Friday, October 20, 2023

Travels Return

 I missed travel so much during the Covid pandemic (2020 -2022)!  So it felt great when I started travel in  2022.  

A group of friends led by Icheng came to visit from California on April 3, 2022

The first trip was to NM with KC, Lily, and KC’s sister

Saturday, July 17, 2021

A Year Of Covid Pandemic

What is time? It could be gone so quickly or so slowly without our awareness.  When did my baby niece and nephew grow so big ? When did their own babies also grow so big?  When was the last time I felt this pain? it seems that was just yesterday..... Anthony Bourdain went back to the same place where his heart was broken. He said that I just want to know if it still feels so much hurt.  For someone I do not even know, I feel for him and miss him.   The past fifteen months offered me neither traveling nor wondering around.  A few things to remember this past year.

I had no idea that a little fall from my bicycle ended up with a fractured wrist.  So much for getting some exercises while under pandemic lock down,

Joined the history study group brought a lot of fun and discovery:

Edmund came to visit and we had a good time:

Signed a contract and moved unto a new chapter of my life:

Hiking in Shenandoah NP was a pleasant break from the lock down.  Of course that's after two vaccine shots!
Then the country turned into "pandemic of the non vaccinated"  Still exercise caution, we can go out to restaurants, parks, and even museums....

Climate changes have caused much wild fires, droughts, on the west coast, and a terrible flood in Europe (especially in Germany) as I write.  May human wise up and God have mercy on us while we move ahead.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Lesson of Lost

Now that I have time in hand at home, I thought I will translate Elizabeth Bishop's One Art to Chinese just for fun.  Too bad I can't make it rhyme.






First Quarter of 2020

The first quarter of 2020 turned out to be quite a roller coaster quarter.  In early January, I flew to Houston to celebrate Lily's big birthday, also to visit some other friends including Terry, (and her husband Simon) Becky, Clara, Helen, her Mom, and Eileen. Unfortunately I only have pictures from some of the gatherings.
With Becky
With Lily:

With Terry and Simon:

The next day I returned from Houston, I closed my Columbia TH.  From Oct to Dec. 2019, I have had a lot of wishful thinking, discussion with my brothers, and various estimation done on renovation, then finally decided to sell my Columbia TH.   So luckily it was sold right away.  At the time I did not know the world will soon be twisted upside down by coronavirus.  What a luck!

In Feb.  I went to Utah to attend Meghan's graduation.  I am glad that I was part of this significant event:

We also did a bit sight seeing:

Then I was hit by the news of Kang's passing away.  She was a dear high school classmate. A wonderful human being, and a well loved and respected professor (as well as the Dean of the School of Engineering at University of FuRen).
What a beautiful soul! What a loss!

In early March, The threat of Coronavirus is growing higher.  I started to make preparations to stock up food and supplies .  One day I went shopping with Lyny and Paul.  We laughed to each other while Paul was pushing the cart in Wegman.  We were still quite light hearted.

Now we are in the second quarter of 2020.  US death toll has climbed to 20,110, and as many as 2000 people die every day.  We pray that the effort to flatten the curve will work, and we pray that the death toll will decline.  Life has changed!


At this age, I felt that I have found my peace.  Right now it seems to die is gain and to live is ................

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, I have been enjoying on-line many operas from the Met, and some delightful shows from the BroadwayHD.  Plus some reading, surfing on the Internet, playing Bridge and climbing stairs, there just does not seem enough time in a day.

Metropolitan Opera watched 3/17 - 4/10/20
La Beheme
II Trovatare
La Fille du Regiment
Manon loved the songs
L'Elisir D'Amore loved the stage and costume design - like country paintings
Das Rhinegold on 3/24/20 - high teck set design
Ann Bolena **** WOW, the audience brought down the house
3/26/20 Die Walkure - Wagner's ring cycle section 2 ----Amazing, learned a bit about brass
3/22/20 Aida
             Eugene Onegin beautiful stage design, Renee the actress is so beautiful with such charming voice
3/23/20 Tristan und Isolde - nice music and singing, quite long.  Set and costume design were contemporary  and grey
3/28 /20 Gotterdammereung
3/29/20 Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg --- delightful comedy by Wagner.  Love the character of Cobbler Sach
3/30/20 Tannhauser
3/30/20 Dialogues des Camelites
4/2/20 Don Carlos
4/3/20 Les Pecheurs de Perles (The pearl fishers) by George Biset, the French composer who's last composition was Carmen before he dies at 36.  Beautiful songs of a story set in the fishing village in Srilenka
4/5/20 Macbeth by Verdi
4/6/20 Norma by Bellini, whose music is tender andfragil according to the singer Juice.  Also a sense of purity according to the meystral
4/7/20 La Fanciulla (girl) of the Golden West by Puccini - delightful plot and beautiful songs
4/8/20 Falstaff by Verdi:  Merry wives of Windsor.  A nice comedy that one can laugh out loud
4/9/20 Parsifal by Wagner's 
4/10/20 Romeo and Juliet, fancy costumes and nice songs

Broadway shows:
3/24/20 Am American in Paris - enjoyable!
3/29/20  Les Miserale
3/31/20 Elaine Stritch at Liberty
4/1/20 Salome, written by Oscar Wild  about the woman who danced for the head of John.  Quite some psychoanalysis.  Played by Al Pochico
4/2/20 Phantom of the Opera 25 years - Very elaborate costume and stage setting.  The actress is so beautiful and expressive. Cried!
4/3/20 Gypsy
4/4/20 She loves me (similar story line as the movie "You Got Mail"

Friday, April 10, 2020

Tour of Scotland, England, and Wales in 2019

Ed and I embarked on an one month (Sep 2 - Oct 4) tour of the Great Britain.  We flew into Glasgow, picked up a rental car, drove (Ed the driver) to Oban first.  Using Oban as a base, we explored the surrounding area mostly via hiking.  Then we moved to Isle of Skye and did some island hopping. The weather in Scotland and Isle of Skye are very similar to Ireland:  "Scattered shower with occasional sun"


A nice young couple we met on the trail (Billy and his wife), and we shared a delicious fresh sea food lunch together after the hike.
The field was covered with beautiful heather blooms:
Hiking in the rain and visited a garden full of unique rhododendrons
I found a monks dwelling:
On the Staffin Island:


Scenery of Isle of Skye:

We took a train from Glasgow to Stratford-upon-Avon, and joined Ed's Cascadian friends for the planned hiking and biking tour of Cotswolds.
Strtford-upon-Avon, where you can see a memorial for William Shakespeare.


Broadway Tower:


Almost like in Kansas:

We got to pick wild blackberries along some trails: They were delicious!

Stopping in pubs for lunch was always delightful after a few hours of hiking:

I almost did the biking, but bailed oout along with Sue and Monica. The three of us rode the luggage van to meet up with the bikes at each destination.

 Karen and Donna suited up in the morning to ride in the rain:
While I just stayed and wondered around town:

 Visited a bird farm:
Alan our van driver:
Sue, Monica and I certainly enjoyed the English Tea and scorns:
Ed and I said good-bye to the Cascadian friends, and headed out to Wales.  Our hiking tour continued.  The weather of all the days except the last day was cloudy or rainy.  I found the folks in Wales are more villagers.  They are more reserved and seem not to go out much to support local restaurants.  As a matter of fact, Ed and I had some hard time finding restaurants to dine in a few places we stayed. But most of the time we hikes and especially enjoyed the trail along the coast.
 A picture of one of the little village:

 Coastal trail:

 The last day we got to see some blue sky:

I am so glad to have taken this tour with Ed, and was reaffirmed that I am blessed by having a brother with such a kind and generous heart.  It made me happy to see him being friendly, kind, and generous to the people we ran into on this tour: Billy and his wife, the Air B&B owners, the people who served us in the restaurants, and to his Cascadian friends.  Hence it was  indeed my pleasure to treat him with a nice sea food dinner and tiramisu for dessert before we head back separately to US.