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March 2010 Blog

Recently, Dotty and I and three friends attended the Easter Bonnet Parade in Peoria, IL.
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September ’09 Blog

Hi Friends,
It has been such a lengthy time since we have posted a blog, I will be surprised if anyone checks this.  My apologies; we have been especially busy since we returned to the states about two months ago.  It’s hard to tell where to begin to tell today’s tale, but since we’re currently visiting in California, I’ll start there.  Yesterday, Dotty and I visited Kat Von D’s High Voltage Tattoo shop in West Hollywood, so I’ll just post a picture or two from there, and then maybe a boat or beach picture.  Kat’s LA Ink shop was great!  Just like on TV; we watch on TLC channel every week, and they were filming while we were there, but still allowed us to hang out and buy a t-shirt.  Our favorite artists are booked a couple of months in advance so we’ll be coming back to get one by Kat (for Dotty) and by Cory (for me).
I’ll throw in one a picture of our new motorbike or the new house or car while I’m at it.  (Now that I see which pictures are available here on my portable netbook–scratch that about the bike pictures; I’ll post more of those next time–cross country bike trip coming up!)
Our main theme is hello to you, dear reader, those we love and miss in Hangzhou and other cities in China, and to you our dear friends and family that we are so happy to be among once again.
Shawn & the lovely Dotty
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Back in the USA

One of the first things Dotty and I did after arriving back in the United States was to go for a motorcycle ride.  We hadn’t been on a long ride in three years, really–I had ridden a few times on rentals or Uncle Dick’s bikes when visiting, only.  So the first day was a full eight hour shift, Peoria to St. Louis, and then St. Louis down to Van Buren, MO on the Current River.  The next day we took it easy and cruised around a little bit to Big Springs, and headed over to Eminence, MO to our intended destination, River’s Edge Inn.  We just relaxed all day and floated around the Jack’s Fork River on kayaks, and swam, and sunned a little bit.  On the way home we stopped at Uncle Dick and Renee’s house overnight and visited a few people, and then we stayed over at sister Joan’s in St. Louis for a night, before riding home to Peoria.  On the way home, we had a first:  rode through a hailstorm on the bike for the first time.  That was exciting.  Our trip was great fun!

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Our New SUV

For the past three years, Dotty was sure that she would purchase a Scion xB.  As the saying goes, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change their mind and Dotty did just that.  Dotty (and Shawn) is the proud owner of a Kia Sportage.  It turns out that Dotty secretly always wanted an SUV.
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The Final Days – Shanghai

Wednesday, June 24, we arrived in Shanghai in the afternoon.  We had dinner at Tony Roma’s and then went off to see The Bund.  Well, The Bund was closed due to construction so we took a few pictures from the sidewalk across the street.  We walked down to Nanjing Walking Street and did a little more shopping.
Thursday, June 25, we went to the Shanghai Art Musuem, XinTian Di for lunch (Paulaner’s), and to Yu Garden shopping area (where Bob found a new Chinese girlfriend-read her shirt).  All in all, a wonderful last day.  The late afternoon and evening were spent at the hotel doing laundry and relaxing.

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Shawn’s Final Quest

Shawn has always wanted to climb/walk up to BaChu Pagoda at night.  On our final night in Hangzhou (June 23), Shawn left for his quest at approximately 9:00pm.  The following pictures are from his final venture to say good-bye to his favorite site in the city.
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Last Day in Hangzhou

Tuesday, June 23 is the last full day that we will spend in Hangzhou.  Dotty and Shawn have a tear of sadness in one eye and a tear of joy in the other as we say our last good-byes to our friends and co-workers.  Shawn, Bob, and Joan spent this day riding the tram around West Lake and visiting LeiFeng Pagoda during the day.  In the evening, we went to the Hyatt for dinner and to the night market.  The evening was a bit cooler and the crowd at the night market was quite amazing. 
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LinYing Temple and HeFeng Street

Due to computer problems at the Ramada Hangzhou and Holiday Inn Express Shanghai, the remaining days of Joan and Bob’s China trip were delayed.  On Tuesday, June 22, Shawn gave the tour of LinYing Temple during the day.  In the evening, we all went to HeFeng Street to do a little shopping.  Bob seemed to be very interesting in the preserved snake wine (good for man). It was very hot but we had a great time.

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Vina and Eric’s Wedding Day

Joan and Bob were invited to attend a wedding with Shawn and I where gave the wedding "boss" speech.  It was really fun and I was honored to give the speech.  It was a fairly typical Chinese wedding with a loud MC, the boss speech, the change in the bride’s dress, and lots of smoking and toasting.  I think Bob and Joan found it interesting.  The first picture shows the beautiful view at the venue. It could not have been more beautiful. The picture of the duck is strange.  The duck was just a serving dish and was filled with rice.  In addition, it is the anniversary of Shawn and my anniversary of our reception in Eminence.
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