Monday, January 6, 2014

Jet lagged but joyful!

I have a confession to make...we've been traveling for the last 3 weeks (since December 16th), when we left for a trip of a lifetime to Asia. I didn't want to post here or on facebook, taking advice from the insurance ad, though we had a house/dog sitter.

It was an incredible trip. We spent a week in Japan (Tokyo & Kyoto) and then 10 days in China (Beijing, Yangshou, Hong Kong & Guangzhou), returning on January 3rd. We started planning the trip when Billy found out he was going to China on his Luce fellowship. He is not allowed to return to the States, so we decided we would spend Christmas with him in China. Then it expanded to include Japan as I couldn't fly over Japan and not visit as I hadn't returned since we left in 1971. And then since we were going to Japan, we invited my siblings. My brother Bill and sister and her family joined us. My sister stopped in Hawaii on the way and got married. AND then at the last minute, Billy's girlfriend, Anna, decided to join us for the China leg of the trip!

So there were 8 of us in Japan and 9 in China. Amazingly, we all got along drama! We only had a few times when the large group was a hindrance and these were when we didn't know exactly where we were going and had 8 different opinions on which way to go.

The highlights of the trip were visiting our old neighborhood, apartment and hotel in Tokyo, the wonderful staff at the ryokan (Japanese inn) in Kyoto, standing on the Great Wall, seeing the fireworks over the harbor on NYE in Hong Kong and the incredible banquet hosted by Billy's boss and her staff in Guangzhou. If you want to read the details of the trip, Cathy (my sister) and I kept a blog of our trip at

I have a lot of thoughts and ruminations on the trip that I will post this week. For now, I will say that I love my family (I'd have to in order to spend that much time with them!). And an added bonus of the trip was to get the concentrated time with our sons. If we had been home for the holidays, they would have been out of the house more than in, socializing with their friends. On the trip, we had them the whole time to ourselves and we loved it! Of course, now Bobby is back at Pitt and Billy is still in China and I miss them so much.

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