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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Step Aside, Superman!

This is the Shanghai Magnetic Levitation (Maglev to his friends) Train which we took from Pudong Airport to the station near our hotel.  In a little over seven minutes we reached the world record (until last week in Japan!) speed of 431 km/h which is right around 268 mph.  We flew!!!!!!!!!!!  Actually we reached capacity speed in 2 minutes and didn't get to fly too long before we needed to decelerate.   Those tricky Japanese got theirs up to 676 km/h.  How did it feel, Mad, you ask?  Blurry and a titch nausating.   Rumor has it that it won't be long until Maglev takes on the 800 mile trip to Beijing.  That presents all manner of engineering challenges, but at least it would alleviate the crying babies, loud-talking Chinese mothers, snoring seatmates, and nervous leg NONSTOP ANNOYANCES which we endured coming home on a regular fancy dancy old bullet train from Shanghai for a little under five hours, thank you.  I'm going to catch this blog up tomorrow.  Come back.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Shanghai Getaway

Sometimes your planets align.  You find yourself in magical places heretofore only imagined.  Shanghai is such a place for me.

Saturday morning in a Buddhist temple--chubby cheeks aplenty!!  Little did we know that in a kingdom far far away called Maryland, 

this little dumpling touting her own award-winning cheeks had landed!!!  Welcome, Caroline Rae Myers!  You make an even dozen!!

And you'll have an instant wardrobe FOREVER!!

 This amazing crew was polishing this large jade rock inside the  grounds of Jing an Temple.  Who knows how long countless people have worked to make this indentation--all the while bringing glorious luck to loved ones!  

 El travelino compadres--Kathy and John

 Somewhere in the temple fun, Paco's phone got heisted from his unzipped cargo pants pocket.  We should have rubbed the rock harder!!  I think he probably stood out in his Don Ho shirt.

 The Qi (stay tuned for an entire post devoted to Qi!!! -- pronounced chee) of this Dunkin' Donuts is in balance as evidenced by the group practicing outside and the donuts extraordinaire on the inside!!!!  

 John is going to be so ticked when he finds me on the other side of his picture taking a mirror image shot with him in it!

Some Chinese children are show-stopping gorgeous.

Star-crossed lovers--their tale needs to be told... 

 True story!!!  I was taking a picture of this broom lying next to the monk.  He enthusiastically hopped up and animated this broom!

Very cool minion remote control toys

Every Sunday (while you and I have been sitting in Sunday school) for who knows how long,  Chinese parents have been anxiously engaged in People's Square "selling" their sons and daughters into matrimony.

All the important specs are spelled out complete with height, date of birth, educational prowess, and the all important phone number.

  Hundreds and hundreds of expectant umbrellas--each touting the availability of marriageable Chinese young men and women--none of whom are in sight.  Sleeping?  Hiding behind the trees?  Unaware that Mom is up to this?  Perhaps in the temple rubbing that rock for their own good matrimonial luck?

This mother broom has a spinster daughter she's been trying to match for about 5 years.  Daughter says, "No need, Ma, really!"  But every Sunday morning, mother is out parked on the curb...devoted and stubborn.

Feeding the birds

I had such a haircut once too.  My older sister put Jergens lotion on it to make it shine.  Really.

 In passing... I almost didn't look sideways and would have missed them.  Close one...

We bought tickets on a hop on/hop off tour bus which was great great fun and allowed us to sit on the open-air top deck of a bus and enjoy the perfect temperature of Shanghai as well as the sights and sounds of this glorious city.  Here we are in the middle of a massive migration through a street fair--serendipitously so wonderful!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Faces From Summer!

Mt. Vernon, the National Zoo, and Washington DC

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On the Silk Road

National Day in China afforded us a week of holiday (which we didn't even really feel like we needed, but...), so we took off on the Silk Road with 36 of our BYU teaching buddies!  Urumqi, Dunghuan, Turpan, Xi'an--places of mystery, intrigue, and history.

We saw 4,999,302,874,003 raisins.  I counted them.  Some were still grapes on trees, but most of them were drying flat in fields and on the sides of the road.

Muslem bazaars--rugs, urns...

Let's make music!!

(Insert "I Dream of Jeanie" theme song)

The place was pretty much lined with this bread.  Our cool tour guide hopped off the bus at one point and got some for all of us to try.  I could picture some pretty snazzy pizzas--or maybe frisbees!

Gords?  Gordes?  Gourdes?  Goards?

"And the winner of the cutest Uighur baby contest is..."

Kathy and John--good friends who live across from us in Beijing--We do motocross training together.

An adorable yawning baby

Cam is a new friend--every traveling group needs a retired podiatrist, right?  If he speaks Chinese, THAT is a bonus!  If he is the world's friendliest guy---well, then.

What did I tell you?

Still on the vine

Freshly juiced...ahhhhhhhhhhh

The noods.  Always the noods.

Muslem cafe

Flowers floating in our commode when we arrived at our hotel--a first for me.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley