Extra pictures and videos from trip

In Laos it was fun to see these young girls fishing in the morning. If you look closely you will see the net is connected to the bottom of the four sticks.


They caught a few small fish.


The little boys hid their play swords for the picture.


The scenery in Laos was so breathtakingly beautiful.


Watch what climbs out of the water!


Inside the cave.


Little children near the cave.


The baby pandas at the zoo.

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It was a first for me to see the pandas so active.


One of the royal colors in Thailand is pink, so fun to see the  chairs in the airport pink,

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and also some of the cabs.


Exotic food from our trip

Laura had a fabulous time trying out all the different regional foods.

Cheese and tomato salad at the Russian Restaurant.

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Egg and spinach dish in Thailand.

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Eggplant in Laos

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Not my favorite.

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Soft shell crab in Hong Kong

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We loved the excitement of opening the box lunches on the airplanes.

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A perfect meal for the food pyramid.

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Mark and Laura only needed a dozen of these cute little waters.

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Delectable hot chocolate in Hong Kong.

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Initialed apple in Changzhi.

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Restaurant meal in Laos of soup, look at all those healthy greens to add to the soup.


Laura enjoys her day in Beijing

It was fun for me to show Laura around my stomping ground in Beijing.

She started the day with a pedicure at Ruby’s.

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Next a tasty snack of candied strawberries. A first for me, and boy were they delicious.

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A walk past the United States Embassy, where there are daily lines of Chinese citizens trying to get a travel visa to the United States.

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Shopping at The Place.

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We requested a cot at this hotel for Laura. Laura is tiny but not that small.

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Her new bed.

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A fun day touring Changzhi

Laura had a wonderful time in Changzhi as we spent the day eating and shopping. Great for Laura as she is small enough that the shoes and clothes fit her.

Laura standing with Xueer and her friend Lisa.

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We enjoyed a lunch of noodles that are made by a Dong Bei family (people from North East China) which is where Xueer and Lisa are from. So a favorite for them.

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The owner liked Laura so he dropped an extra 10 little hard boiled quail eggs in her bowl. I rather enjoy them so Laura shared some with me. We each got a bowl for $1.50 but too big for Laura and I to finish.

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A stop at the local grocery store for some pineapple.

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Very interesting to watch them use a special knife to trim the pineapple.

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Laura joined me on my morning walk thru the park. Laura decided she needed a rest.

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Another view of the park.

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A busy Changzhi street with a donkey added  to the mix. Laura really enjoyed watching all the donkeys trot up and down the street.

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The day ended with a delicious Chinese dinner.

When we arrived in Changzhi I was surprised that the weather was still soooo cold. So we all wore coats in the restaurant and Laura learned what it was like staying in a cold apartment.

Xueer, Joan, Laura, Lisa

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Laura holding her electric blanket that she used at the apartment. Luckily we are about the same size so she could borrow some of my warmer clothes to wear. I have heard that this is the coldest April they have had in 10 years. Great. Anxiously waiting for spring to arrive.

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Day trip to Macau China

One afternoon while in Hong Kong the clouds set in so our sightseeing from the mountain tops was limited so we decided to make a short trip to Macau by super-jet boats. We were there in an hour.


Macau is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China since 20 December 1999, and, like Hong Kong, benefits from the principle of “one country, two systems”. The tiny SAR is growing in size – with more buildings on reclaimed land – and in the number and diversity of its attractions. The greatest of these continues to be Macau’s unique society, with communities from the East and West complementing each other, and the many people who come to visit. The first people to settle Macau were Portuguese.

Macau is turning into a small Las Vegas as many people travel there to gamble since it is against the law in China. I wanted to check out the Venetian Resort as I heard it was the same as the one in Las Vegas.


In many ways it was identical except that all of the gambling is out of sight (behind the short walls behind Laura and Mark).  So more family friendly as the children are unable to see any of the gambling. You were not allowed to take pictures so I took this one going up the escalator. (quick get away)

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I almost thought I was in Las Vegas until I saw the signs written in English and Chinese

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On the jet boat we paid a little extra so we sat upstairs and received a meal during the short one hour ride.


Laura wasn’t too sure if she wanted to eat the fish dish with rice. I thought it was quite delicious. Mark and Laura loved the small containers of juice :) They would have liked many more.

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It was a fun afternoon outing and would love to go back again.

Pictures from Hong Kong

We had a wonderful time in Hong Kong even though the weather was a little cool and rainy. When it rained we just went inside and shopped. No complaining!

The sky cleared in the evening to see the beautiful sky line which was great.


We had to pose for at least one picture.


Laura treated us to a delicious seafood dinner.


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In the morning we walked around the park.


Loved all the colorful flowers and scenery.


Even the turtles were looking for a sunny spot.

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We took the trolley streetcar to the top of Peak Park but just to overcast to see the city. Laura will have to return to see the amazing city view.


A visit to Gaohe Mine, to see Mark at work

It was very important for Laura to see the mine where her dad works and the reason that we are in China.

Mark’s driver picked us up  for the 20 minute drive so we could tour the  buildings around the mine and have lunch with Mark.

Mark’s office is on the third floor of this building. Any building in China does not require and elevator if under 4 floors, Mark gets his exercise every day doing the steps.

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The mine employs 3,000 people and is 1500 feet deep.

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The conference room where the daily morning meeting takes place. The front table where Mark sits must be 20 feet long, and as many as 100 people might attend this meeting.

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The screen can be seen from the conference room.

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The screens show what is happening continuously underground.

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The billboard shows the final plan for the mine.  Laura noticed many billboards around the country side showing different companies.

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One of 3 dormitories for the employees.

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The hoist building and silos.

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The hoist to transport the men and coal from the ground. Women are not allowed underground.

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On the way home, our road was blocked so Laura and I enjoyed the detour through the small surrounding villages. So instead of the 20 minute drive, it took an hour.

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We drove through lots of mud and dirt.

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Laura and I enjoyed our lunch. I had rice and Laura picked the noodles, along with many other vegetable side dishes.

Laura and Joan see how pottery is made

Today Laura and I took an hour drive (from Changzhi)  to Gaoping to see the famous “Dong Fang Black Pottery”. It  is made from special clay found in the local river.

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Fascinating to watch them mold a piece of clay into a beautiful vase in a matter of minutes.

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After the pottery is molded and has dried for 4 days, some of the pottery is carved out with small knives.

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Very beautiful intricate patterns are drawn on the pottery.


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The clay is baked at a very high temperature to turn it black.

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Mark and I visited this store a few years ago to check out the pottery, but you can imagine my surprise when Laura said, “Look, mom your picture is on the wall.”

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Trip to Asia with Laura 159How could we not by more pottery.

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Laura and Joan visit the Beijing Zoo

A trip to China is not complete without  a visit to the Beijing Zoo to see the pandas.

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The zoo was a great deal with a $3.00 entrance fee. It was worth the extra $1.50 to Laura to view the penguins.

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Bangkok, Thailand

After leaving Laos we spent one night in Bangkok so we were able to take in dinner and a little sightseeing  of the beautiful city.


Bangkok is filled with many Buddhist Temples.



We walked along the flower market street which was beauty to the eyes and heaven to the nose.


They separate the marigold petals to make flower rings for offerings at the temples.


They make these flower rings to decorate your home.


We decorated our hotel room.


Laura fell in love with all the multi-colored orchids.