Monday, June 27, 2011

Welcome Back To Hong Kong

After traveling for over 24 hours, I have finally made it to Hong Kong! I just have one more flight to Beijing and I will start my second adventure in China. The flight from Los Angeles was about 15 hours. That is a long time to be on a plane! It is raining here in Hong Kong, but I did take a few pictures out the window as I was flying.

The flight was pretty uneventful. I feel asleep for about 4 hours when we first boarded since it was around three in the morning at home, so I missed "dinner". I was able to get a sandwich later. I finished a book, watched Toy Story 3 and The Tourist, as well as every episode of 48 Hours Mystery and CSI.

This was the first view of land in over 14 hours!

A nice rainy landing!

We will take a bus tour of Beijing when we arrive in a few hours. Hopefully, I will be able to add more pictures tonight. I am happy to be back in China!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Adventures With Bryson

Today was another fun-filled day with Bryson. We were not able to have our swimming party because is rained off and on all day. However, we were still able enjoy some fun outside. We were going to go to Early Works so we decided to feed the ducks before we went. I love feeding the ducks and fish as much as Bryson does! The geese were a little aggressive today so we hung out on the bridge most of the time.

Bryson loved chasing the pigeons away! I caught him in action! Wouldn't you be scared of this little boy if you were a bird?

Next we headed to Early Works to visit Biscuit's Backyard. Here Bryson had lots of fun pretending to be a dog, riding a cow, gathering eggs, lifting hay bales, loving on a horse, dressing like a bunny and running a cash register.

Bryson had a hard time believing that this was a bathtub!

Bryson wasn't too interested in the rest of the museum, but he did enjoy playing with the trains before we left.

Next we headed to the splash pad that is behind Early Works. It was a great place to play on a hot day! We had not planned on splashing in the water so he just wore his clothes. Luckily, I had restocked his backpack before we left home with an extra outfit. Bryson said he wished his friend JaneClaire could come splash with him next time!

We met my parents at McDonald's for lunch. They took Bryson with them so I could run some last minute errands before China. I will be out of pocket at computer training for the next three days so I am cramming lots in! I met back up with them for dinner at Taziki's with Cary. On the way there, I drew a smiley face on Bryson's finger with a marker. I do that all the time to my kids at school when they do something good. They would rather have a smiley face than anything else! Sometimes they even request "crazy" faces or 100's on their fingers. I am happy to oblige! Bryson decided I needed a face on my finger as well. Mine wasn't smiling though!
Another exciting day!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Fun With Bryson

This morning Bryson and I headed to the Botanical Gardens to see the tree houses. We had lots of fun and managed not to get too hot! Bryson loved playing in all the water features and even continued the water fun when we got home.

One of the first tree houses we played in was a big pirate ship. Bryson was disappointed that it did not have a real cannon!

Bryson enjoyed laying on his belly and watching the fish. I was just worried that he was going to fall in and I was going to have to go in after him!

The first tree house that we came to with a water feature was the beach shack. It had a shower out front to "wash" in. Bryson and another little boy had a great time running through the shower like it was a sprinkler.

This tree house had a loft with a steep ladder. After I took this picture, Bryson could not figure out how to come down. I had to go up and get him and we ended up knocking heads. Ouch!

The Children's Garden was definitely Bryson's favorite part of the garden. It had mist rocks, wishing wells, sand pits, mazes, polliwog wading pools, musical instruments and so much more. This is where Bryson was able to get really wet and he loved it!

I gave Bryson a penny to throw into the wishing well. He wished for a new pair of jeans!

Our last stop was the Butterfly House. Not only did it have butterflies, there were also turtles, birds and a snake! Bryson was able to hold a butterfly on his finger. He later tried to catch one by himself. He also was excited about touching a box turtle.

When were heading around the pond to go out, these ducks chased us down. They were hungry! Luckily, Bryson had a few goldfish crackers left so we fed them. They were not shy at all!

After leaving the Botanical Gardens, we headed to have lunch with Pop and Gran. Then we went to school to pick up my itinerary for Israel. While we were there, Mrs. Smith offered Bryson some candy. He chose the one cough drop (a ricola) from the jar and was excited about it. After he sucked it a while, I asked him if he liked it and he said yes. Then he bit into it and was ready to spit it out!
He decided he better try chocolate next!

We headed home and Bryson organized his room, played with play dough outside and finally got in the little pool. I have strict instructions to wear my bathing suit in the morning with my swim jacket (life vest) so I can go swimming with him in the morning. Did I mention it is a little pool no more than foot deep? I am looking forward to spending some more time with my sweet nephew tomorrow!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ivy Green and the Miracle Worker

Last night, we headed to Tuscumbia to Ivy Green which was the birthplace and home of Helen Keller. I had been to Ivy Green when I was in elementary, but really didn't remember much about it. I have really been wanting to go see The Miracle Worker which is a play about young Helen Keller. It is performed outside on the grounds of Ivy Green each summer.

We had planned on going Friday night, but after the big rain decided not to go. Yesterday was also our last meeting before the big China trip so it made for a very busy afternoon.

We were able to tour the grounds before the play began. Of course, everyone needs to see the famous well pump where Helen first learned to connect "finger spelling" to the actual object. Helen's teacher, Annie Sullivan wrote on that historic day, "She has learned that everything has a name, and that the manual alphabet is the key to everything she wants to know."

This is one of the cottage rooms where Helen and Annie stayed for two weeks. Captain (Helen's father) was insistent that Annie only be given two weeks to "teach" Helen something once they moved to the cottage. Annie wanted Helen to be fully dependent on her during this crucial teaching time. She felt that the Keller's gave in to Helen too often and felt sorry for her instead of treating her like a "normal" child. Even though they were near the house the whole time when in the cottage, Helen was lead to believe they had traveled a long distance.Her parents had driven her around the country before bringing her back to Ivy Green.The play did an excellent job portraying how everyone including Helen was feeling during this time.

The weather was nice and pleasant so a walk around the grounds was a perfect way to spend some time before the play.

The play was absolutely wonderful except for the fact that we were sitting on bleachers! The girls who played Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan were phenomenal actresses. I am eager to read a little more about the lives of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan now. If you live in Alabama and have not visited Ivy Green to see the play, it is something you should add to your bucket list!

Happy Father's Day!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dreaming Of China

So I am headed to China in about a week and have still not figured out how I am going to blog in China! Blogger is blocked in China so I am having to try some other ways to get my blog posted while I am gone. Hopefully, with a few tweaks, I will be successful!

In a little over a week, I will be standing here! I cannot wait!

Our hotel in Beijing is just a few blocks from Tianamen Square so I am hoping to get to see it at night this year!

And I can't wait to see the precious Chinese children!