Shanghai and Suzhou

We arrived in Shanghai pretty late and our guide, Tina (English name), picked us up from the airport and took us to the hotel. The city was was lit up and modern like Hong Kong, but was a lot bigger (over 20 million) and more spread out. We were amazed by how many high-end stores there were – seriously, there seemed to be a Louis Vitton or Gucci on every block!   In the morning our guide and driver took us to a garden in the middle of the city. “Gardens” in China are more like peaceful retreats that have more … Continue reading Shanghai and Suzhou

WHOA – We’re in China: Guilin and Yangzhou

We arrived in Guilin and our guide (English name Angela) and driver for the region met us at the airport.  We were struck by the incredible humidity which felt like July in Atlanta. The hour or so drive from the airport to downtown Guilin reminded us a bit of India but on a less terrifying level.  Nonetheless, there were vans, buses, bicycles, scooters, pedestrians and more engaged in some kind of organized chaos on the roads.  Though we were supposed to go to the hotel and relax for the night, Angela recommended we go to a river cruise around downtown … Continue reading WHOA – We’re in China: Guilin and Yangzhou

Blog site blocked in China…

So we have a slight problem accessing our blog site in China. Apparently the Chinese Government has blocked all Blogger and WordPress sites. I’m using a hack right now to get access to the blog site and to post this basic post. I’ll try and figure out a way in the next few days to access all the functions of Blogger so we can post pictures and videos with the blog site and update the photo albums, etc. Bear with us as we figure out a way, may remote access into my US computer. Continue reading Blog site blocked in China…

Hong Kong

So we left Auckland ready to get out of the cold and into some warmth of the northern hemisphere!  We only had one concern – getting through screening for Swine Flu at the airport.  Raj has had a lingering cough from our cold and that is one of the symptoms they screen for.  We drugged him up despite his cough being almost gone and we were both feeling great – no symptoms of anything whatsoever.  About half way through our flight they made an announcement that one of the passengers had become very ill and they were seeking the help … Continue reading Hong Kong

NZ – Kaikoura to Auckland

On our way from Brian’s place in Dunedin to his previous home of Kaikoura about 10 hours north, we stopped at the remarkable Mouraki boulders.   On a random stretch of beach, right off the main road, these distinctly round and large boulders are found relatively clustered together.  I did not understand the fuss until we walked onto the beach and saw them in the distance.  They are huge and out of place and very round.  There is apparently nothing like them anywhere else, and believe me when I tell you that being there leaves little doubt that aliens were involved! … Continue reading NZ – Kaikoura to Auckland

Are we destined to be sailors?

A few days after arriving in Auckland, New Zealand (City of Sails), Tovah and I started talking about how we would like to travel the world all the time someday. We both agreed that sailing around the world would be the way to do it, and half joked about buying a yacht and heading off into the sunset. As we continued our adventure through New Zealand- Heli-hiking on Glaciers, Jet boating in Queenstown, galloping on horseback in the Catlins, and continuously saw amazing things, we kept thinking about the yacht idea and even spent an afternoon fantasizing about which ports … Continue reading Are we destined to be sailors?

NZ – Q’town to The Catlins

I was really excited to visit Queenstown because Raj has told me so much about his 6+ months living there when he was in NZ for about a year in 1999.  He was a bit nervous to return and see how much it has changed because much of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was filmed in the surrounding area and the tourism rates have skyrocketed in the last decade.    We planned on staying 3 nights there so that we could experience the nightlife and have time to sample some of the adrenalin-junkie activities, as well as take a day … Continue reading NZ – Q’town to The Catlins

Week 1 in NZ!

It’s been a bit of an adjustment to switch gears from South America to New Zealand.  To begin with there is a 16 hour time difference, but also, the pace is different, the language is different (it’s really nice to speak English again, but for the first few days,  I still answered questions with “Si!”) and we had to remember that most of the world actually eats dinner before midnight! We arrived in Auckland at 4 am on a Tuesday (actually completely lost the Monday following Easter due to time change and travel) and picked up our rental car around … Continue reading Week 1 in NZ!

Looking back on South America

As we head off to New Zealand, I am reflecting on the past month in South America. I have been thinking about the highlights of the trip, what I’ve learned about the cultures, about myself and about travelling.  In an effort to keep this short and to the point, I’ve narrowed down my thoughts to “the top 5 things…” I Love About South America: Wide open spaces! – indeed, the Dixie Chick’s song was in my head a good part of the time. Chile, in particular allows you the opportunity to truly feel in the middle of nowhere and witness … Continue reading Looking back on South America

Buenos Aires – The city that never sleeps.

We arrived in Buenos Aires around 3pm and without a hotel booking. We’d talked to a few travelers and read that the Palermo neighborhood was one of the cool spots to stay in, so we jumped in a cab and gave the address of a hotel we’d read about on Trip Advisor. When we got to the hotel, we didn’t expect it to be fully booked; in fact it never really crossed our minds that any of the hotels would be fully booked, but this quickly become the reality after the 3rd hotel was also booked up completely. Our nice … Continue reading Buenos Aires – The city that never sleeps.