Steve's China Blog

Monday, September 22, 2008

Beijing to Maryland

On Friday afternoon I caught a flight from ChengDu to Beijing to visit my friend Jackie. I have not seen Jackie in 17 months. She is originally from ChengDu, and was working for IBM in Dalian where we both first met. She transferred to the IBM office in Beijing about 2 years ago so we do not get a chance to see each other as much as I would like.

I arrived at her apartment that evening by taxi and then we went to a place in Beijing call Houhai, which is a pretty area around a large lake and surrounded by lots of restaurants, tea houses, and bars. We went to a very popular restaurant there and had roast lamb and roast duck for dinner. After dinner we went to a small quiet little tea house/bar and spent a lot of time chatting and catching up with what has been going on in our lives.

The next morning Jackie came by and took me to a little place near where she lived for a Chinese breakfast... rice porridge, some dumplings, sweet fried bread, and some soy milk. After breakfast we visited a nice park near where Jackie lives...

My friend Jackie by a little bridge in a park in Beijing

...and then after that we caught a bus and went to visit the area around the Olympic venues.

Birds Nest stadium in Beijing

For some reason no one could go out to where the Olympic venues were and we had to settle for seeing them at a distance.

Outside the Olympic venues area in Beijing

We then went to a place for lunch that served Sichuan food. It was very good, and Jackie said that this restaurant really made her homesick for ChengDu. Too bad I could not talk her into moving back to ChengDu... she really likes living in Beijing. After lunch I took a short nap at Jackie's apartment and then headed to the airport.

The flight from Beijing to Washington DC was pretty uneventful. My parents picked me up at the airport and we drove over to the Rio Grande restaurant in Reston, Virginia (now called Uncle Julio's). My friend Les met us there and we had a really nice dinner. I had the Cadillac Platter, which is half an order of fajitas and a 10 ounce lobster tail. It was a lot of food and I couldn't finish it all. It was pretty late when we arrived at my parents' house and I went right to sleep.

A nice quiet day at my parents' house

Sunday was nice. I woke up early and don't seem to be effected by jet lag any. The place where my parents live is very nice, and compared to living in the city in China it's like a nature preserve. You can hear and see all kinds of animals, birds, and insects. I enjoyed seeing all of the birds, squirrels and deer that run around the area. All the clean air and nature is a good tonic for the soul.

There are three deer in this picture. Can you find them?

On Saturday afternoon my father and I watched the Redskins/Cardinals football game, while my mother went to play golf with some frinds. The Redskins played pretty good and beat the Cardinals. It's so nice to be able to watch some real football, instead of that sissy football (aka soccer) we see all the time on TV in China. Haha! Next week the Redskins play the Cowboys and that is always an exciting game.


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