Steve's China Blog

Saturday, January 09, 2010

The rest of the trip...

My Christmas trip back to the US was very nice. I got to see my parents, my brother Jay, my nephew Nicky, and some of my friends. I spent most of the holiday eating, shopping, more eating, relaxing, watching football, eating some more, playing on the computer, etc... A good way to spend the holidays.

One day after Christmas we all went to the National Harbor to see the Ice Show. The ice show was a big collection of ice sculptures housed in an enormous tent-like structure that is specially constructed and thickly insulated to help maintain its internal temperature of 9°F. It was cold in there! Luckily they lent out parkas to everyone as you were going inside. Here are some pictures...


A Christmas sculpture


An ice angel


Some of the Chinese sculptors must have made these


A toy soldier with slides in the background


A giant horse and sleigh

After viewing all the ice sculptures we walked around National Harbor, and with the wind chill it seemed colder outside than inside the ice show. We ended up walking down to McCormick and Schmicks for dinner. Even though it was only 4:00pm there was a half hour wait to get a table. The meal was very good... I had the steak, and shrimp stuffed with crab meat.

A few days after Christmas Jay and Nicky flew back to North Carolina, and I drove up to visit my friend Greg. His wife Amy and daughter Gillian were visiting the Chicago airport. Actually they were going to Nebraska to visit Amy's family there, but ended up staying at the Chicago airport longer than expected. Greg and I went to dinner at a good place called Victoria Gastro Pub, and then back to his place to play a twisted game on his XBox called Left 4 Dead 2.

I spent a relaxing New Year's Eve with my parents at their house. We had a delicious dinner, enjoyed some good wine, and watched the New Year's festivities on the Fox News channel. Happy New Year! After that we watched a show called Red Eye on Fox that was pretty funny.

One night I went out to dinner with my friends Les, Lynne, Greg, Amy, and Gillian. We went to Charlies' and had a really nice dinner of various Italian dishes. It was great that we all got a chance to get together. Hopefully we'll all get a chance to go the Maryland Renaissance Festival in September or October!

During the holidays I watched 3 football games... I saw the Redskins lose to the Cowboys, WVU lose to Florida State in the Gator Bowl, and the Redskins lose to the Chargers. The Redskins really sucked this year and WVU usually chokes on bowl games, so I wasn't that surprised at the losses.

Besides my teams losing in football, the only bad part of the holiday was seeing how messed up the country has become in only a few short months since my last visit. The idiots in charge in Washington and in the state capitals (in Maryland and Virginia anyways) seem to be totally clueless about economics. What a bunch of marxist twits. Oh, speaking of marxist twits, I saw that the White House Christmas tree was decorated with images of Mao, transvestites, and who know what else... enjoying that hope and change yet?

The flight back to China was better then the flight to the US... No delays. The flights to Chicago and Beijing actually arrived early. The flight to Chengdu was on time, and after 23 hours of traveling I was ready for some sleep especially since I had to get up early the next day for work. The next night I slept for 12 hours which is a lot more than my normal 6 or 7 hours that I usually get. Luckily it is a short work week, so I will have the weekend to recover from my jet lag.

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