..........A little blog about the little things in life..........

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This is one of my favorite photos from my trip - interesting colors and patterns.

Races and Pumpkins

A couple of weeks ago we went to the Wiener Dog Races, then stopped at Chesebrough Farm on the way home.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

China Trip - Days 4 & 5 - Suzhou

Next stop......Suzhou. Suzhou is a "small" (2+ Million) city on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. It is know for it's canals, beautiful stone bridges, pagodas and gardens, and silk. We started our tour with a boat ride on the Grand Canal. The Grand Canal is the longest ancient canal in the world, stretching from Beijing to Hangzhou (1,115 miles). The stretch in Suzhou is quite scenic. We also visited 2 gardens, Tiger Hill and Lingering Garden, a silk factory, and an embroidery institute.

Join me below in a cruise along the Grand Canal.

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

China Trip - Day Three

Are you ready for Day 3? We headed for Tian An Men Square and the Forbidden City. Lots of walking here! Tian An Men Square is located near the center of Beijing and is one of the largest squares in the world. Located in the square is Mao Zedong's Mausoleum, built in 1977 and a Monument to People's Heroes, built in 1958. There was a very long line of people waiting to go in to see Mao's tomb. The Forbidden City, next to the square, was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. For almost 5 centuries it served as the home of the Emperor and his household, as well as the ceremonial and political center of the Chinese government. Today it is a public museum and is a World Heritage Site. It was built from 1406 to 1420, and has 980 surviving buildings with over 8,000 rooms, and covers 7,800,000 square feet. It is an excellent example of Chinese palatial architecture. Our next stop was the Lama Temple. It consists of 5 large halls and 5 courtyards and has many decorative archways, upturned eaves and carved details. It houses a treasury of Buddhist art, including sculptured images of gods, demons and Buddhas. Many visitors purchased incense to burn in the temple. We finished our day with a traditional Peking Duck dinner. Tomorrow we'll be flying out of Beijing for Shanghai. Slide show of Day 3 below.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

China Trip - Day Two

The second morning we left Beijing to travel to the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall. We made a stop at a Jade Factory for more shopping - such beautiful jewelry! I must admit I purchased a few items! Then on to the Ming Tombs. These are the tombs of 13 emperors of the Ming Dynasty. Only 3 tombs are open to the public. Our tour went to the area where Emperor Zhu Di and his empress were buried. We stopped for lunch at a huge Friendship Store, where we shopped some more after lunch. Then on to the Great Wall. The Chinese have a saying that goes something like this "If you haven't been to the Great Wall, you haven't been to China". It's quite a sight! Enjoy my slide show of the Ming Tombs and the Great Wall.

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Coming up: The Forbidden City and Tian An Men Square

China Trip - Day One

We started our Chinese experience touring a small section of one of Beijings main attractions - the beautiful Summer Palace. It was used by China's imperial rulers as a retreat from the main imperial palace (Forbidden City). Our next stop was a Pearl "Factory" where we learned about fresh water pearls, and started our Chinese shopping marathon! Next we went back into the main part of Beijing for a tour of the Hutong Historic District - this area is the old section of Beijing and shows how things used to be - small houses, narrow lanes, rather dirty and smelly (no toilets in the homes - everyone uses the public toilets, which are about a block or 2 apart). We had lunch in a Chinese home. Then on to the Temple of Heaven, and finally back to our beautiful Crowne Plaza Sun Palace (5 star) Hotel to get some rest.

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Home Sweet Home

"Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,

Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home."
It seems we've been gone a month! China was a fabulous experience - many sights were familiar (from my trip there in 1983), but the changes were staggering! Beautiful high rise buildings, the world's largest airport (Beijing) completed in 2008 for the Olympic Games, multi-laned freeways jammed with new automobiles, stylishly dressed citizens. There were still plenty of bicycles, but mopeds and scooters were everywhere, as well as busses, taxis and commuter trains. Beijing is a huge city (17+ million), and busily tearing down the old and building the new. Here are some photos of "modern" Beijing. I'll be adding addition photos as I "weed" through them.

Arrival at the Beijing Airport after a 16 hour flight! (3 hours spent on the runway in Tianjen due to high winds).

My favorite buildings - the one on the left is the head of the dragon, and the ones behind the body.

The beautiful new Beijing airport.

Beijing Airport

Modern Buildings were everywhere

Ooops, I got this one in twice!

The Bird's Nest - built for the Olympics
They'll be more photos as I get things organized!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Almost On Our Way

We leave tomorrow morning for our trip to China. I'm not taking my laptop, so the blog will be "dark" for a week or so. Hopefully I'll have lot of photos to p ost when I return.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Random Pictures Taken on October 4th

This morning when I woke up the moon was just beginning to disappear in the west. This moon is called the Harvest Moon - the full moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. If you were a farmer, you could work all night harvesting your crops in the light of a harvest moon.

I've been making lots of paper beads ever since a trade I did with Fabric Art Traders. I rather like this cuff style bracelet made out of the page from an old atlas. I have several more in various stages of completion.

Synchronized napping by Casey and Sunny!

Yesterday while I was "surfing" I saw an article that listed 10 coolest small towns. Cayucos, California was among the 10. Cayucos, population 3000, is just north of Morro Bay in San Luis Obispo county right on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway, or Highway 1). It's nestled right along the ocean and has a lovely beach that stretches for several miles. Today after church, we drove into Cayucos and had lunch at the Sea Shanty. The wind was howling, and the wind surfers were having a great time. Great views, and lunch wasn't bad, either.

Outdoor Concert at Castoro

Last week we went to Castoro Cellars on the westside of Templeton to an outdoor concert. Castoro is one of the venues for SLOfolks, the San Luis Obispo Folk Music Society. We attend concerts there several times a year. This one was held outdoors, and the weather was delightful! It started at 7:00, which was just as the sun was setting. The group was "Wake the Dead", a "Celtic Grateful Dead Jam Band" from the Oakland/Berkeley area, playing celtic traditional music and the songs of the Grateful Dead...a rather interesting combination. They were indeed "grate" and we enjoyed the evening.

Claudia, Tom and Charlie enjoy the concert.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Beep, Beep

The neighborhood roadrunner showed up in our yard this afternoon. Don't know where the Wile E. Coyote was.