October 16, 2011

Back home

Hi all.
I am back home after a wonderful 66 day holiday.  Sorry for no posts during the China trip.  China do not allow access to Blogger or Facebook. Grrrrrrrr
We had a marvelous time in the USA as we have before. The country and the people. We cannot speak highly enough.  Everyone is so friendly.   It was so sad to leave.
Meeting our art friends was amazing  -   Jan http://petstoposies.blogspot.com/   Gary http://gkeimigart.blogspot.com/  Tom http://silversagegallery.blogspot.com/   It was great to see all  Gary and Toms work in the gallery.
Deb. http://artshtickscorner.blogspot.com/    It was great to meet you all and wish we could have spent more time with you all.   It was also great to meet up with a friend  from Flickr Andrew and his beautiful Bully, Maycie.     Last but not least meeting up with friends Charlie, Lee, Dawn, Mario and young Jake.  It was great to see them and catch up again after 7 years.
We had a great time in the UK.  My very dear Aunt who I love so much.  Meeting up with a 2nd cousin twice removed whom I had not met before Dennis and Christine. We spent a wonderful 2 days with.   It was just like we had known them forever.
I also met up with friends from my teenage years.  We all had a great lunch.
Our first meal in Beijing with the tour group was Peking duck.   which was lovely.  
Beijing.   It was great seeing the Pandas at the Zoo.  The great wall, Tianaman square and the Forbidden City.  I am sorry I do not have anything nice to say about the city in general...It was dirty and the Chinese spit everywhere, the toilets are disgusting except for in the shopping centers. It was difficult to find a western toilet at times.  The Chinese don't seem to have any regard for personal space... they push, shove and they are neither friendly or smile.   The only place we did see friendliness was in Suzhou where they smiled and said Hello.  Came over to us at times to show off their babies, it was so nice.  
We had lunch with a Chinese family in Xian which was very nice.  We also visited a school in Xian where we had morning tea and entertained by dancing and singing from the children. It was a special school for children with learning difficulties.  They were so sweet and we got up and did the chicken dance with them.  so fun.  We bought bracelets that they made and gave donations to help the school.  www.westhuiling.org 
We had two overnight train trips.  15 hours each on the tour.   from Beijing to Xian and Xian to Suzhou.  The first overnight train was a real culture shock with only squatting toilets (disgusting state).  6 bunks to a cabin.  fortunately I was given a bottom bunk.  The old Chinese man opposite me snored and slurped noodles through the night.   Grrrrrrrrrrr.     The second overnight train was a little better after getting over the shock.  toilets the same but we managed to have all the tour group in 2 cabins next to each other so we had lots of laughs together.   We took Imodium tablets to before getting on the train. haha to reduce using the hole in the floor toilets. 
In Suzhou, we had a ride on a rickshaw which was fun and then on the gondola which was even more exciting with the Chinese men and women that rowed the gondolas sang as we wound our way through the waterways. I will post a video clip soon. It was awesome.   In the evening we went with a couple from the group for a long walk along the canal where it was buzzing with life.  went to a wine bar and relaxed with much laughter.   Suzhou was a lovely surprise for us...I could have stayed there longer.  
The Tour we did was the Intrepid. Our guide was Chinese but spoke good English, he was fun. There was a good measure of free time which was great.  We had a mixture of food.... some Chinese ( not sure what we were ordering) LOL   We tried to look for the restaurants that either had pictures or was written in English underneath the Chinese.    We did find some Pizza Huts which amazingly had upstairs al a carte . We could get a steak, Pasta, Pizza.   super desserts and WOW a glass of wine, and a western toilet with soap and hand drier.  Pure luxury.   The Chinese are not wine drinkers, especially white wine was so hard to get.   OMG I think I dried out in China. ...hehehehe.   
Our last train journey from Suzhou to Shanghai was on the bullet train. which traveled at 299 klm hour at times.  We saw the old Shanghai and the New.   We then got the MagLev train. ( Magnetic Levitation). to the airport.  The speed reached over 300 km per hour. When the Maglev was tested it went 500 kmh.   We got to the airport in 12 minutes. a taxi would have taken 1 hour.
Our group on the tour was small....   3 Americans, 2 Canadians, 2 English and 3 Aussies.

It is nice to be home.  We slept well last night in our comfy bed.  In China all the beds are like concrete...they are so hard.

It feels good to be back with my friends on Blogger and back to my art board which I have plenty of ref photos to draw.  I did not get as many wild life photos as I hope to get.  I guess it was not the right time of year .   We did get close to the Buffalo's which was great in the US.

I will post a lot of photos into Picasa and post the link in blogger for you.

Dors.  xx


Anonymous said...

China would not be a place I would want to visit, methinks. Nope. I want to see Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, more of Germany, France, Italy, Australia...so much to see, so little money!

Glad you had a wonderful trip though, Dors. I was hoping you were ok and glad to know you just couldn't get online!

Jan said...

Have thought about you and Nev so many times and wondered how you were doing in China. At least "now you know" what it's like there!
So glad you've made it home safe and sound and am now waiting anxiously for paintings of all the wonders you've seen!
I know you said you probably wouldn't get to make another trip here but if you ever do, please, please come back and see us! We so enjoyed our visit with you.

Sue Clinker said...

Great to see you back Dors and what an amazing time you've had. I'm on Fuerteventura at the moment so not Blogging much but looking forward to really catching up and seeing your pics when I'm back home on 24th.

Richard Klekociuk said...

Welcome back Dors! What a great adventure! It will be interesting to see what eventuates art-wise.
Tropical regards, Richard

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for your warm welcomes. I am just enjoying pottering around and thinking of all the happy memories of our trip.

So nice not living out of a suitcase. LOL.

Unknown said...

Had I been a better blogger, I would have known you were coming here and invited you , too. Next time you must visit Richmond...we weren't far from Wllmsbrg. But the places you did visit in the ysa were great.
You are brave to do the China thing. Sounded amusing; from your point of view, You ARE a good trooper traveling like that.
Glad you got to meet Gary...I met him this past summer , too. What a nice man and such an amazing place he lives in.
Welcome back to blog land and will visit to see more of your work soon.

jsicignano2.blogspot.com said...


Welcome back home. You have been missed, I have been reading your post on fb. What a fabulous vacation. Looking forward to seeing what you will be producing.

All the best to you,

Wendy Mould AFCA said...

WOW!! I can't believe you are home already. That trip went very fast and you saw so much. China sounds great, despite the toilets. I have been in other Asian countries and know what they are like. But China has so much else to see, so much history. Sounds like you will have many, many memories to keep you going. Glad to have you home, I missed you on the 'net'.

"JeanneG" said...

So glad you are back. Nice to read about your journey. But soooooo glad I don't have to go to China. Bathrooms would be my first consideration if planning a trip. lol

Unknown said...

Well we all agree on the bathroom situation in China. It's so nice to get home to my clean one.

Thank you all so much for your warm welcome home.

Can't wait to get back to my drawing board. I am just about organised now so any day I will have those pencils in my hand. YAY.

Business Travel Insurance said...

So nice to hear good things about your trip. Obviously you had a great adventure. Can't also wait to see the paints of the places you visited. Hope you can post it in here. Thanks!

Debra Keirce said...

When I worked at Lilly, my boss worked in Suzhou for awhile. The co. Gave him a driver for his three yrs there, saying it was too risky to let him drive in rural china. Things happen, like when there is an accident, people gather round, decide who is at fault, and stone them to death. Much more efficient than our court system.

Unknown said...

Oh wow Deb. glad I didn't stray into the rural area.

Colette Theriault said...

WOWWW, that is so interesting Dors! I loved reading every detail of your trip, esp. your trials in China! Glad you had some fun meeting friends old and new and seeing the sights and sounds of US, UK and China. On your next trip, you should visit CANADA!!
Nice to see back home safe, blogging again and soon, back at the easel. Cheers, Colette

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