China Once, China Twice

What I had never planned to do

High end designer stores and shopping in China October 1, 2011

Xi'an - Ceiling in shopping center

As Bloomberg reports, two more developers have announced plans to build more of these high-end shopping malls and stores in China.

If you physically go out, there are two ways to shop in China.  You can price bargain back and forth with street vendors in the outdoor, or back-alley street market style of shops.

In high-end retail stores and shopping centers, there is no bargaining.

The retail rental space however, is based on a percentage of the store’s sales.

These same photos can be seen in an earlier post of mine here.  I have plenty more I might share later.  And by the way, only one  journalist has permission to use my photos.

Shopping mall in Xi'an

High end stores in Xi'an

A view from my hotel room

Again, another view from my hotel room

A shopping center in Xi'an


More of Shanghai April 10, 2011

Here's Shanghai

I’m behind in keeping “pace” with updates to this blog story.  Pardon my tardiness, life has kept me rather busy; it is about to get busier too.

So here is more of Shanghai.  Sure had no idea what to expect besides lots of cars, buildings and people.  When the Olympic Torch relay passed through while I was there,  I spent an hour in a cab that morning……going nowhere…from my hotel and right back to my hotel!  The only truly crowds I saw on my first trip to China.

Biking to work

The Biking Lot

Count Down to the 2010 Expo

View From The Bund

The Pearl TV Tower

Sam flew down from Qingdao, we had two last days together.  He had the opportunity to practice his skills in speaking & reading mandarin Chinese with our guide Felix.


Felix helps Sam understand the characters

Sam and Felix in a Buddhist Temple

The most difficult encounter was Felix’s arrival to take Sam back to airport.  All three of us felt the powerful parting emotion.  I had visited and spent time with Sam twice on this trip.  He was leaving now, neither of us knew when we would see each other again.

When would I see my son again? I didn't know.

I flew the next day from Shanghai to Beijing to the USA.

Wisely I accepted Felix’s advice to use a wheelchair escort throughout the airports.  My leg injury was too severe, I had no choice and changed my economy fare flight home to first class.   The 14 hour flight home turned into 17 hours.  Bad weather in New Jersey delayed the landing, but  I was home and safe.


A Kid At Heart In Shanghai November 17, 2010

Filed under: China,Travel — Ginny @ 2:42 pm
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My new backpack

I would not see the real panda bears on this first trip, so I found the next best thing.   The kid at heart is still hanging around Shanghai waiting for her kid to arrive.

So my camera and I wandered the streets.  I no longer feared getting lost.  My earlier need to walk in a straight line to avoid getting lost had been solved in Xi’an.  In my pocket was a hotel card.  It would tell any taxi driver “Take me to my hotel.”

I loved what I saw, it was me!

The next day, the Olympic torch relay would pass through Shanghai.  That was the only time I found China truly crowded.

View the world through the eyes of a child.

Everything is new, innocent, and how we learn our beliefs.

Click to enlarge any photo

A picture of a picture of masks

How many flavors of ice cream now?

Would I ride this?

The torch will come through

Olympic volley ball

Check out these eyeballs closely!

The jogger

The skate board

Next at bat

We are all kids at heart


and I still prefer diet coke


Shanghai October 13, 2010

Filed under: China,Travel — Ginny @ 6:18 pm
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A walkway cross over in Shanghai


I am in Shanghai now, my son would be meeting me later in the week.  I set aside touring the top highlights until he arrived.  You will see later the Zhou Zhuange Water Village I visited while waiting for him, and other photos taken throughout.

And yes, this photo might seem unusual as a first introduction to Shanghai.   There is no glitz or glimmer, you see people walking an intersection street crossover.  It has special meaning to me.

With my blondish hair and blue eyes, I was walking up (yes, slowly) the steps onto the top.  A very elderly Chinese woman began to descend the steps.  The instant she saw me, a brilliant smile came out.  Her eyes sparkled, her gait increased as she diagonally came towards me.  We exchanged hearty handshakes.  She was so thrilled and excited,  I was obviously not Chinese.  It was the warmest, most kind and sincere  “Welcome to China”  I experienced.

Small things often create big impressions.


Final Port of Call – Yichang August 22, 2010

Filed under: China — Ginny @ 1:52 pm
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It is time for me and my clobbered leg to get moving.  I’m off the boat and greeted by a new guide.  There is plenty of time to catch my flight to Shanghai, let’s tour The Sturgeon Park.  It was practice, to keep that leg moving.  Take a close look at the ticket price sign, now how much should my ticket cost?

Let’s take a peek at the fish, Shanghai will be the next post.


Big Fish

Pretty fish


Two Fish

Gold Fish

Lots of fish


The Yangtze River June 21, 2010

Three boats in a row

I flew from Xi’an to Chongqing, and boarded the Victoria Cruise.  I would travel by boat down the Yangtze River and disembark 3 days later in Yichang.

In the dining room, I was seated at a table with some folks from Michigan.  Paul lived and worked in Shanghai.  His brother and sister came to visit him.  His sister brought her husband, who brought his mother.  Together they were traveling through China.  This great family, more than once, shook their head in disbelief.  I must be one gutsy gal to be traveling 24 days alone in China.

The brother and sister,

her husband, his mother

they all came to visit Paul.

I never thought of myself as “gutsy”.  I wanted to see my son, didn’t know anyone who had the time, money and desire to visit China.  I had to travel alone if I wanted to see my son.

In the next post, I’ll describe an accident that occurred during this cruise.  Call me “gusty”, call me anything you want.  Sometimes things go wrong, and to complete my trip I had to think carefully and not panic.

For now, just enjoy these photos from the Yangtze River going through the Three Gorges Dam.  It was spectacular one night.  Paul, his brother and I went to the top deck.  We watched the gigantic doors of the channel locks slowly open and close.  Click on any photo to enlarge.

You get on the boat, starting here in Chongqing

All onboard

Going under a bridge

Yangtze River View 1

Yangtze River View 2

Yangtze River View 3

Yangtze River View 4

Yangtze River View 5

The locks at night

The final view


Mt Huashan and Gump June 8, 2010

Mt Huashan

Mt Huashan is east of Xi’an, added on to my first trip.  As one of the sacred mountains in China, I wanted to see it.

The most difficult part of this post, was deciding which photos to display.

In general, I seldom “photo shop” my photos.  I will crop, but I don’t get fancy attempting to create the perfect picture.

Some of these photos will show haze in the background.  Well folks, that’s real life, it was hazy at parts.  I won’t pretend it was all crystal clear.

Yet, I can tell you with absolute certainty, I felt peace, calm and at home on top of Mt. Huashan.

Gump was my assigned guide.  He was surprised when we arrived, had never been there without facing a long waiting line for the cable car ride up.  He seemed a little nervous.  I noticed it took awhile for him to get the cable car ride  tickets.

When he came back, Gump told me he was afraid of the cable car ride.  I never told him that I wasn’t real thrilled about it either.

Instead, the two of us got into a cable car and I held his hand.  I talked the entire, very long ride up.  I had Gump looking up at the breath-taking mountains, the trees, the sky, everything looking up was beautiful.  His hand tightened over mine each time our car did a little bump over a cable link.  I never stopped talking.  I made sure Gump was always looking up, never down.  Gump was precious to me.  He was real, he had fears, he was human.

In every country, we may look different, speak different languages but we are all real people.  We each have our own fears.

Click on the  photos to enlarge.  We were very high in the sky.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.


The cable car

My precious Gump

Trees on the way up

Going up

It was magnificent

Do not look down