The Great Wall

We took the cable car up to the wall, walked for quite a while along the wall, then took toboggans down the mountain.  It took a few hours and we were all exhausted by the end.  All except the two-year-old, who had her own personal Sherpa to carry her the whole way.

Our whole group (photo set up by Jon.)

Overnight Train to Beijing

On Friday we took the train to Beijing as the final part of Brendan’s birthday surprises.  He just thought it was a family trip – until there was a knock on his cabin door and Paul, Suzy, Mike, Casey, and Jon and I were there with a bottle of bubbles singing Happy Birthday! I think he would have fallen over if he hadn’t already been sitting down.

Mike and Jon got a hold of my camera and fisheye lens and took most of the photos in the gallery.  The tiny confine of the train compartment was a perfect place to use it.  More to come!

New iPhones!!!

This weekend Jon bought iPhones for both of us. Wow, talk about life-changing technology! The amount of apps available is amazing. I actually did this whole post from my phone and can access my full blog, including things like comment moderation from my phone. Awesome.

Jon’s Sidecar Trip

Here are a lot of Jon’s photos from the sidecar trip he took with Steve and Jon in November.  They had a lot of fun!!

Chang Jiang 750 Sidecar Motorcycles

Jon and Steve ordered their sidecar motorcycles about 3 months ago.  I can’t say I’d recommend getting them at CJ Sidecars – it was supposed to take 40 days but took about an extra month.  There were several other foreigners who ordered bikes the same week who were leaving right after they were supposed to be finished.  I can only imagine what a mess that would be for them, trying to get them shipped home when you are already home!

Also, Steve’s was supposed to be dark gray with slightly darker gray flames, just a very slight color difference.  However, it arrived painted a light gray with black flames!  I was there when he picked the colors so I can definitely say those are not the colors he choose.  Luckily he isn’t very picky so he just went with it.

They’ve also spent many hours there having them fix various things.  Both of them know way more about motorcycles than anyone at the shop that I’ve met.  These bikes were used by the Russians in WWII and then copied by the Chinese sometime in the fifties.  Steve pointed out that their bikes could have been manufactured 15 years apart – they are original bikes but refurbed.  (I’m not a gearhead, so please forgive any inaccuracies about mechanical things.  Here is a bit more history.)







It was about 6:30  PM when I started shooting, so was using an 6400 ISO and 2.8/F.


Jon got his Chinese driver’s license! 

First he had to get his American license translated, then go to the hospital and take a physical and pick up a book of 100 questions to study.  Then he went back, took the test on a computer, and was issued his license.  He can now drive a motorcycle, 3-wheeled motorcycle and car.  (NOT a van.  Apparently there is a big difference between the two.)


Jon’s birthday is March 12 and mine is March 13. (Yeah, what a coincidence.) Our co-workers surprised us with cakes and singing, and featured us in the employee newsletter.


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