Thursday, February 22, 2007

Moving and St. Augustine

Quick update:
So I successfully moved out of Columbia in two pick up trucks with the help of my dad and uncle Frenchy. I wish I had taken a picture of the two trucks backed up to my house as well as my dad and uncle wrapping my red saucer shaped 70's chair in black plastic. It was a pretty funny sight. They made the move so easy.

I then headed down to the big city of Zepherhills, FL to visit with my dad's other brother, Tony and some other relatives. My grandfather's sister, Dova, lives there as well. She's 101 years old and this is the joke she told me: A woman threw a piece of gum out the window of her car. She said, "I know that piece of gum is going to heaven." Her friend asked, "How do you know it is going to heaven?" She replied, "Because I chewed the hell out of it."

Right now I'm spending a couple of days with my mom and step-dad in St. Augustine (the nation's oldest city) at the Casa Monica Hotel. It's gorgeous and the weather has been spectacular. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out...but last night we ate an amazing meal at 95 Cordova, the Hotel restaurant. And I just got back from another great meal at La Pentola. If you're ever in St. Augustine, check out any and all of these hot spots.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Big Chill Reunion

My latest rendez-vous before departure involved heading down to Jennifer and Jason's sweet little spot on the Edisto River (see link to Carolina Heritage for canoeing opportunities). The attendees included myself and Isabelle, The Magnus Clan (Traci, Glenn, and Max), The Bremer's (Jennifer, Jason and Eden) and The Crowley's (Melanie, Chris and Graham). Without a doubt, a great group. I'll let the photos speak for themselves.

Auntie Bella with Eden and Graham:

The Magnus Men:

Just a little krumping before lunch:

Max learning how to smile on command:

All the ladies in the kitchen:

There we go: This is my train to China:
Thank goodness for girlfriends!

For info on The Big Chill reference, click here: The Big Chill

Oh, and I forgot to tell you about the food: we had burgers on the grill wrapped in bacon, cole slaw, lentil salad, and proseco with fresh squeezed orange juice and fresh lemonade. We know how to eat!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Beijing's Bad Translations

On the front page of today's Wall Street Journal, the headline reads, "Tired of Laughter, Beijing Gets Rid Of Bad Translations." Apparently, in preparation for the 2008 Olympics, the Chinese government has decided that "Show mercy to the slender grass" or "Please do not spit too loud" is no longer acceptable. Dang! Wish they'd hold out a little longer.

Luckily, ,, gives us a variety of chinglish translations.
Oh and Sarah just hooked it up and told me about this site,

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Lost in the Garden of Eden

On a whim, I went back down to Charleston on Friday to see my friend Jennifer and her son Eden. He is 7 months old and pretty much a butter ball with a smile that will melt the coldest of hearts. Anyway, it was great. I met Jen at Fast and French, on Broad Street between King and Meeting streets. Jen worked there many years ago when she lived in Charleston and she is still very close with the owners. We enjoyed a garden salad and the cheese and pate plate. Tout a fait parfait (insert accents where appropriate).

Then we strolled over to the battery, relaxed in the mid afternoon sun and giggled at the baby.

After that it seemed appropriate to go back to Fast and French for a coffee and some chocolate mousse cake. Jen's friend Melanie came to meet us too. Melanie's husband, Chris Crowley is the owner/operator of Coastal Expeditions, a sea kayaking outfit focused on preservation and environmental education. Going out on the water with them is a truely fantastic experience. Jen and Jason just moved down from NYC to take over one of Chris' other endeavors, Carolina Heritage, a canoeing on the Edisto River and they also have treehouses that you can sleep in. I'll be down there next weekend so I'll add some pictures.

Once we finished our coffee and dessert, we headed over to the City Gallery at Waterfront Park to the opening of "The Changing face of Charleston" Exhibition. The owners of Fast and French, Gwylene and Jean-Marie, had a couple of pieces in the show. Jen and Melanie saw many familiar faces and there were even a few people that I knew as well. It was a great exhibit and I was reminded why openings are so great, free appetizers, free wine and some interesting art and people. I'll be sure find good gallerys in Beijing.

The next morning was spent relaxing over coffee:

I stopped at Traci's house for lunch on my way back out of town. Pictures of the Magnus clan will soon be put in the mix.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Me speeka chineee!!

Sometime last week we created our first monologue in Chinese and Adrian recorded them, click on the link below to see my video. I know it's pretty rough, but bear with me...I'll get better. You can go to his website to see everyone ( as well as our TA and I racing to see who can count faster, me in English or her in Chinese.