Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Black Waterfall Outing

Earlier in the summer, Tom and Janice organized an outing with their four grand kids.  This was to provide an opportunity for the young cousins to enjoy some times together, and to let their respective parents some well deserved kids-free rest.  They stayed in the Black Waterfall State Park in WV for three nights and I joined them for two nights.  The kids really had a wonderful time together.  They shared video games, ran around, played Bonanza, walked to the falls, and chased each other on the play ground.  They are all growing up so fast!  May they remember the fun time they had together on these days.


Both YeYe and GrandMa needed some rest:
The play ground still has its charm:

Of course, a ride in the peddle boat was also delightful:
 Meghan, David and I were in the other boat taking pictures.  And we were ahead of them!

I wish they all know and remember how much they were loved by their Grands! And how much we wish them grow up healthy, happy and as very nice people.

Monday, October 12, 2015

A nice hike on a beautiful early October day

Rosy, Andrea and I decided we want to hike the Appalachian Trail in MD Series #6-140 to Pogo Campground.  The trail will pass the Annapolis Rock and the Black Rock Cliff.  It is considered a moderate grade.  At the end of the day we hikes about 12 miles, had about 1000 ft gain, and a wonderful time looking at the scenery and posing with the rocks at both overlooks.  Then we went for a Vietnamese dinner at Frederick as a pre-celebration of Rosy's birthday.

TaiDa Bridge Club Alumni Reunion

Through Mei-ping I became connected to the TaiDa Bridge Club Alumni group.  They have a reunion every other year or so.  I was invited to join their reunion in Potomac this year.  It took place during the week right after I returned from Cornwall.  It was a great get together.  Many members are friends dated some 40 years back, playing Bridge when being students at TaiDa.  Some members not playing Bridge took turns to make tremendous Chinese food to feed all.  I am a beginner Bridge player, and am fortunate to receive good tips from the experienced players.  They tried hard to be patient with us beginners.  Ed Chen (I call him Master Chen as he gave us Bridge lessons during the reunion) took pictures for the group.  I am attaching some of his pictures to document this fun event I was lucky to be part of it.

A group picture on the stairs of the front lobby.
Part of the group went hiking at Great Fall.  That was before my arrival.

The front of our host and hostess's home.  We played all the Bridge games cooked and ate dinners in their home.
In the kitchen:
 Both are sisters of my high school classmates.  The one on my right is Celia, the sister of Jean.  The one on my left is Mamie, the hostess also the sister of Caroline.
One night we had crabs: The couple on my right are Rex and Sharon whom I met once previously at Mei-ping's place.  The one on my left is Wang 2, who is a member of the organizing Committee.
The group went on an outing to Annapolis
All the girls inside the visitor's center of the Naval Academy.  Master Chen's wife sat on my right hand side.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Family Reunion on Ocean Princess

The six of us had a wonderful time cruising through the Baltic Sea.  We started and ended at Dover, and made port calls at Amsterdam, Stockholm, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Riga, Klaipeda, and Copenhagan.  Tom has posted some pictures from his camera, and added nice narratives to document the trip:http://jat.esmartweb.com/nature-photos/baltic/Baltic_Sea.htm.  I am adding some pictures from my camera.

Amsterdam:  I took a walk with Ed first, then took a canal cruise with Dean and Maria.


This is my second time visiting the city.  So I decided to walk about a bit then go to the history museum.  Tom and Janice went to the Palace museum.  Dean and Maria went on a mission to find two bottles of wine.  Ed went on to the Vasa museum.

Dean, Maria, and Ed certainly got all caught up with updating their smart phones with free Wi-Fi outside a cafe.


We had a very nice local guide whose name is Margaret.  She led a walking tour of upper town for us.  Then Tom, Ed and I did a bit walking at the lower town on our own.

 St Petersburg:
Dean, Maria, and Ed are visiting this city for the first time.  So they signed up fully with the excursions provided by Princess, and had a wonderful time.  The rest of us have visited the city before and decided to just join a canal cruise and a folk dancing and singing evening performance.
We tried to take some pictures in front of the Hermitage museum:


Ed and I walked all over town for hours.  We saw buildings, cafes, churches, parks, statues, canal, train and bus, the famous black cat on the roof, little children, and also, many deserted buildings.  This is certainly a city with old scars.


There was a time we were not sure which direction to turn, and stopped by for some coffee, cake and direction:
When we all went back and ready for our dinner at the Italian restaurant, some of us were quite tired.  But the dinner was rich and delicious.


Klaipeda is the third largest city but the only port of Lithuania to the Baltic Sea.  It was not too impressive, but has interesting sculptures.  Tom and Ed actually walked to the Sculpture Garden. Janice and I joined a Princess's excursion to tour the city, visiting a brewery,  to sample some local beer, and to see the ruin of an old castle - Castle Museum. Dean and Maria walked around the old town.



It was about 20 years ago when I first visited Copenhagen, and I entered the city from land.  This time coming from the sea gave me a different perspective.  First there were all those wind mills sticking out from the sea.  According to the guide, they have already been making money with very good payback even though the maintenance is a bit more difficult.
Then there was the tunnel bridge:
Tom and Ed decided to walk on their own to explore places that they have not been in previous visit of the city.  Dean and Maria went on a hop on hop off bus for the tour of the city. Janice and I joined a Princess excursion to visit the Kronborg Castle and the Frederikborg Castle,
The drive northward was quite pleasant.  We passed areas being called as Danish Riviera.
Some nice water front properties:
.The Kronborg Castle was built as a fortress in the 16th century to defend the kingdom of Denmark.  It was used as the setting for Shakespeare's "Hamlet"
The castle was once used as a toll booth.  No ship can pass unless the toll was paid, or get shot at.
We stopped at the Royal Family's residence and took a picture.  Bush had once paid a visit here.
The Frederiksborg Castle showed the magnificent Dutch Renaissance style, and now is a historical museum with an outstanding collection.


 When we say good-bye to Copenhagen, we are ready to head back to Dover, and say good-bye to the wonderful reunion.  Good-bye, Copenhagen.