Page 6 of Home and Away Travel Blog Posts


Asia » China » Shaanxi » Xi'an May 28th 2009

28 May (Thursday) - We planned for an early start so that we would beat the crowds at the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum, so after breakfast and checking out of the Ibis Hotel, we met with Jack our driver/guide. He dropped our luggage off at the Mercure Hotel, and we proceeded to Bang Po Village, the remains of a 6000 year old village (on the way to the Terra Cotta Warriors Museum). By now my foot was really painful...a reoccurence of the gout. They didn't have a functioning wheelchair so I hobbled around leaning on Will's shoulder. The museum was interesting; more for the age and skeletal remains than for anything else. Our next stop was a terra cotta factory where they make reproductions of the warriors. Of course, there was also the obligatory souvenir shop, ... read more
Dim Sum Lunch in Xian
Overview of the Bang Po Neolithic Village
Skeletons found at Bang Po

Asia » China » Gansu » Lanzhou May 25th 2009

25 May (Monday) - Our original plan was to land on Lanzhou on 25 May, and immediately take a car to Xiahe where the Labrang Monastery is located. This is also where my parents, who were missionaries, were married 60 years ago. However, travel restrictions have not been lifted yet, so plan B was to spend the evening in Lanzhou two nights, take the car to Minxian where my parents lived after they were married on 26 May, and then to take the day train to Xian on 27 May. However, with the Dragon Boat Festival being held from 27 -31 May, all train tickets for the day trains were taken, so Plan C was to take the night train to Xian the night of 26 May. When we arrived at our hotel, after checking in, ... read more
Lintao where my Dad lived in 1948
Road construction on the way to Minxian
Yak on the drive to Minxian

Asia » China » Shanghai May 24th 2009

Reviewing my lat blog on my time in Shanghai I realize that I didn't add many pictures. I tend to look for the better pictures, and due to the flat light and smog, I didn't find many I liked. But perhaps these pictures will tell this story; that not all travel can produce beautiful pictures. So enjoy...... read more
Old woman with dog
Statue on Temple Roof at Yu Yuan
Starbucks at Yu Yuan...a life saver for thirst

Asia » China » Shanghai May 24th 2009

24 May 2009 (Sunday) - My last blog left off when we picked Will up at Pudong Airport at noon. We drove to the Yu Yuang Gardens; parking about a mile andwalking through the old section of Shanghai to ge to the gardens. It was pretty tiring, and my Mom started walking with a list a la a sinking ship. A long the way, we bought some street food, which was ag ood idea since once we got to the gardens, all we wanted was a ice cold caramel machiato frappacino at Starbucks. The gardens were beautiful...but perhaps I should let the pictures speak for themselves. About 3:30 PM, Mark went to get the car and met us at Stabucks, thus saving us the walk. He then dropped us off at the Community church which was ... read more
Yu Yuang Gardens
Mom and Bob at Yu Yuang Gardens
LiteralChinese translation followed by abbreviated English translation

Asia » China » Shanghai May 21st 2009

May 21, 2009 (Thursday ) - Our daughter Tamara drove down from Denver last evening, to be able to drive us to Denver International Airport today to catch the 3 PM flight to Chicago O’Hare. We decided to fly the day before our flight to Shanghai and spend the night near O’Hare, rather than getting up at 2 AM to drive to DIA to catch a 6 AM flight to Chicago, then the 14 flight to Shanghai. Upon arrival and check in at DIA, we went through TSA’s screening, where my Mom was routinely asked for her drivers license or ID. She rummaged through her bag and produced a Florida drivers license which had expired over a decade earlier. I asked her where she put her new Colorado ID. He replied that she had left it ... read more

North America » United States » Colorado May 19th 2009

I just confirmed our last hotel in Lanzhou; holding off in hopes that the Chinese authorities would lift the travel restrictions in Xiahe (Labrang) where we had hotel rooms reserved. Our hopes were dashed, so we won't be able to visit where my parents were married 60 years ago. However, Plan B is just as good; we will stay in Lanzhou, and take a day trip to Minxian, where my parents lived for five months from January to May 1949 after they were married, and before they evacuated to Thailand, where I was born. Today was busy settling as many details as possilble that may occur during the month we (my 87 year old mother, my son Will, and myself) will be away...listing the bills that will come in so that my wife Linda can anticipate ... read more
Home in Colorado
Home in Colorado
Home in Colorado

North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas December 26th 2008

Tamara and Rosanna had always wanted to spend New Years Eve in Las Vegas. Will saw no reason to go since he wasn't 21. I am always ready to go anywhere. The girls finally convinced Linda to go, since Will could take care of the animals. So the day after Christmas, which we always celebrate at home with the whole family, we hit the road. 26 December 2008 Friday. With winter days being so short I wanted to get an early start so the we could get to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah while it was still light. But getting everyone up and ready to leave by 8 am proved impossible. I guess I should have been happy with the 9 am departure, but consequently we had to miss Canyonlands. We drove west ... read more
Arches NP
Arches NP
Arches NP

Africa » Uganda » Northern Region » Murchison Falls NP October 18th 2008

In October 2008 I had an opportunity to visit Uganda, primarily as part of an Engineering Ministries International team to learn about construction management in East Africa. My previous blog is an account of the work of this team. Before returning to the States, I joined two others for a three day safari of Murchison Falls NP. Wednesday, 15 October 2008, three of the EMI team, John J., John W, and me (my first name is also John, but to avoid further confusion I went by my middle name Robert, or Bob) went on safari. After breakfast at the guest house in Kampala, we loaded up the Land Cruiser for the drive north to Murchison Falls. Fortunately, most of the road was paved, although a stretch south of Masindi was still under construction; an aid project ... read more
Cruising up the Nile to Murchison Falls
Hippos in the Nile
Approaching Murchison Falls

Africa » Uganda » Central Region October 14th 2008

In October 2008, I had an opportunity to visit Uganda as part of a team from Engineering Ministries International learning construction management techniques in East Africa. EMI provides planning, design, and construction management services free of charge to organizations who serve the poorest of the poor around the world. Facilities include hospitals and clinics, schools and orphanages, roads and water systems, etc. I departed Denver early Monday morning, October 6, 2008, and after a few hour stopover in Amsterdam, arrived 30 hours later in Entebbe, the evening of Tuesday, October 7. I was amazed at the number of aid workers on the plane. I payed my $50 in new bills for a visa and checked through customs. As it was dark, I didn't see much of Uganda on the hour long drive to the guest house ... read more
Team lunch in Jinja
EMI Team arrives at Arise Africa International project in Jinja
Diggin the footings for kitchen/dining facility for orphanage


On 10 May 2008 Linda, Will and myself flew from Denver to Vancouver, where we met up with our daughter Rosanna who flew in from Roanoke, Virginia where she had just finished her semester at Virginia Tech. We all arrived late so ordered some pizza delivered to our hotel room, and then sacked out. The following morning, we had brunch with Karen, a former classmate from Dalat School who I hadn't seen for 40 years. It's amazing how it seemed like just yesterday! Afterwards we packed up and took a taxi to the pier where we checked through and boarded the Celebrity Mercury, our home for the next week. I'll be brief. The ship was fantastic. The cabins were immaculate and comfortable, the service was top notch, the food was gourmet, even with five courses each ... read more
Linda, Rosanna and Will checking out our stateroom
Rosanna and Will showing us the bathroom
Leaving Vancouver behind




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