Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dirt Market- Panjiayuan

The Dirt Market is a large outdoor market where people come from all over China to sell their goods. You can find artwork, antiques, new antiques, fossils, and more. Prices are reasonable and there is room for some bargaining, but not as much as at other markets. It is open only on the weekend and if you search hard enough, you can find some unique pieces.

These photos were taken by my Dad. See his website

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Summer Portraits
This is a link to the portraits we had taken a week ago. Jack's 10 year portrait, Huck's 4 year, Jed's 7 1/2 (for good measure) and Zeke's 6 month. They had fun and the pictures are great, in my opinion. We had these done in China, too, but they were about 5 times more costly there.


It is so good to be in America. It's a great country, despite its faults. Having lived abroad in two very different places (Scotland and China) I can definitely say that there's no place like home, this great country of ours, so think twice before criticizing it outright.

The green, the fresh air, the choices, they are all wonderful.

For the past two days the news has reported that the environment is a yellow alert for air quality. I can hardly believe it because even on these days, when they are warning sensitive people to stay inside, the air here is so much better than in Beijing.

I recently heard a report that the worst air quality day in L.A. is still better than the best day in Beijing! You really have to experience it to understand it.

Last week, I visited Trader Joe's for the first time in a year. What a beautiful place it is... Just as I remember it. Huck enjoyed the child size cart and searched high and low for "king Louie" the stuffed lion, to win a prize. There is nothing even close to this in China. The choices are overwhelming but wonderful. Once again, I will travel back to Beijing with suitcases full of the organic and vegetarian products we all love but can't get in China.

Besides these items, the only other things I must get for the boys before we go back in August are... socks and underwear. These are two things I just won't sacrifice quality for price. Nothing beats Hanes and Fruit of the Loom, so we stock up on socks to replace the ones that have been tossed and 3 types of underwear so the laundry is easier to sort!