Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Hudson River Valley Visit

Molly and Tyler invited me and Hope to Poughkeepsie for a visit.  We took a train which rode along the Hudson River and arrived the station,  which is only about 5 minutes away from their home.

Hudson Walkway:
We walked across the Walkway, and rode the elevator up and down the Walkway:


Views of the Hudson River:


The Saugerties Lighthouse:
On the ground of the Vanderbilt Mansion:
Home of Franklin Roosevelt and Eleanor's Cottage:
A painting of Thomas Cole in his House, The painting showed his beloved Kaaterskill mountain 
and Catskill Creek
The Olana Mansion:


Inside Tyler's St Paul Episcopal Church:
Visited the Vassar College, which was a pleasant surprise! I tried to picture when Elizabeth Bishop was once a student here, and spent time in its gorgeous library.
Hope also sent me three pictures of me and Molly:


Family Reunion

We finally managed to have our reunion in the upper peninsula for a precious week.  with three generations and everyone's busy schedule, it was quite hard to actually get many, even though not all, of us together.  It was nice and cool up there.  We stayed near the lake, visited Pocono Island, biked  and hiked some.  Eat and laughed a lot.  Great times!!

 The four siblings of the first generation.













Monday, July 8, 2019

Milan, Genoa, and Lake Como

I flew from Shannon, Ireland to Milan after my tour in Ireland.  KC joined me before our tour of Northern Italy to be start in another week.  We walked extensively in Milan and visited a number of museums.  And we took a train to Genoa to spend 2 nights there before returning to Milan.  While in Milan, we took an excursion to Lake Como (visited Como, Bellegio, and the west side of Lake Como).  Genoa was known as the city of palaces and also the birth place of Christopher Columbus.  One can see much of the evidence of how rich once Genoa was in the 15-16 centuries

https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/hgHqM0tXShOkTnUD36GUEw._JQBP_NSDzmoGDd35dytUE

Saturday, July 6, 2019

All We Have Is Now - Northern Italy: The Alps, Dolomites & Lombardy

From June 9 - 23, 2019 KC and I joined the Northern Italy tour offered by OAT.  We have a talented young man Matteo Fulcheri as our Program Director.  There were 13 in the group: The 3 generations (Marge, Jennifer, and Caroline from Little Rock, AR), 2 sisters (Audrey and Robin from MD and VA), 2 couples (Jane and Rob from Upper state NY; Joan and Rudy from Atlanta, GA), Elizabeth from SF, Marcia from Seattle, and KC and I.  The group gelled pretty nicely and I say we genuinely enjoyed each other's company as the tour progressed.  Marge, the grandmother, and I shared a strong view on "All we have is now".  Sometimes the time one shares with fellow travelers could be the best exchanges among human.  We focused on learning and discovery, enjoyment (very nice food, wine, scenery.....), joking and laughing, lots of exercise (walking), witty conversations.......and friendliness and kindness.  And in a little shop in Bressanone I found a t-shirt with "All We Have is Now" printed on it.  I bought it and felt how fitting this t-shirt is with my mood.

Matteo sent us three group pictures:

At the peak of almost 10,000 ft, with the snow capped Alpine in the backdrop:
With Dolomite behind us:
The first row, Audrey, Christina, Matteo, second row: Robin, Elizabeth, Jane, KC, Marcia, Marge, third row: Rob, Joan, Rudy, Caroline, and Jennifer
 Another view at the Dolomite,  with Ladin Valley behind us:


The link below is a collection of pictures with various group members:

https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/LgDjanlERDCgtEHCc34brg.Rv9n6UPBBDrB6DbMckBDwL

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Tour of Ireland

I joined Tom and Janice, along with my classmate Joan on an Ireland in Depth tour offered by GCT.  So from May 18 - 31, we rode a bus starting from Dublin (visited the immigrant museum, the Trinity College with the book of Kell, St Patrick's garden, the Guiness Storehouse, the Archaeological museum), then onward through Glendalough, Avoca Handweavers, Kilkenny (saw the hurling demonstration), Waterford (visited the crystal factory, and walked along the waterfront with some Viking exhibits) , Cahir Castle, Cork (listened to a wonderful local guide Mike, and had a home hosted visit by his wife), , Blarney Castle, sheep farm visit, Killarney, missed seeing the gorgeous Cliffs of Moher due to heavy rain,  drove by the Burren and finally arrived Galway. We had a nice visit to the Kylemore Abbey while staying in Galway.   Tom and Janice had to leave one day earlier to attend a memorial service in Philadelphia.  Joan and I stayed two extra nights in Galway after the main tour was completed.  I was quite delighted by the quiet beauty of Galway.

I learned quite a bit of the Ireland history and felt very sorry for this nation.  They had suffered so much from the invaders, and they took pride in many of their heroes who became famous after immigrated to countries like US, Canada, Australia, etc. The great potato famine
led to the local rich land owners drove people off the island to avoid heavy taxation from England.  I felt a sense of melancholy during the tour perhaps partly because of the not so sunny weather. 

While I enjoyed the Irish jokes, I cannot help thinking these people seem to have adopted an attitude of how can you take life so seriously anyway?! The music also carries a sad tune.

I collected some pictures I took in the following link:

https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/csO2V-KHTaeQtqDEfw6pWg.7qxl1ErR5oWsk7SQvEt2Pw

A little hike on a Tuesday

Rosie said she has been stressed out at work, and wanted to do a long hike to decompress. We agree to do a hike on Tuesday just because it is a weekday. Andrea has to take a day off too. Her daughter commented "You are taking a Tuesday off?"  See, it is a big deal all right. I made some tea eggs for us the night before.  They came to my place first and we headed out in one car to the Oregon Ridge Park.  It is not a big park, but the trees are so green and the setting so pretty and peaceful.  We hiked 8.25 miles and had a little picnic by the pond, eating the tea eggs, dried fish from Iceland (brought back by Rosie from her recent trip), snacks brought by Andrea (roasted chestnuts, oriental cracks), blue berries and some apple slices. The worries were put behind a little bit.



Tuesday, May 14, 2019

I am thankful for my family

I received flowers and a card on Mother's Day from my niece's family!  A very nice gesture from them indeed.  I always consider the families of my brothers my own family, and I am grateful for them in my life.  May they all be under the love and guidance of our Lord.