Saturday, April 17, 2010


Today is Thunder Over Louisville.  For those of you that aren't from Louisville, it's not a big deal.  For those of you that are, it IS a big deal.  Whether you go or not, your life for the day is affected.  Roads are closed.  All police and fire HAVE to work.  The planes are flying overhead for days as the pilots practice for the air show that takes place during the day.  You don't live in Louisville, and not know about Thunder.  Needless to say, we won't be attending this year.  Today begins the most exciting 2 weeks in Louisville, and we're missing it.  

We don't go every year.  But we've been enough that we THINK about going every year, and a lot of times we decide at the last minute to go, depending on the weather.  The last time we went was 2 years ago.  We got a hotel room by the river and it was the best thing ever.  We went down to the air show for awhile.  Then we came back to the room.  Ryan and Sarah took a nap, and the boys and I laid on the bed watching TV.  Then we went back down about 9 pm, got a spot, and watched the fireworks.  Afterwards, we walked back to the hotel and went to bed.  We were all asleep before we would have normally even been out of Downtown!  The best way to go see Thunder, and the ONLY way I'll ever do it again.  No traffic to deal with! 

Anyway, Andrew's class has been talking about World Records in class.  He came home one day last week and told me that Louisville set a World Record for having the biggest fireworks display in the country.  He was SO excited!  And of course, EVERYONE in his class knew that he was from Louisville, and that he'd been to Thunder, more than once!  

I changed the blog background to reflect the Derby excitement.  And get this . . . I did it ALL. BY. MYSELF!  Aren't you impressed?  You should be.  I had to make it on my computer and then resize it about 15 times to get the layout right.  I'm so proud of myself!  

Anyway, if you're in Louisville, enjoy the Derby festivities.  We're missing The Bunnell Derby Party too.  THAT'S an even bigger bummer!  Karen - make sure to have a drink or two for me!  We'll miss you guys!

Friday, April 16, 2010

THE BUND . . .

The Bund is a famous waterfront and has been regarded as the symbol of Shanghai for hundreds of years.  It runs along the Huangpu River and is about 1500 meters.  It is considered one of the Top Ten Shanghai Attractions.   Before the 1840's the Bund was just a muddy narrow lane with tall reeds.  Shanghai was established as the trading port in 1846.  After that, a street was paved and the bank was reinforced.  Commercial buildings were built.  It was the center of Shanghai's politics, economy and culture, hundreds of years ago.  Consulates of most countries and many banks, businesses and newspaper offices settled there.

The Bund underwent a 2 year renovation and just re-opened at the end of March.

I told you about Tomb Sweeping Day earlier this week.  It's a holiday here in China.  For some unknown reason, we decided to visit The Bund ON. THAT. DAY!  Don't ask me what we were thinking, because we obviously weren't!  We spent about 30 minutes there and then took the underground tunnel back to Pudong.  We'd had enough!  You wouldn't BELIEVE the number of people there!

I was holding the camera up and just taking pictures.
Look at the amount of people!
 The red hat up in front of me is Ryan!
 Those are some of the buildings along The Bund
Unfortunately it was REALLY cloudy, so the pictures didn't turn 
out as well as I'd hoped they would.
This is looking across the Huangpu River.
This is the Pearl Tower.  It's on the Pudong side.  I'll tell you more about it later.  It's also called the "TV Tower"
What a ham!
This is on the Pudong side, looking over to the Puxi side.
I'm sure I'm a little biased, but what a cutie!
My little Princess!
Can you believe she sat still that long?!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Last week the Chinese celebrated Tomb Sweeping Day. The Chinese name "Qing Ming" means Clear Brightness. Tomb Sweeping Day celebrates the rebirth of nature and marks the beginning of the planting season and other outdoor activities.

In ancient times Qing Ming Jie was celebrated with dancing, singing, picnics and kite flying. Colored boiled eggs were broken to symbolize the opening of life. In the capital, the Emperor would plant trees on the palace grounds to celebrate the renewing nature of spring, while in the villages, young men and women would court each other.

Throughout the years this celebration of life became a day to honor past ancestors. The Chinese believed the spirits of dead ancestors looked after the family. Today, the Chinese visit their family graves to clean them up, pull any weeds and sweep away dirt.

The businesses and schools are closed that day. This year it was on April 5th, which was the day after Easter, so the kids had a long weekend. They might not know what Tomb Sweeping is, but they know what it is to have a day off!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Happy Easter, from our family to yours.

Easter is today for you guys, but it was yesterday for us. And it was another holiday that we spent away from home. Not easy. And not fun. But we survived it. It was even harder for me, because my parents were originally supposed to be here for Easter. But then we realized that the kids are out of school for 10 days at the end of April, so we decided it would be best for them to come then. And while I know that's the best decision, the fact that they were originally supposed to be here now, made yesterday even harder for me. But like I said before, we survived it. And now we're counting down the days until Mom and Dad get here. 17 days from now, they'll be on the plane about 12 hours away from here. And I can't wait!

Happy Easter. I hope you had a great Easter, and I hope you all enjoyed your time with your family.