On the way to China, a few hours into the flight, I opened the window shield, I saw a massive blue-white ice covered landscape. I did not expect this scene even though I knew we were flying over Arctic. I was mesmorized.
Among the places we visited in Shanghai, the most memorable places were not the Nanjing Pedestrian Street ( a shopping mecca in China), not the tower of oriental pearl, not the Bund, not the skyscrapers. they were the hotel we stayed and the People's square.
Due to jet-lag, I was awake early on June 24 at the Kaibo Hotel in Shanghai, I dosed on and off afterwards. Then at the dawn, I heard this clear, rounded, beautiful bird chirpping outside the window. It turned out that there are a small patch of trees right outside our hotel room in this densely populated residential area. When there are trees, there are birds!
People's square is very much like the central park in new york city. It is smaller, and there are few people there, and many birds. Surrounded by grey high rises, it is green all around us here; With boisterous crowds just a few hundred yards away in the shopping areas, it is quiet here, it is an urban oasis.
Wuhan, with all the constructions going on there , it is literally a humming city. The early morning (~ 6am) of June 28th, as the kids and I were wathcing the highlights of the previous nights' FIFA world cup games at my sister's home, I heard a beautiful bird chirpping from the balcony. A black-white bird I had never seen before was perching on the balcony's guard rail and singing, I rushed to get my camera, and try to take a picture of it, it was too late. As I looked around, I was rewarded with a view of this early summer morning's court yard. The court yard at the entrance to the community was quiet, cool and beautiful.
My parents' cemetery is located in a beautiful, well maintained memorial park at outskirt of Wuhan. It was beautiful, quiet and very green there. Despite the stymieing heat that day, the kids, Lily and I were willing to stay at the park a bit longer - just to enjoy the outdoor, the tranqility and the greens.
Where my in-laws live, there is a small residential community park. On a day there was no scheduled activity for the whole family, Lily went shopping with her mom. My boys and their cousin, grandpa and I went to play at the park in the mid morning. It was a weekday, we were there by ourselves except the working gardeners. There were a lot of birds there - children's laughter and bird chirping made my day.
On the way back to USA, as we were approaching Chicago, Lily asked me to look outside the airplane: the Sun was rising. What a view! Even better, We were back home!!