Archive | October, 2009

favorites

21 Oct

There are these huge hideous shrubs that line our East-facing windows. They’re so ghastly that I suspect they’ve never been trimmed in all their plant-lives. The one thing that’s pleasant, besides being an excellent window shade while it still has leaves, are the birds that perch outside our window. It’s usually a crowd of overweight sparrows, but occasionally we get a cute little Chickadee or a bright red Cardinal.

The part I’m really digging now is a corner of our dining room with the newest addition of our house: Devin’s grandmother’s former sheet music shelf. It used to house piano music while Devin’s grandmother was still alive, and for a while it was banished to the Edmonds’ garage for being useless and taking up space. Now it has a new home, ours, and it pays its rent by shelving all our miscellaneous crap (as well as look very handsome)!

Other favorites: Keroppi frog pillow and our home-made bookshelf.

IMG_5111 IMG_5113 IMG_5112

house

16 Oct

Now residing at our new house on E. Johnson St…

with boyfriend, a turtle, a snake, a salamander, a gang of frogs, and soon some fish and a gecko.

Devin has lived on the East side all his life, but this is my first year on this side of town… and I like it, so far. It isn’t ghetto like South Park St, but not crazy wealthy like the Vilas neighborhood, not college-y like the Downtown area, and not obscure like the North side. The East side has a bit of everything: old hippies, young hipsters, punks, professionals, food co-ops, local restaurants, dark, dingy bars, and generally a nice, welcoming feel and a close proximity to all the places you want to be in Madison.

Tea and fruit.

Tea and fruit.

see our house…

China

4 Oct

Back in Minnesota from my travels, so I’m also back, blog-wise.

Devin has a pretty good city-for-city entry about China already, but I feel obligated to write one for my blog — so here we go.

Hong Kong

Devin and I spent a week in Hong Kong before heading into Mainland. Overwhelmed Devin with countless aunts and uncles, all doting on him and us. Saw the sights, fought a few times, enjoyed each other again for the first time in over 3 months.

Devin at The Peak. The Fam.

Guilin

First stop: Guilin, city of limestone mountains. The scenery is so strange that it almost looks like Wookiee Planet C from Star Wars. Our friend Kuhn Yin and her family hosted us for several days. During that time, we climbed 6 ‘mountains’, feasted on a Guilin-style banquet and saw the city by foot.

"fucking cave!"

Yangshuo

Being trapped in the heart of Yangshuo was somewhat unpleasant, kind of like ending up in Vegas when you were expecting countryside. But we got that too, by biking out half an hour from town. We saw a 1400-year-old Banyan tree and climbed on top of “Moon Hill” for a spectacular view of the surrounds.

I was pretty proud of the woven hat that I bought from one of the vendors, who offered to sell it to me for Y50… to which I said ‘hell no!’ I got it for Y15 in the end. It left me when we returned to Guilin, after leaving it unattended for a couple hours on a stairwell.

Old Banyan On top of Moon Hill.

Chengdu

We made this city our vacation from vacation, but only because we found an amazing hostel called Sim’s Garden Guesthouse. These people have thought of everything; you name it, they have it. They’ve got answers for you even before you’ve thought of the question. Chengdu was easy to get around, so between walking and taking the bus, we got to know the city fairly well. We splurged on DVDs and ate Sichuan-style food, which was both oily and spicy. I guess I’m all-in-all a Guangdong gal cuz I definitely prefer the food from my own region.

Oily Sichuan BBQ Turtle Salesman

Moxi, Hailuogou Glacier and Gongga Shan

I think the Chinese army decided to set up a military base near this small mountain town because Devin was pulled off the bus at one of their checkpoints on the way to Moxi. Every day, legions of young Chinese men and women jog up and down the streets of the village itself. I suppose if you can run for miles on a mountain, doing the same distance at a lower elevation would be a sinch. I was out of breath every ten steps while clambering over this glacier.

Tibetan prayer flags Cable car over the Hailuogou Glacier Gongga Shan

…and back again.

Back in Hong Kong, we celebrated Devin, Uncle Norman and Aunt Po’s birthdays, saw big fish, and got sick just in time for the flight home. The ending of a fun trip!

Singing happy birthday to themselves. This is why I don't swim.