Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cabin Work. Thelin Homestead, Island Park, Idaho.

Enclosing the cabin front deck, Summer 2011.

We had an unknown animal(s) break into our deck area and access our cupboards and food storage and simply wreck the place early last fall before winter began. We had someone come in and clean up afterwards. But, we were fast becoming aware that we needed more than a tarp covering.

Our little place now has an additional room on the cabin no more annual work tarping it every winter or in our absence. The three additional windows and two additional doors are great and allow us to sit in a new room, and be at our computers at the large front window. We can watch for animals, relax and just look over the place. We love it. It was a big job for one person, but Tricia helped a lot. Thanks again Tricia.

READING AWARDS, presented by Grandma to each of the grandchildren who read several good books according to their reading agreement, received award certificates and a $10. cash reward. This new campfire presentation was one of many reunion highlights to remember. Do you think every kid there will be reading more before next year's Grandma Darling's awards? Yes.
The first weekend of July, 2011, the annual Thelin Reunion was held at the Thelin Homestead in Island Park, Idaho. There was a good attendance although it was not possible for everyone to come this year.
In addition to the campfires, camping, crafts, hiking, horseshoes, canoeing, rides the the golfcart, and waterfront activities, the food was delicious and the family entertainment superb.
After the reunion, as you can see here, Jay did a lot of repair work like putting a new roof on the tool storage shed and completed the exterior remodelling of our little, 16' X 24' cabin as shown here in the before and after photos. Yah.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Weekend in Shanghai

After Church in Suzhou we took the bullet train (G0) and headed for Shanghai. We packed really light, no change of clothes, medicine for two days, change of underwear, wig, and no personal hygiene (We figured we would stay in a hotel that would supply us that. We had heard of this place called Thames Town and after looking it up decided it was worth an over night trip to see it. We arrived at 4:00 PM. It was a long subway ride out of town to get there (about an hour).
When we arrived on the subway no one really could tell it were he was, and so we hunted for a internet cafe. We didn't find one, but we did find a school that taught English and one of their teachers wrote down where it was so we could show the taxi.

The whole subdivision was built in 2004 by the Government. They built these businesses and beautiful homes that look English, Swedish, and French with the hopes that people would go there and live. (Of course they were expected to buy them or more correctly in China, rent them for 70 years,) They even built a fake Thames river. So we started our walk.
I love all the statues that they put up along the way. This is a famous writer, didn't know his name.One of my goals was to find a restaurant that had something besides Chinese. This bar specialized in German food, so we had sour kraut and German hot bratts. It was okay. Then we went back to walking.

It was raining and we thought we must have been in London or Oregon. Of course I had to have a picture with one of the favorite Politicians, Mr. Winston Churchill.

There was so much art work around. It took a while but we found the only hotel in Thames Town. It is British-like, expensive and very beautiful.We checked the price of staying there and decided that 1200 RMB per night for the cheapest room, was to much for just a one night comfortable bed.
So we had them call us a taxi, because we really didn't know where we were at, and the teacher that had written down Thames Town in English also wrote down Motel 168 for us.

It wasn't bad. The bed was hard, but we got two more down comforters and though it wasn't home it was comfortable, and did have all the personal hygiene things we needed and the cost was 168 RMB about $28, and it was very clean and warm.
We debated what to do the next day, because it was now really raining like England, but decided that in memory of Joshua's Birthday this month and his mission to England we needed go back and explore Thames Town some more.
When arrived by bus, we found out what bus to take since It was about 10 blocks down the road. We did not have an unbrella, so we bought two for $5 and walked by the guard into the town.
This is a nice looking pre-school. Notice the girafe, there are also statues of pandas, zebras, and other animals in the play ground.

Then it was a walk through the town. There was so many really lovely buildings to see, but there was pretty much, no people there. It was one wonderful, new, ghost town.
This is the community Christian (Catholic) church, but they do not hold meetings here on Sunday, don't think they hold anything here. No body was praying and just one caretaker.This little man is the caretaker. He was really sweet and he was so excited to have us visit the inside, he told me that this is where God is.

This is the only picture that we have of us together, taken by us by time delay.
Empty buildings, but new and well kept for China.
Once again none of these shops were open, perhaps because it was raining.
All the streets are cobblestone.
This was a Men's Club. Of course, I went in to to look at it and was told that I had to leave...Wrong Gender!
This is two models really did some great poses as we watched, and it was so cold. At our university we have a school of modeling. They only take really tall beautiful girls and tall men.
I thought I would try and do a poses here in Paris. Modeling?
Once again a beautiful empty place with no people.

Then back on the subway and into down town Shanghai. When we got there, it was still raining, but Jay was determined to find a Burger King. It was a quest. After about a hour of walking in Nanjing Street we ended up at a restaurant that served Western and Chinese food.

But we weren't quite ready to go home and so we decided to take a city tour bus and see the places that maybe we hadn't seen yet. Jay was still searching for a Burger King.

We got off the bus here to look around in the rain. This is buildings built in 1920 and have managed to stay beautiful. They did say that they did a lot of resoration for the Worlds Fair that was across the street, where we went next.We walked across the street and along the river
This is the other side of Shanghai and that is where we were told we would find the Burger King and so we decided that we won't go there, as it was now late and we would head home. Next time in Shanghai -- Burger King or bust.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

This day started so clear and slightly warm that we decided to take that walk across the bridge. We think it might be the same size as the Golden Gate Bridge but it was really a wonderful walk.
When we first came to Wuxi last spring we were watching the building of the entertainment center that was to equal the one in Australia. Since arriving we have watched it turn into this beautiful place, we can hardly wait to go to something there or even see it all lit up at night. Notice the buildings being built, no mater where we go we finding them building these tall apartment buildings.
Once we made it to the other side of the bridge, that some how I didn't take a picture of, we continued our walk along the shore line of the lake.A picture taken from the middle of the bridge.
It was a cold day, but with the sun out it made the walk pleasant. Along the shore line were these wonderful houses, I thought for a little bit I was back in Lake Oswego.

Boats could come off the lake and into the canal and stop at their homes. After our 3 hour walk we headed to one of our favorite Chinese restaurant, "Grandma's" I thought this was really a great dessign in the the restaurant.

Notice Jay taking a picture of me taking a picture. We went for lunch at 2:30 and we were the only ones there.

This is a picture taking from the balcony at Grandmas. I hope to explore the buildings on the other side of the canal. Next post will be about our trip this last weekend to Shanghai.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It is our first Sunday back from our 3 week vacation in Kunming and we decided that instead of taking our taxi driver t0 go to church in Suzhuo and back to Wuxi (cost 400 RMB). We would take first a bus to the train station (45 minutes - 3 RMB), wait for the train to leave (15 minutes), then a (G) fast train (13 minutes - 40 RMB), and finally a taxi (20 minutes- 25 RMB) going one way, and the same going home. This time it would be a total of 146 RMB round trip. We decided that is one thing we have "lots of time", so let's save some money.

The above is a picture of Jay sitting on the bus, this is me and if you think I am cold, you are right. It is cold.
When we got to train station we didn't have tickets, so we bought two on the next train our and so we had to wait 45 minutes, but now we know it leaves at 11 min. after every hour, so that will help the next time we won't have to stay so long in the train station.
This is Jay sitting in the station. He is in the first picture of the station, but I don't know if you can see him, I can because I took the picture.
This is everyone in a line getting ready to get on our train. I decided I needed to get down below if I was going to make it on, but we do have assigned seats and so far it hasn't left without us, even though it only stops for 3 minutes to pick up passengers.
In every train or bus station there is a KFC or if you are lucky a McDonalds. After reading an article from my daughter-in-law, Adrienne Thelin, about chicken McNuggets, I have decided not to eat them anymore.

The chapel inside the church. To have a meeting place, it has to be in a home of an LDS member. So, we are late for church by a half hour this week. But next time we will get our tickets early (the day before) and take the 8:11 AM train. If we can figure out what bus would take us get close to the church we could save 10 to 20 RMB. That will have to be learned in another adventurous moment in time.
This is the outside of the home/church. The family who lives there only uses the top floor and the kitchen. Notice the tall building behind the church. It is nicknamed the Pants Building, because when it is finished it will look like a pair of pants.
This is Below is a picture of Jay in front of it. After church we had thought we would go to Shanghai for a couple of days and see a few sights, but it was so cold we just went to eat at this Mexican Restaurant, not quite Mia Rancheritos, as they didn't have any cheese, but the meat and chips and salsa, salads and everything else was great. We left to go to church at 7:30 am and arrived home at 4:30 PM. It turned into cold but still a really great day. Looking forward to warmer weather. I think that next week should find us in Shanghai for a visit and to see Parami Gunarantna.