Monthly Archives: August 2013

Aaaaannnnd We’re Back…..

Some geographical and travel information for you.

Vancouver to Jiaxing

  1. Get up at 6 am (PDT) for 11:15 am (PDT) flight
  2. Depart at 11:40 am (PDT)
  3. Cross International Dateline (see photo) at 4:55 pm (PDT) – 2728 miles from Vancouver at crossing point.
  4. Land in Shanghai at 11:40 pm (PDT) – 6087 miles from Vancouver
  5. Clear customs, baggage collection at 12:40 am (PDT)
  6. Arrive Jiaxing apartment 2:00 am (PDT) – 6150 miles from Vancouver
  7. Dinner at Krabi Thai Restaurant 2:30 am (PDT)
  8. Bed at 4:30 am (PDT)
We actually crosses just about where the "A" in Dateline is.

We actually crossed just about where the “A” in Dateline is.

The A is the Pu Dong Airport. It is approximately 100 kms. from Jiaxing. The pink path is our route home.

The A is the Pu Dong Airport. It is approximately 100 kms. from Jiaxing. The pink path is our route home.

This is a photo of the highway we are on about 15 minutes into our trip home.

This is a photo of the highway we are on about 15 minutes into our trip home. It was taken where X marks the spot on the map.

Now think about this. The entire trip home from the airport is about 100 kms. Shanghai is a city of close to 30 million people. This is about 20 km south of the city centre at 4 pm (China Standard Time) on a Thursday afternoon. WHERE IS THE TRAFFIC? It is like this on all the highways we have seen in China.

When we finally arrived home, this greeted us as we stepped on to our elevator in our apartment.

Hey, if it means the life will be more beautiful, count me in.

Hey, if it means the life will be more beautiful, count me in. Not that I have ever been involved in somking, but I do think nonsomking is better.  (Is the plant the before or the after?)

A few left over photos from last year that just never made it in for one reason or another.

I called this photo "Babe in Blue"

I called this photo “Babe in Blue”

I’m not sure why I took this – the frustration on her face, the clash of the cool, hip outfit with the sandwich (rarely seen in China, BTW) in the plastic bag or just the shoes.

Pistachio Nuts

Pistachio Nuts

Did YOU know pistachio nuts were the delicious food and that cool fashion needs cool taste?

A Rainy Day in June

A Rainy Day in June

This very effective (?) drain is at Terry’s school. We had a very rainy day just before we left.

(Ed. note: Hey, I know this post may not be up to the usual Terry standards, but give us a break – it was written at 5:30 Saturday morning after two nights of little sleep!)

What We Did On Our (Spectacular) Summer Vacation

Well here we are at the airport waiting to board and get back to China – thank goodness, since we need a rest! First of all, we have several thanks to give out:

  1. To everyone who invited us to their homes for conversation, drinks and dinner – so much so that we now need to focus on losing all the weight we gained in the seven weeks we were home (Terry – 1 lb. – how the heck did she do that? and Geoff – 10 lbs.).
  2. To everyone who shared their very effusive and complimentary comments about our blog. We have thoroughly enjoyed writing it and, apparently, you have enjoyed reading it.
  3. To everyone who listened patiently as we described some of our adventures, which I know we had already written about.
  4. To everyone who encouraged us to continue writing about our adventure. It may be a little more difficult, since we have already seen so much, but we will give it the old Canadian try.

Now, what did we do and see while we were home?

Within a few days of our arrival home from Bali, we had been out to dinner to Ken’s, had a mini Christmas dinner at Ria and Scott’s, and had Joe and Sam cook dinner for us. Then we were out to Joan and Dennis’ for some fantastic ribs, to Al and Mary Thomas’ for our first Chinese reunion – waaaayyyyy too much food Mary, and on to the golf course for a nine and dine – no prizes for Geoff!

Then we were off to Pender Harbour with Rich and Nancy for a few days of visiting, cards, food and drink.  If you have not visited Skookumchuck Narrows at Egmont, on the way to the Powell River ferry, you need to go. We were lucky enough to visit it at a high tide (see video).

After a 40 minute hike into the spectacular (2) Skookumchuck Narrows, Terry and Nancy needed a rest.

After a 40 minute hike into the spectacular (1) Skookumchuck Narrows, Terry and Nancy needed a rest.


While you are in the area, visit the West Coast Wilderness Resort in Egmont – $500+ a night but really good prices on wine and the view is – well see for yourself. (Ed. note: We only had the wine, not the room)

The West Coast Wilderness Lodge has a spectacular (2) view.

The West Coast Wilderness Lodge has a spectacular (2) view.

And, if you are in Gibsons, you must visit Smitty’s Oyster Bar down the stairs from Molly’s Reach. Food (and wine) is great, but ask them about the outdoor table. A testament to both entrepreneurial ingenuity and bureaucratic idiocy. (Call in on Lynne and Martin too!)

The end of the week brought more food and wine (thanks Karen and Mal) and then dinner at the Dockside on Granville Island (is there a more beautiful city in the world?) and the play Avenue Q (Muppets for Adults) at the Arts Club – if it is still showing –  GO! It is very very funny.

The view from "Dockside" at the Granville Island Hotel is spectacular (2).

The view from “Dockside” at the Granville Island Hotel is spectacular (3) .

The weekend brought another dinner at Ken’s. I’ll let the photos tell the tale.

The view of spectacular () Vancouver from Ken's.

The view of spectacular (4) Vancouver from Ken’s.

A shot of the spectacular () fireworks from the English team at the Celebration of Light.

A shot of the spectacular (5) fireworks from the English team at the Celebration of Light.

A busy week of appointments and dinners followed. The first was a second reunion of the Chinese contingent  from Coquitlam at Kim and Bruce Carrabine’s. When will Kim learn not to prepare enough food for all of China?

Ron, Al, Kim, Terry, Mary, Bruce, Terry and Geoff behind the camera.

Ron, Al, Kim, Terry, Mary, Bruce, Terry in front of and Geoff behind the camera.

Next was a visit to see our students from China, led by Mr. Zhao. We took him up to Grouse Mountain and then Salmon House on the Hill for a wonderful meal and spectacular (6) view of Vancouver.

Mr. Zhao, vice-principal of our Chinese school in Jiaxing and Terry both enjoyed our visit to the Grizzly bear refuge on top of Grouse Mountain.

Mr. Zhao, vice-principal of our Chinese school in Jiaxing, and Terry both enjoyed our visit to the Grizzly bear refuge on top of Grouse Mountain.

A spectacular () bald headed eagle at the top of Grouse Mountain.

A spectacular (7) bald headed eagle at the top of Grouse Mountain.

More golf – this time with Dennis and Joan and then the Gillnetter Pub for more – you guessed it, food and drink, courtesy of Dennis and Joan. Then it was off to Salmon Arm  to visit relatives (Terry’s Aunt Adeline, Uncle Ken and cousin Nancy) and play the Salmon Arm Golf Course.

The spectacular () Salmon Arm Golf Course.

The spectacular (8) Salmon Arm Golf Course. (2 on the green, 2 pars!) Don’t ask about the rest of the round.

Our trip through the Rockies was awesome - ly slow. Lots of traffic and construction.

Our trip through the Rockies was awesome – ly slow. Lots of traffic and construction. The spectacular (9) view made it totally acceptable, though.

We finally arrived in Calgary and had a wonderful visit with my sister and brother-in-law (Judith and Rick). They took us on a walk down to the bluff overlooking the Bow River. Although there were no signs of the flooding which took place, they pointed out this house. When the river was at its highest, the water was lapping at the white posts supporting the deck.

Look carefully for the white posts.

Look carefully for the white posts. The river is just visible on the left. The chairs are around a patio at the river’s edge.

This was followed by more food (I love bruschetta pasta!) and wine. (Getting the picture yet?)

We traveled to Trochu, an hour and a half northeast of Calgary to see Terry’s Aunt Lorene, cousins Beth and Brian and their feisty daughter Amber, and to play a really neat golf course – but got rained out after six holes. Back to Lorene’s for wine – and a complete Turkey Dinner – mmmm mmmm good! If you are ever in the area, check out Henry’s Shoes. According to Terry, it has one of the best selections of comfortable, stylish women’s shoes she has ever come across!

Remarkably, Henry's Shoes in Trochu has a fantastic selection of shoes - Terry bought 4 pair!

Remarkably, Henry’s Shoes in Trochu (2011 – pop. 1072) has a fantastic selection of shoes – Terry bought 4 pair!

On our way back to Vancouver we were treated to a number of spectacular (10, 11, 12) vistas, both on the prairies and in the mountains.

The road, the sky and the view just go on forever.

The road, the sky and the spectacular (10) view just go on forever.

The view on the highway to Trochu, Alberta really is spectacular ().

The view on the highway from Trochu, Alberta really is spectacular (11).

Another spectacular () mountain view in the Rockies.

Another spectacular (12) mountain view in the Rockies.

Upon our return to Vancouver, Jan and Peter treated us to a “Hit and Giggle” and dinner at Capilano Golf and Country Club.

View down the 1st fairway at the spectacular (11) Capilano Golf and Country Club.

View down the 1st fairway at the spectacular (13) Capilano Golf and Country Club.

特里 and 利雅 teamed up once again in the Ladies Golden Ears Tournament, complete with accessories from China.

They may not be Star Wars material, but they had a lot of fun.

They may not be Star Wars material, but they had a lot of fun.

Then Terry was off to the Shuswap with Petra to visit Tanya  for some sun, relaxation, boating, tequila, dancing and skinny-dipping. (Ed. note – hope the water was warm!). Geoff kept his clothes on (mostly) and went south with Bob, David, Larry, Lee, Tom, Vern and the travel injured Peter for four rounds of golfing, gambling, wining and dining. If you ever find yourself in Shelton, Washington on the Olympic peninsula, you MUST go to Xinh’s Clam and Oyster House. They specialize in seafood (Ed. note: Duh! What was your first clue?) with a Vietnamese, Thai flavour. All eight meals were spectacular (14).

Back to Vancouver for a birthday (Happy 62nd Geoff – are you really that old?) BBQ hosted by the lovely Angie, the badly outnumbered Chris and their three beautiful daughters Zoe, Charleigh and Rylie. Congrats again on the buying and selling of your homes. Then it was off to Walnut Grove for wonderful meal, with better wine, with Cindy and Gary in their lovely new home – could it have been the wine which caused us to totally forget about the hot tub? This was followed by a chance to catch up with Tom and Mary-Lou at Lynne and Martin’s over more food and drink. Really Tom – nothing on your bucket list? And, once again, sorry Ozzie for zapping you. Really! (Ed. note: nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

The final full week at home was a whirlwind. Terry had a great time catching up on the golf course with Helen, Geoff contributed $4.00 to Dennis on the Pagoda Ridge course – (great golf course, try it sometime) and for eight straight evenings we enjoyed libations and fabulous varieties of sustenance with family and friends, both at home and “on the road”. Our thanks to Lynn and Richard and Jan and Peter for hosting such wonderful evenings and Karen and Mal for suggesting we see the spectacular (15) Fly Over Canada – if you haven’t seen it, you should. After the show we went to dinner at Steamworks where:

  1. Richard sent his beer back (chipped glass – nudge, nudge),
  2. Richard and Lynn sent back their pizza (wrong one – wink, wink),
  3. Geoff spilled a $13 glass of Circus Malbec all over Mal but saved the pepper shaker and
  4. Terry’s special glasses were shared around.
Ingrid says she wants a pair of these - they can see right through someone's clothes!

Ingrid asked us to send her a pair of these because they can see right through someone’s clothes! Tsk, tsk.

Thanks to Dan and Pat for treating us to the Prime Rib dinner at the club – it was great! Our “Last Supper” was our traditional “We aren’t going to be here for Christmas, so let’s have a Christmas BBQ in August before we go back to China” Christmas dinner. Thanks for the margaritas, Peter. There was way too much food (except for the turkey, which I apologize for) but every one of the dishes was obviously prepared with love and culinary delight. Thank you everyone – and especially thank you all for cleaning up – it made getting up Tuesday morning much easier! (Ed. notes: Tanya – I am thinking of doing a series of lectures starting with “Using Guilt as a Motivator”; Martin – LOVED the VindiCation! Thanks)

Thanks to Karen and Mal for the lift to the airport – and Scott and Ria for showing up to make sure I left.

Finally thank you to all of you. You definitely all contributed to our SPECTACULARSummer Vacation.

(Ed. note: Although this photo does not actually involve us (thank goodness) I felt it deserved to be included.) A week or so before we left, this photo was in the digital version of The Sun. Now, I don’t like to make light of a very serious problem but…

Umbrellas? Really?!

Umbrellas? Really?! What – you don’t want to get your hair wet?