Steve's China Blog

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Some holidays and dentists

A lot has happened since my last post, but I have not had much time lately to post anything. In the middle of September we had the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday and I had a three day weekend. It was very nice, and I ended up seeing some friends I had not seen in awhile. I do wish I had gotten a chance to see my friend Reese before she traveled to Japan. She is going to work there for a few months.

At the end of September I flew back to the US for a few weeks of vacation. I stayed a few days at my parents' house, relaxing and getting over my jet lag. At some point in those first few days the roof of my mouth started hurting. I thought I must have eaten some hard/sharp food and cut the roof of my mouth. It sure felt weird.

After church on Sunday my parents and I drove down to visit my brother in North Carolina. The drive down was only a few hours, but seemed like a long time after all the air travel a few days before. By this time the pain in my mouth was getting worse and I had started taking aspirin for the pain.

The next day my parents, my brother Jay, and I drove down to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina. Some of our friends have a place down there on the beach and we stayed there with them. On the first evening we went to a place for some seafood. I had the fried oyster platter and it was really good! I really miss good seafood in Chengdu.

A view of the beach from our room.

Another view of the beach from our room.

The next few days was spent relaxing, swimming in the pool, shopping, and eating a lot of good food; such as seafood, prime rib, and even some German food. One night we all got together and watched the Redskins play the Cowboys. Dallas played so poorly that the Redskins should have won, but they lost at the end of the game. Oh well, it was still fun to watch.

Looking down at some of the swimming pools and jacuzzi's below our room.

A great looking motorcycle we saw.

(left to right) Jay, Mom, Dad, me, Fay, and Joe at a good restuarant.

On Thursday we drove back to North Carolina and dropped Jay off at his home, and then my parents and I continued on to Maryland. It was a long day on the road, and my mouth was really starting to bother me. Aspirin had become a new major food group in my diet.

A small roadside market (near Petersburg Virginia?)

I don't remember much about Friday. I must have spent the day recovering from the long drive back from Myrtle Beach. The one thing I do remember was dinner. My father had bought some crabmeat during the trip on the previous day, and he and my mother cooked crabcakes and scalloped potatoes. That was probably my favorite meal of my vacation. It was soooo good!

On Saturday I drove up to the Maryland Renaissance Festival and met up with my friend Greg. The weather that day had turned really chilly, and we ended up eating a lot of food throughout the day to stay warm. It seemed like most of the people at the faire had the same idea since the lines at the food places were long. I had a crabcake sandwich with fries, some oyster shooters, some seafood gumbo, and some strawberries dipped in chocolate. I was thinking about getting a smoked turkey leg too, but didn't get around to it.

Hey nunnie nunnie!

Besides eating we wandered about the faire and watched some shows, visited some shops, and watched people. They had one new show there this year called Hey Nunnie Nunnie, which was pretty funny... a pair of nuns telling jokes. We also watched Shakespeare's Skum doing their rendition of Leave it to Hamlet. We didn't stay at the faire very long. Greg had to go to work that evening, and I was feeling pretty tired. I think was OD'ing on all the aspirin.

Leave it to Hamlet

A small girl watches some minstrels.

This guy had the wildest costume.

Sunday was spent being lazy, chatting with a friend in China online, and watching the Redskins beat the Rams. On Sunday evening my parents and I met up with some friends to go try a Sichuan hotpot restaurant in Virginia. The hotpot was served a little different than here in Sichuan in that each person had their own little pot. It was also different in that you could get fresh seafood, such as shrimp and flounder. Either way it was all very good. Besides the hotpot I ordered several Sichuan dishes for everyone to try, and it was all delicious.

(left to right) Dad, Mom, Pete, Susan, and me at a Sichuan restaurant.

Some yummy Sichuan dishes.

On Monday I spent the day shopping, and in the evening my parents and I met up with my friend Les for dinner. We went to a little Greek place near where my parents live called Charlies. I had the gyro, which I had not had in a long while. It was better than I remembered. I also ordered some Greek potatoes that were excellent. After dinner I went back to my parents' house and did some laundry and did most of the packing I needed to do for my trip back to China the next day.

The trip back to China was long... a little over 24 hours in total time. The flight from Washington DC to Beijing was almost 14 hours long, and my mouth was really bothering me the whole flight back, so I didn't get much sleep on the flight. We were a little late arriving in Beijing and I had just enough time to go through immigration, get my bags, go through customs, catch a shuttle from terminal 3 to terminal 1, check in for my flight to Chengdu and get to the gate before we boarded. It seems I did not have to rush after all, since the flight to Chengdu was late taking off.

The next two days were still a holiday in China, so I spent my time relaxing with a good friend who came over to visit me. I really missed her. It was good to be back. The weather in Chengdu was also a little warmer and that felt good. I got most of my stuff unpacked, and did a lot of laundry.

On Friday afternoon I went to a dentist here, and after a quick checkup they prescribed me some antibiotics and referred me to a dental hospital. The antibiotics worked really well, and by Friday evening I no longer had any swelling or pain in my mouth. It was the first good night's sleep I had had in a week or so. Saturday and Sunday were work days, so I worked at the office on Saturday and worked from home on Sunday.

On Monday morning I went to the dental hospital. After the checkup I was told that I did not have a cut on the roof of my mouth, but that it was a traumatic ulcer. They also thought I might have been in need of a root canal on one of my teeth, but after looking at the X-rays they found that my teeth were ok, and just in need of some cleaning. They prescribed some new medicine and told me to come back in two weeks for another checkup and get my teeth cleaned. I was very happy no surgery was needed.

I think I now need a vacation to recover from my vacation.