Friday, October 31, 2008

GREAT!

When it comes to the famous Wall of China, Great does not even begin to describe it. Such awesome majesty is easily understandable at the hands of God, but to have been built by men, over many centuries, is simply mind boggling!

While I have little affinity for the moldy and shabby Forbidden City, there isn't enough things I can say about the Great Wall that would do it justice. No matter how crowded parts of it can be, no matter how many people I had to yell at on the wall and push out of my way to go forward, it is simply great. I think the best parts of the wall are those portions that are in ruins, so stark, so haunting, blended into its rugged surroundings, 4000 miles of of blood, sweat, tears, life and death since 6th century B.C.. No matter how you look at it, and which parts of it you see, renovated and crawling with tourist, or ruined with wild trees and grass growing from it, it is an unbelievably amazing sight.

It is one of my dreams, on my Bucket List if you will, to hike the Wall in its remote portions that are mostly in ruins, far from the madding crowd, after all, the choices are plenty, given its 4000 miles :)

Monday, October 27, 2008

My First Layout of This Trip

I admit to feeling extremely guilty for putting only one photo onto a layout, but I am realizing that it is simply impossible to scrap 2000 pictures I took in Beijing, not even a fraction of them! So, it's going to be a very small portion of the pictures that I take that will make onto layouts, and hopefully representative of the activities we did and places we visited.

My mother had a bunch of prints made for herself but I stole this one photo for this layout. I like everything about this photo. Even though my children are visiting one of the most prestigious places in the world, their delight in icecream is equal to none. And of course, they are sitting on the Imperial door stop, with un-renovated palace doors and poles behind them makes it even more precious to me. I have many photos of this little stop in the Forbidden City, but this is how I have started the n-year project of making the 2008 China trip album I guess :)

For those of you who haven't been to the Forbidden City, let me assure you that you aren't missing much. LOL! I've been there twice as an adult and both times I felt that the Chinese emperors did not know how to live or what luxurious living really is. I have also been to Versailles twice as an adult. My recommendation to the Chinese emperors would have been to take a page out of the French royalty's book and learn a thing or two on how to live as they did! If only the Chinese government spent less money on fireworks for the Olympics or the Olympics in general and spent more money on renovating the palaces, perserving not only Chinese but also world heritage for the generations to come, sigh...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I've been away...

Though it might appear as if I've been slacking on this blog, the truth is, eating and sleeping all day takes a lot of time and effort, just ask this Panda :)

The entire gang went to the capital city this past week. What an exhausting trip it was. I've been asked rhetorically by so many relatives if it is difficult to take care/raise two children. I had at first interpreted their question from an American perspective. Of course, it is difficult, but everyone manages and many do it with even more children. Such is the way of life. But the longer I am in China, the more I realize, they ask that question from a Chinese perspective, and no matter how advanced China has become, certain extremely simple things in my American life I take for granted that make my life easier are still missing in China. For example, I cannot push a stroller onto any Chinese street for too long without having to pick it up and overcome some obstacles that are not stroller/handicap accessible such as stairs. Of course, this is easily overcome if you are wealthy in China, you have an entourage of maids with you to deal with these headaches for you. For that matter, not only would I need a car, I would need a chauffer to achieve door-to-door service that I am used to in the U.S. Not that life in the U.S. is all that door-to-door, but I don't have to worry about cars and their drivers thinking they are God's gift to China and pay no attention to pedestrians no matter how many children they are holding, they WILL cut in front of you, come within inches from your 4 year old and then brake.

Traveling is exhausting enough, and traveling with two small children is so much more exhausting, but it has its huge rewards, namely the two thousand photos I have to show for the trip. Here are a few not so good ones :)

The back entrance into the Forbidden Palace. I doubt the kids will remember much, but they will have pictures to remind them that they've been there already :)


Unwilling participants in a photoshoot in the Palace.


Oh yeah, this must look familiar!



And this too... not only the screaming child in the foreground but also the nest in the background :)


No layouts this time, a rare occassion for this blog :) Until next time...

Monday, October 13, 2008

One Planet: Ours

My beloved readers, I hope you aren't expecting to see layouts about Shanghai? LOL!
Here's another relatively simple one and yet another single-photo layout I have done. I've made comments on "simplicity" twice in a row now, when in fact, I tend to be a "simple" scrapper anyway. It's just that I'm not surrounded by my room full or products and therefore I feel it's simple. LOL.
I used the Fancy Pants Daily Grind paper and the background "cardstock" is from Basic Grey's Granola's line.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Is This Too Plain?

The evening before I left for Shanghai, I made one last stop at Archiver's and bought a new line from Sassafras Lass. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! I brought it with me on my trip and here's a very very simple layout with these delicious papers! I rather like it!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shanghai Noon

It's hard to believe that I've been here for almost two weeks now! I haven't even gone to what we Shanghainese call "Shanghai" yet. Not that it holds much interest to me. Going anywhere with the children is just exhausting. Of course, in the U.S., we go everywhere by car. Even if we went everywhere with taxi which is most of the time, it's just not the same.

Here is another layout I did here with S.O. October kit.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Let's Milk the Few Layouts I have

Scrapbooking away from home is as complicated as I thought it would be. No wonder I don't go to crops! I brought the S.O. October Kit in its entirety and I have three layouts to post in the next few days. The Daily Grind line is utterly refreshing and most of them don't need a lot of embellishing to create beautiful looking layouts.

Well, I am still trying to recover from jet lag. Second Child is still waking up every day at 4. By the time both kids are down for the evening, I head to bed as well, too tired to scrapbook.

Shanghai is every experience I know to expect, but that does not make it easier. First I must get used to the concept of "pedestrians last." I'm just not used to having cars turning left and cutting in front of me as I cross the street with two children. I understand why it is like this: overpopulation, but it does not make it easier to deal with! It usually takes me a few days to not take it personally and not want to throw a rock at the car.

I am almost out of the "why the heck am I here" phase of every one of my Shanghai trips. I am glad that I have 7 more weeks so my "I wish I live here" phase will be a lot longer than it is usually.