Seattle To Shanghai And Back Again

We did it! After a little bit more than a year back in the United States, we culled through the combined posts from this blog and my wife’s blog, as well as a few thousand photographs, and have published a book documenting our time living in Shanghai. It is available from Blurb as both an eBook for the iPad, or as a 6″ x 9″ softcover book.

Seattle To Shanghai, And Back Again
Seattle To Sha…
Our Year As Expats
By Melinda L. Hoyt, T…
Photo book

Day 194: Travel Day

The passenger waiting area at the Beijing South Railway Station is always crowded.

The passenger waiting area at the Beijing South Railway Station is always crowded.

Travel day between Beijing and Shanghai means a trip from the hotel to the Beijing South Railway Station. The newer railway stations that handle the high speed bullet trains are never quite as crowded, or chaotic as the stations that handle the older trains, the ones that feature hard sleepers and standing room only spots, although there always seems to be twice as many travelers are there are seats.

Day 192: Sunshine

You see more umbrellas in Beijing on a sunny day than you do on a rainy day.

You see more umbrellas in Beijing on a sunny day than you do on a rainy day.

Summer in Beijing: sunny, hot and humid. Wednesday was cloudy and in the 80’s (F), but Thursday and Friday has brought blues sky and abundant sunshine, raising the temperature into the mid-90’s (I have no idea what the humidity is, but suffice it to say the air is thick and sticky). Sunny days bring out umbrella vendors like a thunderstorm in NYC, but instead of small, black, collapsible rain umbrellas, the ones sold here are mostly bright and frilly parasols (or small, rainbow umbrella hats)

Day 191: Summer Palace

Suzhou Street, Summer Palace

Suzhou Street, Summer Palace

Our son is visiting from the USA for the summer and we are playing tourist, yesterday it was the Great Wall, today, the Summer Palace. We rode the metro from our hotel in Chaoyang to the UNESCO World Heritage Site Summer Palace Yesterday, at the Great Wall, the weather was overcast and in the 80’s, but today the sun rose high and hot and by midday was blistering the ground in the mid 90’s creating a good business for the water vendors. Air quality remained at a moderate 84–about 200 points below what I’ve come to expect– so all in all, a great day for being in Beijing.

Day 190: Climbing the Great Wall

Nearing the top

Nearing the top

Sections of the Great Wall appear, from a distance, to meander from peak-to-peak, but once you are up on the wall, the perception of meandering gives way to the hard, steep reality of climbing up and down from tower-to-tower. Here, Melinda pauses before taking the final few uneven steps to the top. Our mid-week visit was free of crowds, pollution and excessive heat, making for a very pleasant day at Mutianyu.

Day 103*: Wherever

Day 103--2 After 102 consecutive days of taking and posting a photograph the streak comes to an end. We arrived home last night after a week in Beijing and today’s gray, wet day was a perfect excuse to stay in the house, finish watching the last three episodes of this season’s House of Cards (dang, Frank Underwood!), take a nap and begin laying out our suitcases for next Sunday’s trip to the United States–a week in Seattle, nine nights in NYC, and a month in Boise with Hannah, Mike (lucky guy!) and soon-to-be granddaughter Mia Sharp.
This picture was taken this past week, in Beijing. In the mostly monotone environs of the hutongs–the walls, the roofs and the sky all covered in an ashen gray– this wall jumped out. And the inscription–“Wherever my parents go, that is my home.” really struck a cord with me, given the huge numbers of families that are split apart by the urbanization that is modern day China.