The Forbidden City

On our first evening in Beijing, we took a stroll around town. The entrance to the Forbidden City by night is quite impressive. It is guarded constantly - most of the guards don't look like they could be over 15 years old.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I'm thankful I don't have to rely on crickets and scorpions as a food source.


These are the famous green crabs of China. They are purported to be quite a delicacy. I saw these for sale at the airport. Surprisngly, quite a lot of people would buy food and pack it in dry ice to transport on the plane in the cargo hold. I'm not sure that would fly with Homeland Security.


I don't know what the name of these gardens is, but they were somewhere in Wuxi. The driver from the factory was instructed to take us here, but he didn't speak any English. The signage was mainly in Chinese - the only English near the entrance stated "Natural Site of Beauty" or something like that.

It was a lovely place to spend an afternoon. We didn't have enough time to explore the entire garden, but we saw plenty of beautiful things. There were rock gardens, water gardens and, of course, flower gardens. Each was surrounded by pavilions dedicated to Chinese arts - music, calligraphy...

Thanks to D at Tuscaloosa Daily Photo for tagging me!

The rules of this Meme are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six Random Things About Me:
I speak French fluently and am pretty good at German.
I've been to almost every continent - my next conquest is Australia.
I have a 29 handicap at golf, but I'm working on getting it into the teens.
My favorite color is red.
I am a Kansas Jawhawks fan through and through.
I drive a blue diesel Volkswagon New Beetle.

Tagged blogs:
Crittoria in West Paris
Brian in Terrell
Chris in Nashville
Hilda in Manila
Sally in Sydney
Per in Stockholm

The Big Buddha

This is the Big Buddha of Wuxi. Wuxi is a city about 3 hours northwest from Shanghai. My husband's company has a factory there, so that was our first stop. One of his colleagues helped us organize the rest of our trip and also arranged the company driver to take us to the Buddha and a local park.

The Buddha was really impressive. I'm not sure of the actual dimensions, but I'm sure he could give the Jesus of Rio or the Statue of Liberty a run for the money. My husband and I were the only western tourists there. It's apparently a big draw for Chinese people, but outside of China Wuxi is virtually unknown. There was no mention of the Buddha in our guidebook - even though the city has 7 million inhabitants! I'm glad we got to see this treasure.


When I opened the closet in our first hotel, I found two gas masks. I'm not sure what their purpose is - to save us from a nuclear war? in case of fire? to avoid the air pollution? I'm not sure if it's comforting to find a mask in your closet. Is there a good chance we'll need one?

I have around 1,000 pictures from my trip - it's going to be difficult to choose which ones to post, but I hope you'll enjoy them!