Saturday, July 12, 2008

Family Style Dining is How They Eat in China

Here's a two part quiz:

(1) Can you guess what restaurant this is? (You very well may have been there.)

(2) Can you guess who in the picture considers this one of his/her favorite eateries in the world?


~Steve

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

With preparations for China in full swing, one of the less popular but necessary tasks to fulfill was finally at hand. None other than...SHOTS! People who know me know that I truly despise shots. I refer to this as "shotaphobia." Over years I have been getting better but I was still better as a baby. Earlier in my life time I would hide under the counter in a closet where they kept magazines. Last year when I hurt my leg the doctor told me that I was due for my flu shot. This was the first shot that I sat calmly for (the worst to choose to sit calmly for because it killed!). Sadly I was a fourth-grader but shots are still my worst fear.

In preparation for China we had to get three shots. (The first time we went to China it was like 8.) The three were Typhoid, Meningitis, and a DPT booster. Three shots in one trip to the doctor's office. For someone with "shotaphobia" it can really make you dislike doctors. Julie goes on about how she likes shots, so she was happy. I, on the other hand, was a little reluctant. I didn't hide but I did feel the need to squeeze something. (Julie's hand did the trick). After that trip I could barely move my arms up for a long time. But hey! At least you get a lollipop!

~Zoli

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Homeless in Beijing

Here's an e-mail that caught my attention:

New Change on Housing

"I'm sorry to inform you that the rent of the house you prefer can't be paid by the university since the landlord can't provide any receipt. Thus I'm working hard on find you new options of other apartments which provide receipt. I'll forward you new information about the housing as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience it brings to you."

I'm thinking the Summer Palace is looking pretty good about now...close to the university, cool breeze off the lake, shade trees...

~Steve

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Berry Picking

Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and peas! Any of these things sound good farm fresh? They do to me and that is always the reason why, year after year, our Camp Mommy tradition has been to take several day trips to Butlers Orchard to pick the berries in season.

The best (and easiest) berries to pick are the blueberries. They are always delicious and are so big and blue that you can't resist eating a few on the spot! (Also, we always have generous neighbors who make wonderful blueberry desserts for us!)

Last Tuesday, we took our annual trip to pick blueberries with our grandma on board for the ride. When we pulled up to the blueberry picking parking lot, we did what we always do; bought two buckets and waited for the tractor to come and take us to the numerous rows of bushes. The bushes look as though they have been stained blue by the millions of berries that cover the smooth green leaves. So many people are out picking berries each day but the herds of people are no match for the innumerable numbers of berries waiting to be picked.

We picked almost two whole buckets full of berries in hardly any time at all. The berries would be jumping into the buckets on their own if the picking was any easier. We had had a great time picking even though it was hot in the sun, but I knew that the fun wasn't quite over yet. My grandmother had spotted a sign that pointed to cherry trees and had insisted that we get some. I knew that we were getting those cherries if it killed us.

On our way to the few cherry trees available, we saw the strawberries which were almost out of season but still delicious. Z and I picked what we could off of the small plants that spanned almost two fields of the orchard. We picked a good number of berries before moving on to the long awaited cherries.

What we expected to be tree after tree full of beautifully colored cherries, turned out to be five trees with only a few cherries left on each. I picked the peas in a field next to the cherries and was surprised to see how few the cherries were.

Even though we hardly got any cherries, I had a great time picking (as always!) and I know everyone else had a great time too (including my grandma who got her cherries the next day when we went back to find the newly opened trees overloaded with fruit)!

~Julie