Page 2 of JCollins Travel Blog Posts


Asia » China » Xining August 2nd 2014

We fly to Hefei today. I am so looking forward to seeing the area were Lizzie was born 13 years ago. We fly out about 3:30 PM. Check out time is not till 1 PM at the hotel and it is an hour ride to the airport. I got up early and went for a nice walk. I think I will make getting up early and going for a walk a regular routine here in China. Latter in the day it gets very hot and crowded with people. Yesterday I also found an excellent web site on travel to Hefei. The city has sure grown. Lizzie’s orphanage was in a town 20-30 miles outside of Hefei on the northshore of Chao Lake. It is now part of the City. http://wikitravel.org/en/Hefei... read more

Asia » China » Xining August 2nd 2014

We are getting ready to take the train to Xi’an. We had a bit of a change in plans. We take the train to Xi’an but then we are staying at a hotel. Rather than take the overnight, 3rd class (hard seat) from Xi’an to Hefei we will fly. Ah, back to civilized sightseeing, thank you, Kate. I don’t know if she is changing plans for Lizzie or I but thank you Kate. The fast train is unbelievable. They post your speed on a constant basis. We were usually going 295 kph (196 mph) but got up to 305 kph. The thing I most enjoyed was seeing the country side. It is beautiful. I think the track for the new fast train was built so it did not go through too many cities and the train ... read more
Fellow travelers
Notice the cell phone, starting early
Making the warriors in Xian

Asia » China » Beijing August 2nd 2014

Got up and Kate was going to the train station to check it out. I went out to a little Chinese Cafe in the alley for a great Chinese breakfast and then went shopping. Lizzie stayed back and just rested and relaxed since she and her mother had gone to the night market the previous evening. We are going to a temple this PM and then take the train to see the Xian Warriors tomorrow. We then went to the Chinese Buddhist Shrine, known as the Lama Temple -http://www.lonelyplanet.com/china/beijing/sights/religious/lama-temple. It was awesome. Then we got some money changed and went to a great place for supper. We did not finish all of the food but it was excellent. Total bill was 166 RMD or a little under $30.00.... read more
Kate & Lizzie
Offering prayers

Asia » China » Beijing August 2nd 2014

We took an air-conditioned bus to the Great Wall, Mutianyu - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutianyu. We then took a sky car to a place near the top of the wall. I met a family from California and talked to them while Lizzie and Kate trekked about 8 K up and down the wall. We then met at a very nice place for lunch. Met a few really nice people on the trip. One couple was newly married. He was from France and she was from Chile. Another couple was living in Southern China. He was Mexican and had lived in the Twin Cities with Rotary. She was Polish and worked in Germany. Both couples were interesting and a lot of fun. I love civilized sightseeing and really needed a day of rest and BSing.... read more
Tower
A lot of working building the wall
View of the valley

Asia » China » Beijing August 2nd 2014

We took the subway to the Zoo. We then took a boat up the canal to the Summer Palace. After the subway, walking the Zoo and then walking the Forbidden City, I took a rest while Lizzie and Kate went into the Summer Palace. We met a nice couple from Canada, Blaine and Margaret. We then took the subway back and I was dead tired. I did rally and walked down to McDonalds for a burger and real coffee.... read more
Little guy is enjoying the trip
Near the Summer Palace
Stone Boat at the Summer Palace

Asia » China » Beijing August 2nd 2014

Introduction: This blog recounts a two and half week trip to China with my daughter, Kate and my granddaughter Lizzie in July of 2014. Lizzie was born in China, Anhui provenance in March of 2000. She was adopted in March of 2001. While it is very interesting to see the changes in China over 13 years, the real treat for me was getting to know Lizzie as a person and not just as my granddaughter. I would also like to thank Cathy Olson for cleaning up the blog with correct grammar and filling in the words in my mind but not on the page. Also thanks to Sam Hanson for his technical help. Jim Collins 7/14 It was a long flight but well worth it. My granddaughter Lizzie is so excited about experiencing China. I believe ... read more
Temple
Friends at the Hotel
Chinese do have dogs

Europe » Ireland July 2nd 2012

Day 12 – Jim C. Dublin and the farewell party After free time and roaming Dublin we had evening party with a lot of mixed emotions. We will miss each other and friendships we made. Mary Anne C-S took a terrible tumble on a stairway. Needless to say, she had our sympathy and the full attention of the hotel manager. Most of the group departed for home or side trips. Mary Anne and I stayed a few days exploring Dublin and Howth. Howth is a beautiful city just north of Dublin and reachable by tram or city bus. Howth and the Dingle Peninsula are my two favorite places in Ireland. While I had read Ruthfords’ Ireland, Rick Steves’ Travel Guide, Trinity by Uris and Around Ireland with a Fridge, I was still ... read more
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Europe » Ireland July 1st 2012

Day 11 - Robin W-O & Kathy K. Drive from Belfast to Dublin and city tour with a local guide. Downtown Hotel Our Blog began on Friday, March 23rd at 12:01 AM in our room at the Stormont! Robin is icing her back from the long bus rides and the ice pack is leaking into the mattress! Samuel, from the hotel, quite amused, came to the rescue - he changed the bed mattress pad and sheet! What a guy! (See the pictures) Best thing about breakfast at the Stormont is the porridge with honey, cream and Bushmills whiskey! Now, that will be missed! So, after our group picture on the steps of the hotel, we took off on our long trip from Belfast to Dublin at 9:45 AM. And it ... read more
11 Robin W-O
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Europe » Ireland July 1st 2012

Day 10 Hheather B and Mary R. Belfast City Tour and river cruise with local guide Today we started off by traveling across the street for a tour of the Stormont, the legislative branch of Irish government. The Stormont is a large white palace-like building, sitting high on a hill at the end of a long tree-lined driveway. Security was quite tight as might be expected. The building, inside and out, is quite beautiful and full of symbolism. It was such an obvious target for German bombers during World War-2, that it was disguised by coating the whole building with a mixture of black pitch and horse manure. The manure hosted grass seeds, which sprouted and gave the building a blackish green vegetative cast. I... read more
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Europe » Ireland July 1st 2012

Day 8 & 9 – Jim R. and Gladys R. Galway to Londonderry via Knock with a side trip to the Belik factory. Everglades Hotel, Prehen Road, Londondery www/jastomgsjpte;s/cp, Causeway to Belfast and stay at the Storemont Hotel www.hastingshotels.com It was March 20ish, not necessarily a Hibernicism, somewhere around ten-a.m.ish, and the coach was ready for personality inventory by Herself, the McNally (Laurie Ann), who smartly gazed carefully to learn if all the Fabulous Flexible Friendship Follies Folks of the 2012ish team was aboard for the first stage of today's trip, to Knock. Of course she succeeded ... read more
8 & 9 Gladys R.
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