Saturday, June 24, 2017

Road to Shu Small Group Reunion

Eight of us got together at Better's Hunan House for a little reunion dinner on May 24, 2017.  Tyler and Molly drove over from NY State, Steve and Mary came from NJ, Tom and Janice drove over from DE, I drove from Baltimore, and Hope came from Philly.  In a short three hours, we had a delightful dinner prepared from Betty's kitchen.  Steve shred some large prints of the pictures he took at kitchens in Sichuan.  We talked much of the fond memories from the trip.  Everyone is interested in another gathering in autumn when Phil and Genie come back from MS.

Hope was pleasantly surprised by the Birthday cake I prepared for her.

 Someone must said something to delight Steve and Mary.
Betty's cozy Conner was just big enough for us.
 Glad to see Hope's happy smile.

Thursday, May 18, 2017


Poetry plays my heart with its gentle fingers.  Then as I longed with my teary eyes, the poets seemed just turned their heads with a knowing nod.  The souls can not be lonely when there is poetry.

I found Philip Larkin's "Days" this morning.  I guess it's fitting for my blog.


Related Poem Content Details

What are days for?
Days are where we live.   
They come, they wake us   
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:   
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor   
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Visit to Qufu and PingYe in Shangdong

On the last day in Xian, I was able to get a special gift for Margaret and Steven.  I asked a calligrapher to write out Huang family's middle name poem.  Hopefully they will keep it and tell the story of the poem to their kids and grandkids.....


The following morning, Tom and I parted with the group from "Hiking the Road to Shu" in Xian, and took a train ride to Qufu.  Two ladies met up with us at the Qufu station to start the three days visit.

Tom relaxed in the train:
Our snacks and lunch on the train:

The train ride was fast and comfortable! It took 5 hours from Xian to Qufu.

Linda (Xiao Wu's wife) accompanied us to do quite a bit of sight seeing in Yanzhou and PingYe.


 We met up with three sons of Fushen Jei in a restaurant for lunch.

We did more sight seeing in the "cultural park".   

 Flowers from the hotel we stayed.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Hiking on the Road to Shu

I discovered, on the YouTube, Hope Justman and her romance with the Road to Shu.  The episode was so enchanting that I called her last year to express interest in joining the tour she will lead in 2017.  Then Tom expressed interest in joining too.  Unfortunately the hikes would be a bit too difficult for Janice to join us.  So Tom and I started the journey together.  This is the first time ever that Tom and I traveled together without other siblings and spouses.  We were on the tour from March 13 to April 2. Tom and I then took a train to Qefu for a couple of days' visit.

Tom babysat me when I was very young.  As a teenager, he always wanted to hand me back to an adult so that he could go play basketball.
The four siblings took a picture together when I was five.  At that age, I looked at my two elder brothers as tall and scary guys.
Then I grew up and came to the United States.  The years in US has changed me, and Tom and I grew closer as years went by.  I still respect and admire him as my big brother, but I also felt more affectionate and more as a friend toward him now.  I am able to tease him, debate with him, and show my love to him.

And we enjoyed traveling together, even in the absence of other family members.

Our leader Hope is an intriguing and understanding kindred spirit.  She made the journey spontaneous and interesting.  Tom also taught her how to play Cheung Cards.
 Being interviewed by a reporter:

With a farmer friend:
Ordering dishes with Luping:
What did Mr. Chan say?
Opening the "beggar's chicken" for our picnic:

Sneaking on a photo oppotunity:
Inside a cave home:
Enjoying a foot message with Ginny and Steve in Cheng Shen (Dry village with dry's po yen ze)

 I enjoyed our fellow travelers too.

From left to right: Jim, Luping, Molly, Ginny, Barb, Larry, Hope, and Tyler.  Not the entire team as some wondered off to other places.

Molly and Tyler .  This is their first trip to China.
Ginny and Mary who have been friends before the trip.  Ginny's husband Phil unfortunately did not join much of the hikes due to his injured ankles. Mary's husband Steve loves to take pictures.
Steve found some nice objects on the trail to take pictures.
Phil joined us on a visit to Zhang Liang's Temple:

Jim used to be Barb's boss.  Barb and Larry are newly wed; 
Larry, Barbie and I did an extra hike together with Miss Li being our guide:
Miss Li provided me with another extra hike from Cypress Tree # 363 to Tree #1 (in PuAn). 
 A picture of me and Ms. Li taken by Hope:

Of course, the flagstones, cypress trees, and rape flowers were absolute highlights of the scenery. I was also constantly reminded by the stories and characters from the history: the three kingdoms, the Han, the Qin, the Tong.....


I wish that I could do more serious hiking in Jing Man Guan:  Perhaps there is a next time?!

What a trip!  Although the group also visited ChengDu and Xian (which I had been previously) in the beginning and at the end of our tour respectively, the two cities were no comparison to the places we visited in between.  This journey left me much to remember, especially the aspect of learning more about myself.