Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Honolulu 4th

I'm back on US soil for the holiday. John met me at the airport and we spent yesterday at a perfect beach. Tonight we are going to see the fireworks. The Huh family is doing great!!! More tomorrow..

Friday, July 3, 2009


I LOVE Beijing. Things started off great as I slept for 7 hours on the plane on the way. After landing and getting to the hotel in the early evening I took a walk and subway ride around the city. I stopped at Tianimen square at about 9pm to check that out. I was surprized tha they actually close the square (the world's biggest city square) at 8pm each night. I guess this helps people from spontaneous demonstrations. It is an eary feeling in the square, very majestic and beautiful, but obviously with a sorted history.

The next day i took a tour of the Forbidden City, Tianimen Square, Mao's Mausoleum, the Peoples Rebublic buildings, and the City Park. Great tour with a dutch family (I seem to attract tthe Dutch) and a wonderful tour guide named Jamie Wang. Near the end of the tour Jamie asked what I wanted to do over the next 3 days and agreed to be my private tour guide for 3 days. He is a very nice guy, born and raised in Beijing, studued language in colllege, and been doing tours for 7 years.

That night we went for Peking Duck and then off to a KungFu show. The show was spectacular. A high energy mix of dancing, Kung Fu, music and a great story line. Broadway would be proud.

The next day we went to the Beijing Zoo. We visited the Panda's. There were 14 Panda's playing around. They are so cute and playful. Pictures a little dark but look for the Panda sleeping in the tree above my head.

While at the zoo my phone rang. It was my Dutch friend Gilbert who asked what I was doing for dinner. As a great surprise he decided to join me in Beijing!!! After the zoo Jamie and I went to the Summer Palace. This is where the emporer (and his aunt) spent their summers. A very beautiful and relaxing area.

I then made my way back to the hotel and met up with Gilbert. We walked around the city that night and had a great meal.

The next day Jamie, Gilbert and I went to the Great Wall. The Wall was definately one of the great highlights of the trip. After a 90 minute car ride north of Beijing the wall snakes its way atop a mountain range. To get to the Wall we took a cable car to the top of the mountain range. You then ascend into the wall. We took a 3 hour hike along the Wall from tower 14 to tower 20. Anywhere you stop is a postcard setting. The stretch from tower 19 to tower 20 is 600+ steps up a very steep section. It was exhausting. Gilbert did a fantastic job hiking this distance. I was really impressed. It was very hot and we were greatful for the passing shower that hit us at Tower 20. After resting and taking many pictures we headed back to Tower 14 and our way back to Beijing.

Once we returned to Beijing we stopped at the Olympic center and visited the Water Cube and the Birdsnest. Both building are archicturally impressive. We went in the Water Cube and pretended to be Michael Phelps. Ok we were actually more prepared to be Mrs. Phelps, but pretending was fun none the less.

Gilbert and I had a great last meal at the hotel and got ready for our flights the next day. Enjoy the pictures, they are great.


Rome is split into 2 categories for me. First there are the cultural spots. This included the Collisium, Forum, Panthean, Vatican. These are all amazing. It fealt like I stepped into an old movie set. You really get the fealing of being transported back in time. Walking around the Collisium is an other-wordly experience.

My camera malfunctioned for a day, so I do not have pictures from the Vatican. Let me just state that St. Peters is HUGE and the Sistine Chapel is very beautiful.

The other side of Rome - the non-tourist areas, I found dissapointing. A whole lot of trash and graffitti. The driving is crazy and the people a bit pushy.

A few pics from Rome:

Catching up.....

On sleep, blogging, relaxing....

After a world-wind 2 weeks in Rome (bad internet connection, Beijing (no access to blogging sites) and now Hawaii, it's time to catch up. Enjoy the posts...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Florence is a stunning city, everywhere you rurn is a piece of history or art that is between 400-1000 years old. The pictures I have do not do it justice. I took a walking tour yesterday, a great way to learn about the history of the city, and its importance in world culture. Considering both Leonardo and Michaelangilo lived here, they have had more than their share of great artists.

The most impressive site is David. I went there this morning and was amazed on how beautiful it is. If it asn't stone, and if I wasn't engaged....

Other great sites I saw included the Duomo, pieces at the Uffizi museum, and Santa Croce.

I had some great meals (breakfast not included in that comment).

I do have to say that I have been struggling with being a little travelled out over the past few days. I am soooo over souvenier shops, pushy people, waiting in lines, and my clothes and luggage. So I actuallyy only have 3 more stops, and need to pack 3 more times.

I am now off to Rome, enjoy the pictures.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Greek Islands

Over the long weekend John and I visited Turkey, Crete, Patmos and Santorini. I'll try to do my best to recap...

Turkey - port of Kusadasi.
Never in my life have I been at a spot with pushier merchants. They really do not take no for an answer. It is all done in good fun, and bartering is a way of life here. The people, while pushy, are also VERY friendly. John and I started our day having coffee and walking through the fort of Kusadasi.

We then spent the next hour participating in the national pasttime - shopping. There were many deals to be had, and we spent more then we should have. We barterred our way through shoes stores, clothing stores and other odd shops.

A highlight was watching a demonstration on a woman making a Persian rug. I was amazed on what a long, time consuming process this is. The rugs are very intricate, and made with an assortment of materials. John and I were able to walk away without buying a rug, so it looks like I will have enough money to make it home.

Patmos - a quiet town. I made this journey alone as John was relaxing on the boat. Patmos is a cute sleepy town aboutt 50 km from Kusadasi. There is a beach in the center of town where many people went swimming. I have enough sun for a year, so I decided to enjoy a cappachino at a cafe. Nothing quite like a lazy afternoon, having coffee in an outside cafe in Greece.

Crete - Our morning in Crete was also very laid back. It was a Sunday morning, so most of the town was dead when we arrived. We walked past, and ducked into the main church. The church is both simple and ornate at the same time. The outside architecture a beautiful mixture of straight lines and curved ceilings. Inside the church, a very ornate alter. Interesting service, or which I did not understand a word (sorry, It's all Greek to me). We hten sauntered down to a cafe to have a great late breakfast. The pictures of the fishing boats are from this port. While fishing is a pretty dead business in the Aegean, it makes one think back to their way of life for the past 3000 years.

Santorini - One of the most magical places on Earth. The current landscape of Santorini was created by a volcano that ripped apart the town about almost 4000 years ago. It is the basis for Plato's writing about the lost continent of Atlantis. The cliffs soar out of the sea. Cliffs of marble and lava great you as you sail into this magical place. Resting on the tops of these huge cliffs sits a town of beautiful white and blue buildings. ( by the way, move to Greece and you only need 2 colors - all the houses are white and blue)

There are a few ways to ascend the cliffs. The most modern is the tram that takes you up. The oldest way would be climbing the 4000+ steps. The most interesting way is to take a donkey. More on the donkey later. John and I took the tram on the way up. Once you get to the top, the view is stunning. An interesting meteorological event takes place here. We had not seen a cloud for 7 days, but in Santorini, when the water meats the cliffs clouds are formed and come from below and rise up over the town. You literally look down at the clouds and see them coming back up at you.

After walking though the town and some light shopping, we found a great place for dinner. We ate a great meal of mussels, Greek salad, Kabobs and Mousaka. I will really miss the great food, and friendly and boisterous people.

After dinner I decided to ride the donkey down the mountain. It was a bit harrowing as my donkey likes to walk on the edge of the path with me looking down cliffs that fell 500 feet or so. The last picture is kind of dark, but you can decide who is the biggest ass in the shot.

John and returned to the boat and packed up. We had a wonderful 3 weeks together and now I'm back to traveling solo.

Enjoy the pictures, some of them are a amazing.

Getting Married

After 16 years of dating John and I have committed ourselves to marriage. John asked me to marry him while at the windmills on Mykonos. I was honored to be asked, and gratefully accepted. It was a very romantic spot, and will always be a wonderful memory.

We had been talking about this for the past few months, and we appreciate what a wonderful life we have had together, and wanted to commit to each other for our futures.

I think it is really important to have the community recognize our commitment to one another. Relationships are so very rewarding, but also hard work. Without the support of the community, it makes it even harder.

For a long time in my life I did not understand what love was about. Then, for a while, I fealt I would never have the opportunity to share my life with someone. This relationship has taught me how great life can be when sharing it with someone that you love. We are very different people, but we have learned to appreciate the differences, and work with one another to get the most out of life.

I apologize for telling people in this kind of impersonal manner. If I had to call everyone it would cost me a fortune, and we have a wedding to pay for now.