Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Ying's at Hangzhou

Many bridges over parts of West Lake (Xihu).  Leifeng Pagoda in the
 background.  A nice climb for all of us.
High speed train, clocking 188 mph.  

Unique nighttime show over West Lake.  Us and a 1000 other people
watched the love storyunfold with music and lights.

Big arches coming out of the water during the West Lake show.  

Yangmei and Caomei

Hiking up the hills behind the lake.

Bathing in luxury at the JW.  We felt like royalty.

Huge lillypads with gorgeous edible flowers.

Hurricane Haikui

Coming from Florida -- strong winds, thunderstorms and hurricanes are a big yawn.  Well, it was a big deal in Shanghai.  Last week we had Category 1, Hurricane Haikui touch land about 300 km south of Shanghai.  
Shanghai has a code yellow, orange and red level system to tell their citizens how bad a storm or other diaster has become.  Well conditions went from yellow to orange to red, which we found out is the condition that everything shuts down.  So no work, public transporation, etc while the winds were blowin'.  Trees here are not made to withstand strong winds so there was many trees and branches down.  Amazingly, the next day the Chinese workers cleaned it all up!!
Our front yard underwater.  Yanyuan getting extremely wet -  we had about 6" of rain.

Our pomegranate tree half down in the background.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Bikes - The Best Mode of Transportation

Shanghai is known for its crazy drivers and lack of rules on the road.  Our first and strongest lesson to our kids was to make sure that they understood the green walk symbol didn't mean go, it means walk with extreme caution.  There is no yeilding from cars or bikes to pedestrians.
Because of the craziness, my company doesn't allow employees to drive here.  If you are a  certain level then you are provided a car and driver, otherwise an allowance if given for paying for taxis, metro or whatever.  
Cars are very expensive to own, license and insure so as a result every local has a bike or scooter.  These are the common modes of transportation and they use them very efficiently.  These pictures are not strange ones - they are the normal!
Commuting 3 on a bike - Dad (blue shirt), kid in front and mom on the back taking a nap.  Very normal.
Man and his wife transporting a huge load of styrofoam.
The Ying family with our bikes in the foreground
I've been riding my bike to work the last few days and I feel safer on my bike than walking.  The roads all have a very wide bike lanes and everyone just flows.  One of my friends called it 'dancing', everyone on the dance floor knows where to go so no one bumps into each other -- you just have to make sure you know how to dance!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Just a few pics

A break from having their pictures
taken by strangers, with strangers!  
My favorite picture of the koi at Yu Garden.
I need to attempt to paint this - or just enlarge
the photograph!  That sounds good to me.
Love all the roofs!
Will - always wanting to go fishing!
This time he caught a fish with his hands.
Then he got caught and was told to
leave the fish alone.