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Thursday, March 31, 2016


If you come on a tour to China and have limited time or if you want a shorter trip to get to the Great Wall, you come to Badaling.  Or if you want the intimate body contact of 5.21 million of your CLOSEST friends!

Much of the wall here has been retrofitted to accomodate the crowds, but it's still great fun.

Our friend Cam fleet footed it over to this tower. 

 He hides his goat genes well, doesn't he?

Like I was saying...

Our awesome friend Chris (who, incidentally, is getting pressured to run for mayor of Roy, UT when he returns) and new friend on our tour bus-- Carlos from Spain!

Paco surveys the landscape--perhaps he's recalling bringing his mail order girlfriend here 19 years ago.  I recall it brilliantly!  There was a camel up here, it was very very hot, and we climbed and climbed.  That was day 2.  By then I'd pretty much sized up this guy.  Who knows if he me...

This is our age group!  We get them!  These guys have jobs, however.

And girls to match perhaps!  I've been going to suggest to our folks at BYU that we dispense with English teaching and take up matchmaking!!  Seriously.  

Love love love the Chinglish signs--sort of like hidden Mickeys all over the country!

I won't deny that I have mental disorders, but I did refrain from "curving or painting in the car" in the cable car going down.

"When It's Springtime in the Hutongs..."

Ten mere metro stops away, we found a completely awesome world--the hutongs!!!  Beijing leveled most of these dwellings for the Olympics--such a shame.  This neighborhood survived, however.

We hopped in this enthusiastic guy's rickshaw and took a ride through the hutongs.  We'd been warned that they try to rip you off.  We must be acclimating because we got him waaaaaaay down!  Bless this guy's heart--his English was pretty darn good.

Don't you hate it when your tutu gets in a wad???

Sometimes I hit a photographic home run and don't even know it until I blow it up.

"Yes, you do, Mad.  Bwawck...yes you do!"

Our tour took us up close and personal right into this couple's kitchen!!  I suppose they get some sort of kick-back for going all Truman Story-ish!!

These flowers were wired on!!  I could so do this in Brrrrrrrr Lake!!

Sometimes a man just needs boxes.

I've been trying to catch a kid in the act for 18 months!  Nailed it!

We read about this place in the paper last week!

 Paco indulged.  I found the coarse, donkey-sized hair I found on it a bit off putting.

"Confucius say:  American who wear Don Ho shirt to China need wardrobe overhaul."

He looks a tad leery--

Mom slips him a little something.

Just a quick peeky peeky...

We wonder if these dwellings are the Beijing equivalent of SoHo lofts.  They're in a superior location and beat the heck out of a 15 story apartment building!

Oftentimes I think China needs a good Earth Day clean-up project...that lasts a month!!

 Aaaannnnd here we have our granny panties hanging out to dry for ALL the world to see!

So so very pleasant!  Happy Spring to All!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Not a Bad Idea! Italy Cont' nauseum

You may think I am prepared to post pictures of Italy well into my 70's (why am I starting to see decades written without the ' ?????), but I can neither confirm nor deny that allegation.  This post is dedicated to pictures I took which screamed "NOVELTY!!"

Whimsical toaster--wakes both you AND the bread up in the morning

Whisks with a twist

Smocking is not novel, but using wool is!  I know there is some of this art in my immediate future!  I've finally located a teacher in Canada!

Murano glass flowers!  Elegant Italian glass isn't just for ballrooms anymore!

A novel sign--just a twist of sarcasm.  When I went to snap it, the shop owner went ballistic in Italian assuming that I was going to copy his magnets.  I had pure educational motives in mind only--"Chinese Perception Abroad".   He was the only truly rude person we met.  I even planned on buying one, but not after his outburst.

Yup.  His and hers chastity belts.

The next five pictures were taken of photographs depicting an annual festival/pagaent dedicated to eschewing witches and paganism in Assisi!!!!  I could tell it is quite an event.  So much more regal than our Halloween...

Obviously, these folks take their anti-witch campaign seriously.

I'd never even thought of hugging a clock until I met this one.

We went directly from the Last Supper to this on the street.



And soap again.

This exquisite bird feeder would have set me back a couple of month's of Idaho teacher's pay, but perhaps you should never put a price on novelty.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley