Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're Back!

It's been awhile, but we are home, and what an amazing time we had in China! I planned on posting while we were there, but didn't realize the cost of blogging and how annoying it would be to try and post from Mike's tiny touch screen phone.

Anyway, we had a fantastic trip and saw such wonderful sights. Everything from thousand year old Buddhist temples, to the misty limestone mountains of Guilin, and cities where the number and massive enormity of the highrise buildings blew our minds.

China is such a faciniating country. I promise that there is much more to come and many pictures to share, but for now that's all the energy I can muster up. Dealing with this jet lag is the worst!

More soon...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beijing in T-1

Off we fly to Beijing tomorrow! I don't think it's quite sunk in yet that I will be in China with Mike for the next 16 days, but it's starting! I'm beginning to feel those butterflies of excitement in my tummy, and it's really cool.

Bejing is a fascinating city. It is the capital of The People's Republic of China and there are about 17 million people who reside there. (WHAT??) It is a city full of history and progressive movement. I am thrilled that we are going to Tian Anmen Square where the infamous 1989 protests occurred. I remember seeing footage on the news and not quite understanding what was going on because I was only 9 years old...
Beijing means "northern capital" and has been renamed many times. Some people still call Beijing "Peking" although the Mandarin dialect (which is the National language) pronunciation is "Beijing." It is the second largest city in China after Shanghai, and is recognized as the political, educational, and cultural center of The People's Republic of China.

Beijing hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics and we all remember how fantastic the opening ceremony was! I couldn't believe how skilled and disciplined those hundreds of performers were. It was truely amazing. If you missed it, you're crazy, but you can watch it on our video of the week.

Sidebar: I know I haven't posted a video of the week in ages, and I apologize, but I never find anything that I like. If you have videos that I should post, send them to me!!!

I could go on and on about Beijing and about all the other wonderful places we'll be visiting, but I won't. Instead I will leave you with this Chinese proverb: yi xiang qing yuan!
Literally: Enthusiastic, but unable to.
Meaning: The person wants to do it, but is unable to...

Cause really, I gotta go! Catch ya on the flip side....in China!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

All Look Same?

Mike came home from work the other day and showed me this website that tests how much people know about different Asian ethnicities and cultures. I'm not sure how much I like the name, but I have to admit that taking the quizzes to see if I could tell the difference between a Chinese person, Korean person, and Japanese person was really fun.

I figured that since we're off to China in two days, you should all know a little more about my Asian heritage and that not all Asians look the same, eat the same foods, or are part of the same culture. I'll admit that I have to do some more poking around on the site before I can honestly state whether or not I agree with their point of view or what they're writing about, but in the meantime I will have fun taking more of the quizzes they offer.

I did really well on the facial recognition quiz, probably because I know that we DON'T all look same, but I didn't fare so well with the photos of cities, maybe cause they DO all look same...hehe, just kidding.

See how well you do, here.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Countdown to China!

This Friday Mike and I, along with my parents and a few of their friends, are going to China. We fly directly from Kennedy airport in NYC to Beijing, which take about 14 hours.

I can't believe that this trip is actually happening. We've been talking about it and planning it for years! The last time I was in China was in 1999. I was 19 years old. I was there with my parents and a large group of close family friends. It was amazing.

We climbed the Great Wall in Beijing, saw the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi'an, surfed down sand dunes and rode camels in the Gobi Desert, and enjoyed walking along the crowded metropolitan streets of Shanghai. It was the trip of a lifetime. And here we are ten years later getting ready to take another magical trip to China. I am so excited to see how Beijing has changed, and so excited to have Mike there to experience it all with me and my parents! I really can't wait.
So, I've decided that for the next three days I will post things about the places we are going in China! I figure you can learn about this fantastic country and hopefully you'll want to visit someday as well. I also plan on posting while we're there.
Here's a list of some of the places we're going:

Beijing and Xi'an;
Wu Gorge and Qutang Gorge;

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Paper Fashion

I always tell my cousin Camille that she has the coolest job ever. She works for the U.S. Department of State in their Art in Embassies Program. What that means is that she gets to travel around the world and install art created by American artists in public rooms in American diplomatic residences worldwide. Isn't that exciting?!

We recently went to dinner and she told me about an exhibition she is doing in Brussels. She mentioned an artist named Isabelle de Borchgrave who re-creates amazingly beautiful dresses out of paper! I was instantly intrigued. Later that night, she emailed me with the link to Isabelle's website. Her dresses are masterpieces. Simply gorgeous. And wearable! She has the ability to make her dresses look like they are made from expensive fabrics. They also move and sway like a dress made of silk or lace and organza would.

So, how excited was I when I learned that Camille is borrowing Isabelle de Borchgrave's "Delphos" dress for the Brussels exhibition! What a lovely dress. I wish I could borrow it! I'd wear it to a grand ball, or to the Oscars of course. Way to go Camille! Take lots of pictures.

Here is the Delphos dress...it's made from paper!! See more Isabelle de Borchgrave here.