Category archives: Travel

Travel issues

Traveling through the deluge and posting delays

Hello all, sorry for the stupidly long delay between posts but this thing called school is kicking my tuckus. I just finished up a major presentation so I have a few hours to decompress before I wrap up these two courses this week.

So much has been happening with Li Li. I don’t know where to start. She started at with her day care provider Lei 3 weeks ago and Li Li has done fabulous. We were very worried that when she started going to day care she’d get very stressed out once she started hearing Mandarin again. If anything she’s happier than ever – who knew that was possible.

Lei is amazing with her – and Lei’s children are 1 and 3 and they give Li Li so much attention – in addition Lei’s mother-in-law lives with her and she speaks no english but obviously gives Li Li so much love. We are very thankful we found such a wonderful family to take care of Li Li, it makes dropping her off completely worry free. Something I know my mom never experienced when she dropped me off at daycare (probably because I created all the problems….)

Before school started getting super intense again we snuck away to NYC for the annual photography show we attend.

NYC View

We stayed in midtown because it was close to the show. It was our first trip with Li Li (aside from the obvious time in China) and she is amazing. She couldn’t have been happier being rolled around the city – she just sat and took it all in.

Our friend and artist Sara Lee was able to visit with us and we ate a very good meal together.


Thank you Sara Lee – you should check out her web site because her murals and other paintings are just plain awesome.

With some trepidation we went to the Photo show expecting dirty looks from the exhibitors but Li Li charmed them all. We had people wanting to hold her, people scolding us for letting her sit on the carpet (people she was in China – that carpet is just fine), and one incredibly nice gentlemen who gave us a children’s book he had published 30 years ago which included a tipped in signed photo he’d taken of Diane Arbus with her TLR camera in hand. Very cool and something we’ll treasure for a very long time. We saw lots of photography most of it insanely priced – if we had a few spare hundred thousand dollars we could have bought only a few pictures that we liked. But it was fun seeing the art work and Li Li spent a total of about 8 hours at the show over 2 days. Pretty impressive for a 13-month-old.

In China the hotels had cribs for us but now we were stateside and business hotels get a little crabby when asked for cribs so we brought our porta sleeper for Li Li. She loved it. The first night she did laps around the inside of it for about 2 hours and only stopped when we tried covering it with a coat so she could fall asleep.

Porta Sleeper

After 3 nights in the city (thank you hilton points) we decided it was time to head home. Of course we chose the day with the 2nd highest total rainfall in NYC history. They had 8 inches of rain in 24 hours. It was wet. Really wet. Truly a Biblical deluge. Shortly after we left no trains were allowed to leave the city for several hours because of water on the tracks. Anyway we all took a short nap on the train.

Sleep Train

I’ll try to post again next Sunday since I’ve been remiss in my postings.

Trip Home Part 1

So far so good. Some tears and screams but overall happy baby is doing great. We had a really late night last night because apparently Lili has some gas issues. So I taught her some rugby watching the six nations match between ireland and france. She seemed absorbed. Catherine however got very little sleep. She’s doing awesome as well. In fact I don’t remember the last time cranky catherine made an appearance. It might have something to do with this little woman.

eating japan

 After eating we both took a nap while catherine got lunch.


Gotta go. looking forward to talking with everyone soon. ciao -t

The Flights… so far

In honor of flying Japan Airlines to Tokyo, I’ve written a short Haiku (apologies to Basho and the Beatles)

Jumped out of bed
Early morning foggy head
Lili’s smile brings clarity

We’ve discovered what might possibly be the world’s greatest airline – JAL. They are simply amazing. The staff goes out of their way to be helpful, the food is phenomenal, the sake is exquisite and the seats are more comfortable (and more complex) than a craftmatic adjustable bed. The gate agent in Chicago actually found out where our Luggage was and notified the staff in the Swiss Air lounge to tell us our luggage made the connection. Because of the tremendous courtesy shown to us, we feel compelled to reflect it back. I now have a new standard and role model for courtesty and politeness which I need for those of you who know me.

747 Wings 

Given how much I travel I do for work, I’ve forgotten just how magical travel can be. We are flying on a 747 – in business class. As we taxied on the runway for takeoff, the video on the plane showed us what the pilots were seeing. Out of our window we could watch the wings. The wings on a 747 are designed to flex as speed increases. Fully loaded, standing still the wings actually bend down once the plane starts taking off the wings slowly lift until they are actually bending upwards. Between the viewing the takeoff from the pilot’s point of view and looking out the side window watching the wings I was like a 6-year-old at Christmas.



The food is simply amazing. JAL does offer a western food option but why would you choose it. The first meal was so beautiful to look at, I actually made Catherine get the camera down from the overhead bin in order to take a picture. The taste lived up to the beauty. I can now list JAL as one of my favorite Japanese restaurants.

Sake Tasting 

In addition to a great meal I got to taste four different types of Sake: Shochu Gokoo; Shochu Jinkoo; Tenryou; Hakurakusei. Of the four, my favorite was the Tenyou. Here’s the description from the menu “from a distilling tradition that has continued for 350 years in the beautiful mountainous region of Gifu, it presents an elegant aroma and mellow taste that harmonizes with a variety of dishes.
Yeah, my description of it is that it was simply tasty. I had two bottles.

Alaska Mountains 

Our flight left Chicago at 11:10 am on the 24th and we arrive at 3:05 pm on the 25th. The flight between

Chicago and Toyko flies a Rhumb line northwest from Chicago flying over Alaska and the Bering sea before heading southwest to Japan. The mountains and glaciers from the air in the late afternoon soon were so beautiful. I actually got the big camera out for a few photos but those will have to wait for another day before they are downloaded. I think we end up spending about 15 hours or so in the air but whos counting. I’ve never seen Catherine so relaxed on a plane. I somehow imagine our flight back will be less relaxing.
After short nap, I spent some time watching a very interesting Japanese movie “Riding the Metro” well worth viewing and Netflix should have it, it was of course time for yet another meal.

JAL2nd Dinner

Another beautifully presented meal and the Japanese rice porridge was – wait for it…. tasty. I’m afraid tasty will probably be my description of choice for this trip. Well, I have homework to do so I’ll close out this entry. -t
A + 1 day; L – 4 days;

We Have Flights and Dates

After making a nuisance of myself asking my adoption agency almost daily, “are they here yet?”. They of course being the Travel Approval notices, which finally arrived this morning. This means we get to go to China, quickly.

We leave Boston Jan 24th at 6:20 am and arrive in Beijing Jan 25th at 9:20 pm. Yes that’s a long day of travel, but we’ll have our Ipods fully charged, fresh DVDs for the computer and three pictures of our daughter to sustain us.

We spend a few days in Beijing and fly onto to Nanchang, Jiangxi province where we finally get to shower Lili with love, hugs and kisses, and maybe take a picture or two.

After spending a few days getting acquainted with each other, we fly to Guangzhou where we’ll stay at the famous White Swan Hotel for a week before returning to Beijing on the 11th for one more night before flying home the next morning. Another long day with a long layover in Tokyo, hopefully Lili will like airports and airplanes. We land in Boston Feb 12th at 8:35 pm.

Still no furniture for the room but we are working on it. More later on today’s travel meeting. -t