Trip 3 June 28th - June 30th Part 2

Alright!
Awake bright and early at 5:30 am! We showered and prepared for a quick breakfast at the hotel before checking out and getting on our way.
Our poor driver, however, only got two hours of sleep claiming the other driver snored far to loudly. Poor guy has a long day ahead of him!
image
image
image
image
Now this is a very big lake, with plenty of reeds and lotus flowers taking it over! image
image
image
Our whole group couldn’t fit one boat, so we split to two~
image
image
image
image
image
There wasn’t much traffic yet this early in the morning, only a few farmers and fishermen~
image
Off in the distance, on the shore, one can see the reeds from the lake harvested and drying in bundles. These will then be used to make woven pictures or mats.
image
image
There’s a town on an island in the midst of the lake~image
And here is someone building a nice big brick house~image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
Here are some mats that have been woven out of the lake’s reeds~

Some water chestnuts~





One of the first little tourist attractions on the lake~
An old rusty real japanese machine gun left here by the Japanese when they attacked this place~


They sold lots of fake guns and things here!
The scene of a funny reanactment of when the Japanese attacked. This man is the narrorator of the tale and he uses an old special instrument.

There was much dancing…
There is the hero of our tale~

Reviving a man with a plunger~

That lovely lady on the left is actually a not very handsome man in a wig!
Such huge watermelons!

Well, that is it for part 2! Part 3 is coming right up with more interesting things!

Trip 3 June 28th - June 30th Part 1

Okay! Quick bonus picture! Me trying to paint those dang flowers!
image

So the 28th was a day we were to go on a trip.
Everyone awoke at a decent hour, prepared for the day, and readied for the three hour drive.
Yet before we could head out, it was lunch with some family friends!
So off to a nice restaurant we went!
image
image
Liaoda’s mother chilling as we await the other guests~
image
A few old items they had displayed. image
image
image
A nice wine pot~
image
Some old stamps~
image
image
Oh look! You can see how much you weigh~ before and after you eat…
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
A tasty watermelon and coconut drint~
image
image
Little bamboo shoots~image






Pig feet~ or as Liaoda calls it, ‘Emily Feet.’
Donkey meat~ or as I call it, ‘Liaoda on a dish.’




After a nice filling lunch, it was time to head home and await our driver.
But as we arrived, our driver was already there!
So in we rushed for our stuff, and out into the car we went for a long three hour car drive.

Upon our arrival, we went immedietly to meet with the people who would be funding dinners and fun for the night and next day. We met with Liaoda’s godmother and godfather, we met with an owner of part of an oil branch in a company and his wife, as well as another man. I had met them all before, so I was quite used to them.
After a short time chatting we went off to do what the chinese do best!
Eat dinner!
Don’t fear, there will be something not food related after you look at more delicious foods!




Liaoda’s godfather being prissy with a purse~




Duck eggs with twins~


Big Radish~

The box to the wine, its shape amused me~

You know the duck is here when the chef comes in!

Some fresh veggies with my favorite sauce. The bowl is made of ice!







Some yam sticks, there was honey to dip them in~



Go to the bathroom for one minute, and come out to see a new dish half devoured!




Phew! That was a lot to eat with your eyes!
Now, I was feeling tired after a long trip and a long dinner, yet there was no rest to be had. Instead we went to the hotel’s KTV, or karayoke. The restaurant had been the hotel’s restaurant as well, and it is the hotel we would be staying in, so at least we didnt have far to walk or drive!




This is my ‘I really dont want to sing at all but trying to smile’ face…
The waitresses here all wear sailor suits!

Me singing Moon River with Liaoda’s father…

Lots of fruit, snacks, beer, and tea are served~
The oil company man singing, he only sang once this night, I dont blame him!

Me finally talking Liaoda into singing with me as I did not wish to sing on my own!
We sang ‘When can we do this again,’ by Owl City, ‘You Belong with Me,’ by Taylor Swift, and ‘Smooth Criminal,’ by Michael Jackson.


Our driver singing~
Liaoda’s Godfather interrupting my photo taking!
The wife of the Oil company man singing. She had a lovely voice~
Liaoda’s godfather and our driver being silly~

Liaoda’s father sang many songs, however his voice is not as lovely as his calligraphy…

She was very jealous of my pale skin, which she liked to stroke.


A different driver. I call him ‘Over’ for often times, during meals, he tells me to ‘over’ my glass, as in drink all the wine! However, drinking all the wine or alcohol in your glass is a good sign of respect and bonding, so it must be done.
He had a good voice though!
The godfather dancing with his wife~


The godmother singing~


The last song of the night was ‘Gangnam Style’ but with a korean girl singing too! So weird, yet the dancing was fun~

With that, we were all off to bed, for we had to awaken early to get to the lotus viewing lake!

Trip 3 June 25th - June 27th

So another few days since my last post, today is a lazy day spent here at home, so might as well upload the events of yesterday!
But before that, I’ve been given some pictures from days past,
consider them a bonus!image
From the night with the billionaire~
image
From the day of the musuem. Here is an artist we visited. He makes such splendid mountains!
image
Liaoda’s father posing for photos~
image
And we who had to join in…
image
Liaoda’s father and mother love to play with their camera that has an unnecessary lense size…
So many photos of myself just sitting, blinking, talking, yawning have been taken here in his father’s work office.
image
Here’s more of that office.
image
Now Liaoda hates posing for the camera in even the slightest bit. No smile, always a hand in his face. I’ve had to resort to kiss threats to get him to react differently for his parents enjoyment.
image
image
image
And back to the watermelon fields~
image

Alright, enough bonus photos, now to the accounts of yesterday. Bright and early in the morning we were off for a long ride in a very nice Benz that belongs to Liaoda’s godmother. It was a nice cool air conditioned time with a driver who was very fast and only 19! Chinese roads can be frightful…
Yet we finally arrived at our location, which was a town where we would be having lunch with his godmother~
image
As you can see, it was another one of those lovely indoor garden restaurants~
image
image
image
image
image
image

I cant get this stubborn picture to turn…












Mmm frog, too bad it was so spicy!

Spicy all thanks to this little pepper!

 After a meal in a rather hot room, we were off to new places

This happened to be the most stressful half of the day. We went to a giant five story mall only for purses, suitcases and fur coats. Now, everything was fake, but they were fakes made well and made from real leather and fur.
Here I was forced to find a purse that I didnt want anyone to buy for it was expensive, yet once I found a purse a battle of shoving and pulling commensed and the purse was bought by Liaoda’s family.
So I have a new purse now, a smaller one, but they claimed it to be a birthday gift.

After the mall we went for a swift visit with Liaoda’s uncle who carves Jade.

Now here was a massive slab of beauty! So many details! My hand is likely the size of that Buddha there~


and look at all the hairs on this jade puppy!









And a lovely group photo…where you can see my fat thighs.

After this visit we returned to the mall to pick up a few more items and then we were on back home~

Trip 3 June 19th - June 24th Part 3

Moving on from all the beautiful china and pottery, we find many carvings and statues from various times in Hebei’s history!

image
image

image
image
image
image
image

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
The place where a Buddha stands or sits, sadly Buddha is missing!
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

image
image
One of the four Guardians~
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
A relief of servants~image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image



Statues of monks~






Phew! That’s the end of floor one of the museum!
Too bad the other floors werent ready!
So on to the next stop we went~
Oh, here’s the libraby. rather tall big building!

And the entrance to the musuem~
It’s free to get in, however it does have a security check.

Next stop was at a quick calligraphy exhibition~

Those big calligraphy are done only by trained martial artists who use a big heavy paint brush that I showed a few posts back~

Liaoda’s father writing a quick poem in the guest book, since he is a calligrapher~


Not sure what it says, but it looks pretty!


I love the old calligraphy to the left~



Here is Liaoda’s father’s work!


And just in the morning I had my first attempt at painting chinese flowers!
Let us say it wasnt that great of a success…

For some comparison, below is Liaoda’s mother’s flowers, though she’s been at it every morning and for a few months.

Trip 3 June 19th - June 24th Part 2

Back to the Hebei Museum!
And on to pottery and other such things!
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
A lunch box of sorts~image
image
image
Liaoda thought this looked like an ancient version of a margarita or tequila glass~
image
image
image
Now what are these? Why, this is a line of very comfy, very solid, pillows!
I think I might just do without…
image
image
More lovely pillows~
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
A lovely old incense burner~
image
image
image
Rather pretty pillows~
image
image
image
image
A small light~image
image
image
image
a nice little tea leaf grinder in the center~
image
image
imageimage
image
Phoenix head pitcher~image
image
image













A baby tiger!




A brush holder.


Some candle holders!

Well that’s all for part 2, however, there’s one part left to go!

Trip 3 June 19th - June 24th Part 1

Hello again!
It appears my English classes are done and over with, leaving plenty of leisure time. Not much has happened since my last post but for a single busy day.
Liaoda has gone back to the dentist and gotten his stitches removed. I also got my teeth x-rayed!
image
Well, dentists says I don’t need to worry about my teeth yet~

Other than that, the one busy day came about.
We left early in the morning to visit a few friends, while took a while. From there we visited another friend who was a wonder at painting mountains!
A couple of hours chatting away and finally we went to lunch with the mountain-painting friend.
Get ready, here’s where food comes in!
A wedding was going on as we came, but it was okay, we had a private room. However, there was something fun to see and taste!
image
A guy who makes little sugar pictures!
Well, Liaoda paid and I got him to make a monkey~
image
image
image
image
image
image
Got myself a monkey with a big peach in his hands!
image
image
image
image
But now its time to eat! Wait? What became of the monkey? Why, I accidentally broke off his foot and was forced to eat the rest of him.
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image

With dinner complete and a friendly shoving and pulling battle for the door to see who would pay, we were off once more.
This time we ventured with just Liaoda’s family to the Hebei Museum, a museum that has many artworks from the history of this province. Lucky for everyone viewing, they were in the process of moving most of the artifacts, so I only got to see one floor of the one of the two buildings, just denting what they had to offer.
I’m a little sad to have not seen the real treasure of the place, a shirt made of real gold, meaning that each little thread in the shirt is pure gold, also with jade. But it was tucked out of sight, so i only heard of it.
image
image
An old door knocker for a rich person’s home~
The first exhibit was the tomb of a princess, displaying the priceless frescos that lined the entrance of her tomb, as well as the small soldiers that guarded her.

The images lined the way down into her tomb, so here is the ‘entrance.’


Here is a remake of what the fresco would have looked like if it were not weathered and cracked.









From the tomb we moved on to pottery and daily things, such as pillows, brush holders, and jazz of the sort~
However, that’s for part 2!

Trip 3 June 6th - June 18th Part 2

Quite possibly one of my favorite dinners yet!
For this dinner we traveled out into the country to have a good old farmer dinner!
The woman who owns the farm mostly grows Apercot and Peach trees that are only grown for a few years before dug up and sold to be planted elsewhere, but she has plenty of room for planting other goods to share with her friends!

image
image
image
image
image
image
Into the watermelon fields we go!
image
A yellow watermelon. No, its supposed to be this color, it’s not dying!image
image
A tiny little melon!
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
A yellow watermelon! There are three types of watermelons in these fields, you shall soon see!
image
A seemingly friendly green watermelon~
image
But yellow within! It tastes like any normal green red melon~image

image
image
A couple of cute farm chicks~ >;D
image
image
Here’s the inside of the yellow watermelon. Same taste as any of the yellow green or green red watermelons~
image
image
Dinner is starting!
image
image
It’s time to pick cucumbers! I’ve learned something on this farm other than colorful watermelons. I’ve learned that cucumbers are very spiky and painful! The stores have the spikes shaved off, but fresh from the stem it is a little cactus!image
image
image
image
Little growing pumpkin~
image
image
Here comes fresh ready to cook manto!
image
image
The farm guardian~
image
Here’s the big veggie stir-fry!
image
The cucumbers I picked all washed and shaved and ready to eat!





A tasty sauce for the cucumbers~








Some sort of sauage and some squid~
A cute little girl~ Whenever you say hello to her, she smiles real big!



Looks like day time is drawing to a close, which means some last minute exploration of the fields~

Here’s some parsley we got to take home for free~


Some fresh egg plants~

Some growing tomatoes.


That’s it for my day on the farm. Liaoda wished he could have had more to eat this day, but sadly in the morning he had his tooth removed, so he could not eat much of the fresh farm food.
We were send home with watermelons, and plenty of fresh veggies~

Hopefully there will be more fun to come!

Trip 3 June 6th - June 18th Part 1

Not much to report this time around but for
Food!
Yes, yes, prepare for much food!
When I’m not teaching class, grocery shopping, or sitting about the home, I’m eating at some dinner! Lucky for Liaoda, three of the dinners were before his second wisdom tooth was removed, so he got to enjoy these meals as well!

The first is a lunch with some family friends. This family has a young boy who is very good at english! In fact, he will be traveling to America with his mother to give speeches and gain awards for his speech. I believe he is only 9-12? I forgot his exact age. Sadly his father can come with since he used to be a soldier and even ex-soldiers can’t come to America.image
image
image





Some tasty durian pastry dessert~

The next lunch is at a good hotel with the governer of Hebei province, as well as the man from Beijing who paid for the five star hotel Liaoda and I stayed in last year! His son is a good golf player and he hopes to send his son to America, but he has bad english. If I come next summer, they want me as a full time tutor.






Duck is on its way!




An expensive seafood dish as it has sea cucumbers within. Sadly it was so spicy it hardly got eaten!


Some tasty deer mean rolled in millet~

Here’s that golfing son!



And no meal is complete without a dumpling dessert~

The next lovely meal was with Liaoda’s godmother once more, and a few other friends~





While exploring before everyone arrived to dinner, we stumbled upon a little aquarium~

















Appears to be a tea, but truly its a mushroom soup! How cute~





Pideons! They were fairly delicious!

A tasty sort of rice ball made just for the Dragon Boat Festival that is usually early june! Generally they are filled with dates.


Phew! That’s it for intown meals!
Part 2 will have a fun visit to some farming friends!

Trip 3 May 29th - June 5th Part 2

We left off at the temple,
Now it was time to travel to our second sight seeing location!
We stopped and arrived at the 20-30 year old set of an old Chinese show based off a very ancient book! The Dream of the Red Chamber.
Interestingly enough, my aunt has been slowly giving me plates with beautiful women on them that are limited in number. There are twelve plates total and each of the women on these plates comes from this old tragic story!
image
image
image
The entrance to the building they recreated to match the book.image
image
image
image
image
The scenes are fairly accurate of ancient life, so now is the chance to show how old China lived within their homes!
image
image
image
Here in this room are examples of each of the 12 women in a dream in the story, as well as the 12 women who would be on the plates that my aunt has gifted me.
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
image
The main male character, he is supposed to look almost feminine.
image
And the main female character who is burying flowers, pondering who would bury her when she died.
image
image
image
There was much else to explore, include a lake, but it was closing time so we were kicked!

So next was dinner!
And this was the biggest private room I had ever been in!




















A delicious fish soup~



After the delicious dinner it was time to say goodbye!

Of course I didnt want to have another picture taken of me..

Ah, a few days at home, or Liaoda’s grandparents home before it came around to
Liaoda’s Birthday!
A guy the proud age of 21!

His birthday breakfast with the cake we begged so much for. Liaoda’s mother dislikes cake, so she didnt want to get us one!

Luckily we successfully got a small slice!

Later in the day we went to explore the new and unfinished mall. After walking all over we set down for a hotpot meal!
The mall even had a Baskin Robins!

His mom and dad~



Oh! Here’s the inside of that flower rose cake!

Had it for breakfast!

Now offf I go!

Trip 3 May 29th - June 5th Part 1

Oh how so much can happen!
Liaoda had gone to the dentist last time i posted, only to return with a swollen cheek and bloody lips. No, it was a fight, he got his wisdom tooth removed.

However, all is well now, and it’s time to share the next bout of adventure in picture form. For if it is not in picture form, then it’s a bundle of uninteresting text and accounts on my lazy days in the home.

So the billionaire that had got us some delicious food in the 5 star restaurant last time invited us again to his town an hour off. Business had to be done with Liaoda’s father, and you cant very well leave the family behind.
So after missing a turn and driving around a while, we found our meeting location.
The man is currently building a cultural place for artists and martial artists, so we sat down for some tea while we looked at his calligraphy and chatted.
image
image
image
image
image
Most of his work here is done with very large brushes. So large, in fact, that they are heavy and only a trained kung fu martial artist and use them, which he is.
image
Here is one heavy giant brush! This is no broom!image
Now to explore the land that is still being built!
image
image
image
image

The billionaire, likely knowing us kids would be bored listening to his chats with the business men, had Liaoda, a co-worker of a guy i met my first trip, and i all went out to hit the local tourist spots. The town we were in was only a capital in ancient china, so it has its interesting points.
The first stop was one of the largest temples in Hebei province.
I have no images of the statues within, however, for it is not allowed.
image
image
image
The woman here is the co-worker~ She is acting as our guide and is very knowledgable!
image
image
These little creatures act as guardians of the temple~
image
image
image
image
image
image
This great building held the main statue, which was made of bronze. While I have no image of the Buddha, she stood about 70 ft tall and is supposed to have 1000 arms, however the statue did not have that many, it still had atleast 30 huge arms all holding a different object.
Truly inspiring!
image
Here is something one might have put incense in long ago, now it is used for luck. One goes around it touching all the gold spots that people have touched before.
image
A cool group of old men practicing and performing with anicent instruments!
image
image
image
image
Some of the trees in this temple are over 500 years old. Here is an image of the dragon tree and below is the Pheonix tree, the dragon is male while the other is female.
image
No more monks live at this temple, perhaps since it is no longer a peaceful and quiet place. It is now a tourist attraction.




I have more images to come! But so many I shall make a second post!
Wait for Part 2!