering process first and ended up not seeing how the terra cotta figures are made at all. The lacquering process was interesting. They start with the bare wood, often pine, and cover it with ten coats of lacquer. They wrap the board tightly in linen and apply ten more coats of lacquer. From there, they may apply color or may inlay gems and stones before applying many more coats. It's a long process because each coat takes a day or so to dry.

We did a little shopping in the store there, of course. S and the boys each got a silk robe. I saw a lovely little silver and jade bracelet, but at US$6000 it was a little out of my range. :-)

The Terra Cotta Warriors Museum )

Free time? )
rendiru: (great wall)
July 8, 2006

C was up early even though he went to bed after J. He headed off to breakfast before the rest of our family was even up and about. The rest of us headed down to breakfast around 7:30, with C joining us for a light second round before we headed off to the buses for the day's touring. The breakfast was served buffet style, with American and Chinese options, so if you didn't want cereal, fruit, or eggs, you could have noodle, egg rolls, and fried rice. Actually, there were many more options, but it would be tedious to list them all, as I'm sure nobody wants to read endless lists of what we ate. ;-)

Traffic in Beijing )

Tien An Men Square )

Forbidden City )

Summer Palace )

We headed back to the hotel for dinner and collapsed onto our bed. Very carefully, of course, it wouldn't do to break anything and miss tomorrow's sight seeing.
rendiru: (great wall)
A year of anticipation led up to this day. My bags had been test packed, weighed, and repacked with more when I realized I had weight to spare. This would be my first international flight as well as my first time visiting a country in which I had no basic vocabulary in the local language. Not sure exactly what might be available if I forgot something, I packed everything I could think I might possibly need.

We left the house before 8 am in two cars to accommodate us and our luggage. My ILs dropped us off at CSUS, where we practice every Monday night from September to May, and where our director works. They hugged us goodbye, took a picture for us, and headed back to house-sit for the next two weeks.

I handn't had the heart to pick one of my nearly-ripe tomatoes before we left. It just wasn't quite there. What's the use in eating a home grown tomato if it's as bland as one bought at the store? I left them on the vine for the enjoyment of our ILs and looked forward to eating one of the many others that were sure to ripen while we were gone.

Bus trip, flight, and arrival, cut to spare your friends page )
rendiru: (Default)
We're leaving now for vacation. I'll post a summary with pictures when we get back.

/waves 'bye

Yay me!

Jun. 26th, 2004 04:40 pm
rendiru: (avatar)
I made it through my first recital performance this afternoon. I have to go back at 7 for the second one, but I feel better about it now that I have survived the first one. The audience (packed with an entire afternoon's worth of dancers' friends and family) was terrific and hooted and hollered for us all through our dance. Hubby was there and said that our group received the most applause of any group in the show! I'm happy. :-)

We're still deciding on how to time our driving for our vacation. I've decided that I need to work backward; figure the driving times between each definite stop and then decide how long we can stay at each stop.

[livejournal.com profile] dawni, we are definitely planning to spend at least a day in Victoria. I'll let you know when that will be so we can see if we can get together. I'd love to get a chance to meet in person. :-)

[livejournal.com profile] texaswren, we'll be traveling through northern Texas as well. Is there any day of the week that you might be able to meet for lunch or tea? I don't know if I'll be near enough for a Tuesday night meetup (if y'all have one scheduled), but an informal meetup would be great. We'll be in Ardmore, OK between the 8th and the 13th - we have a family reunion on Saturday.

[livejournal.com profile] carianne, it's likely that we'll start out by heading through Las Vegas. Do you think you might have time to meet for a little while on the 4th or the morning of the 5th?

After the reunion, we're going to be winging it for a week or so before heading into BC. Hubby wants to check out Calgary and friends have strongly recommended Banff. Knowing that we'll only have a few days, is there anything else that we should try to see before heading off to Victoria (where Buchard [sp?] gardens are on the "must see" list)?

If I'm forgetting that someone else lives in the vicinity of our trip, please let me know. I'm feeling very scatter-brained right now, but I'd like to meet as many of you as can conveniently spare the time.

Oops, I need to go run an errand or two before the next performance. "Don't fall down or forget the routine" thoughts gratefully accepted. :-)
rendiru: (Default)
Having been stood-up this morning by a patient scheduled for a two-hour test, I find myself with some time on my hands. What better thing to do than update my journal?

There really hasn't been much more than just daily life going on, so there's not a lot to add. Bear with me while I wrack my brains for something to fill up this blank page...

I had been truly over-indulgent with myself for the last month or so. In the last week and a half I had gained back four of the twenty two pounds I had lost this year. I gave myself a stern talking-to and decided to get back on track. It's not that I haven't been exercising - I have been taking a dance class every week and just joined a gym, where I've been going 2-4 times a week. My main problem is mindless snacking while reading or while loafing at the computer. My goal for this month is to remember to think before eating. BTW - two of those four pounds are gone as of yesterday. :-)

I went to my first ever yoga class last night (and I am soooo sore today, especially in my arms). My older son, J, was very interested in trying it, and was excited that it was offered at the gym. I admit that my motivation in going with him last night was not entirely altruistic - the monthly BookCrossing Meetup was last night, and if I had taken the step aerobics class that I had planned to take, I would have missed the meetup. Since yoga was an hour and fifteen minutes earlier, it fit my schedule nicely. We had about six people show up for the meetup. We were able to sit outside the coffehouse and enjoy the lovely weather while we talked. Most of last night's conversation was actually about books - mostly reminiscing about childhood book influences, inspired by the airing of A Wrinkle In Time on television the night before. (I didn't watch it - I couldn't bear to give up my mental images.) I dropped off a book and bravely refused to take any new ones home with me.*

In addition to my sloppy eating habits, I've neglected my housecleaning in the last month as well, only doing minimal cleaning like laundry, dishes (after ignoring them for a day, hoping that the dishwashing fairy would visit my kitchen and magically make them all sparkly clean and put them away, but being sadly disappointed each time), and basic bathroom maintainance. My floors badly need attention and I need to do a whole heap of decluttering. Boy, I really need to get my act together! Maybe I'll be inspired in my cleaning if 'Nathan tells us how Mr. Dude's first visit to his place goes. *innocent whistle*

My family has started planning for summer vacation. It's been years since I've taken more than a week off, but this year I'm taking three! I am so excited! We are planning a road trip. We'll be heading to Oklahoma for a family reunion in July, then heading north. We're hoping to see Mt. Rushmore then head into Canada before heading back to the west coast. I need to find my road atlas of the US and find a Canadian road atlas so we can firm up our route. I've never been to Canada, so I'm really looking forward to this trip. I'll also get to see Washington and Oregon for the first time on the way home. Have I mentioned that I'm really excited about this trip? We figure it may be the last time we can drag our older son along for a family vacation, so we're wanting to really make it special.

Well, I've spent longer than I planned writing this - I'd better go see if I can find something productive to do. I will post our route when we have it finalized, just in case anyone wants to meet for lunch when we pass through a local town.


*Mostly because I had already brought home eight books in the last two days, five of them purchased on my lunch break that day from the big library sale (I'll be heading back to the library sale on Sunday when books are $5/bag.) Ah, bliss.
rendiru: (avatar)
Or I will be tonight. Right now I'm renting computer time at the airport since I have hours to kill before my flight. The conference I attended went well and I headed off to see my parents yesterday afternoon. Several of my aunts and uncles drove in from around the area to say helo while I was there and I got to see my neice as well. I was so happy to be there! It was hard to only visit for one afternoon and have to turn around and leave, but it was better than not getting to visit at all. :-)

(In case anyone is wondering, the dead armadillo on the side of the road count was 6 - three on the way over and three on the way back. Yuck!) The burning question in my mind as I type this is HOW on earth did I manage to spend an entire weekend in Texas and Oklahoma without going out to get my lips around a cherry limeaid?!?! I had such good intentions - really, I did. I love those things and only thought of them just this minute when I am not able to get one, being stuck in the airport. TexasWren, would you take pity on my and have one in my honor sometime soon? Please?

/sigh

I hope that everyone who attended the BC convention had a wonderful time. I'm looking forward to catching up on all the journal entries once I get home and settle in. Until then...
rendiru: (avatar)
Tomorrow I fly into Dallas for a seminar. I'll be finished with that on Sunday and will drive up to Oklahoma to visit my parents and neice overnight before heading back home on Monday. I haven't seen them in over a year - I'm so excited!

/boingy, boingy, boingy

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