Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas in Southern California

It has been quite a while since I last posted anything. School has been busy and I need to get some photos organized before I put up another China post. Last Friday, only a few hours after school was out, I hopped on a plane to fly back to California. Jon met me in L.A. and we enjoyed Smith Family Christmas in Huntington Beach. I met two new family members, Mason and Lyra, and loved seeing everyone else. Here is our four generation family photo with everyone who was able to make it:

Pictured:
First generation: Great Uncle Burl and Great Aunt Pat
Second generation: Jerilynn & Ray, Geoff & Heidi, Mom, Mark & Nadiya, Cynthia
Third generation: Catherine & Naysan, Jon & me, Ashley & Ryan, Jessica, Sergey
Fourth generation: Mikial, Kian, Isla, Mason, Lyra

Now, I am up in Santa Cruz and looking forward to spending Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with Jon's family and then my dad's side of the family.

--Sarah--

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November - Jon and Kids' Fall Photos

Jon managed to get in another visit to Beijing last week and this time school was in session so he was able to come visit my classroom. The kids loved meeting Jon - they decided to call him Mr. Jon - and I think Jon had a pretty good time as well. While he was at school, we took the kids out to the playground to take pictures that remind them of fall. I love seeing the pictures they take - sometimes arranging the shot:

or directing their buddy on how to pose:

Some close-ups:

Here are some more photos by the kids:

And of course, our special guest for the day made it into a few photos. Here's my favorite:

Only five more weeks (and a couple of days) until I am in California for three weeks!

--Sarah--

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More Jon & Sarah Photos!

I heard from a few people that they wanted to see more of the photos of Jon and me from the photographer. So here they are:

Jon and I had fun during the shoot - making each other laugh and being silly.

I got some good news a few days after Jon went back home. He's coming back! Now, instead of looking forward to December, I get to look forward to just one more week from now! This time, he will have to explore more of Beijing on his own while I am at work, but I won't be complaining any time he is over here.

--Sarah--

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jon's October Visit Part II

We left off on Wednesday when the air here took a turn for dangerous with an AQI over 400. It has continued to be some of the worst air we get over here but we couldn't stay inside everyday.

On Thursday, we took the fast train to Tianjin hoping to have better air there. It was better than Beijing but still not great. Jon and I had no plan in Tianjin so we just walked around until we were starving and then found a place to eat. We walked through the financial district and looked at the old buildings while everyone else looked at us. We had our pictures taken many times - even on security guards' cell phones!

Later, we walked in another direction and ran into Italian Style Town! (Or as the sign told us Ltalian Style Town.) There were many couples getting their wedding photos taken and Jon and I had an Ltalian lunch that he deemed 'not bad' or maybe it was 'pretty good' but nothing like the food he and his family makes.

On Friday, we spent the morning walking around the 798 Art District in Beijing and then had delicious dumplings for lunch. Later, we had some photos printed and did a little more gift shopping. Jon enjoyed some pork buns from a sidewalk vendor on the walk home in the evening.

On Saturday, Jon and I went on an easy, short hike outside Beijing. We walked through the old walled village of Huang Hua (Yellow Flower), their farms, and then up to the Zhuangdaokou section of the Great Wall. This was a better way for Jon to see the Great Wall for the first time. Unfortunately, the air continued to be poor. Later, we went out for dinner with a couple friends at a Sichuan restaurant.

Here is Jon at the Great Wall:

Just kidding. Here we are:
Jon is now on a plane on his way back to California. We had a great week together but it went by entirely too quickly! We are both looking forward to December when we will see each other again!

--Sarah & Jon--

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Jon's October Visit Part 1

Jon came over to visit during my October break. We've had a pretty relaxing trip without much rushing around which has been nice. He is coming back in the spring so we didn't have to get to all the big sites on this trip. Here are some photos of the first half of his trip:

On Sunday, we went to the dirt market - panjiayuan. Jon and I enjoyed walking through the stands and bought a few things. Here is the calligrapher painting names on scrolls:

Later that afternoon, we headed over to Hou Hai Lake to walk around and meet up with a friend for dinner. Jon liked these signs:

and this family in their hats:

and this dog/superhero:

The lake was busy with boats and looked great with the lights reflecting in the evening.

On Monday, we visited the Lama Temple. This was the first time I'd been to this temple. It was very busy because of the holiday so we may come here again in the spring.

On Tuesday, Jon and I had some photos taken at Ritan Park. Before the photographers came, we had a tasty lunch and took some photos while walking around the park.

Then we were models.

My new cat finally came out from under the couch and has even begun to let us pet her. I named her Lao Wai, which means 'foreigner' in Chinese - exactly what she will be when I bring her back to the States with me.

On Wednesday, the sky was no longer blue and we began to have trouble seeing down the street. We decided to do something indoors so we went to the Blue Zoo. The Blue Zoo is a small aquarium downtown. They had some pretty good critters to look at but most of the glass had smudges so photos were difficult to take. Here are some lobsters that weren't too smudgey:

Next post will be what we did Thursday (today) and what we will do on Friday and Saturday.

--Sarah & Jon--