Korea, China & Hong Kong Trip

The well-wishing scarfs for their relatives in North Korea are shown in picture 1 on the 38th parallel demilitarized zone, Korea. 
Picture 2 shows that we paid a visit to the birthplace of Dr. S. Y. Sun, the founder father of the Chinese Republic. This is the front gate of the museum which honors him.  His house is much more humble and it is inside.
The last shows the defunct “Huangpu Military Academy”, the West Point of China, near Quangzhou, China. Many former administrators, counselors, instructors, students and others fought against each other during the Chinese Civil War on both sides – Communist or Nationalist.  

Back to East Coast Home

Finally, we are back to our east coast home tonight around 10:00 PM, from Far East.  This time, we rode on an Airbus A380 from Seoul to JFK, New York.  The attached picture shows our A380 with a Boeing 737 side by side.  It is really big.  But, it only carried 260 out of 426 this time.  Mom was quite happy to have a row of 3 seats together to sleep on.
JFK was raining when arriving.  The connection plane to Washington DC was 1 1/2 hours late.  When arriving at Washington DC, there was no jet way available for deplane, about 1/2 hours just seating there, going nowhere. 
The house is in good conditions and there are a lot laundry need to be done.  It was dark outside, don’t know how many persimmon fruits on our tree.  Will find out tomorrow.
Oh, while in Korea, all airport toilets go high-tech.  Unfortunately, not a single English word can be found on any push button. Don’t know how to operate.  The seat was really hot with a stainless tube spraying something that who knows 🙂

Tuesday.

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When Jeremy’s gone, I can get a little mopey and introverted.  So I try and make some plans with friends to remind myself that I’m not alone in this world.  A little dramatic, but sometimes I think, left to my own devices, I’d be a recluse/hoarder/cat owner.   I saw a good friend and we went to the local Indian buffet for lunch.

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Edda came home and got herself into some makeup.

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We went to the IB open house at Richard Montgomery.  The county has a bunch of competitive magnet programs housed in different high schools.  Vince did not want to leave his home high school and/or his friends, but there is a very highly sought program right here.  Magnet programs are both appealing and not appealing to me in my own warped mind.  There is no other simple, short-cut way of outwardly indicating that you totally did it and achieved the upper-middle-class suburban Montgomery County excellent parenting award than to say – my kid goes to the IB program, Stanford, MIT, etc.  That fictitious award does have power over me.  However, I know it’s not what Vince really wants (or for that matter, what I really want) and I know that it’s the fake parenting award, it’s not the one I’m after even though it’s the shiny-est.  I do like shiny things.

Lots of parents asking all the questions – I made Vince ask all his questions (the main thing was what the difference was between IB Chemistry and AP Chemistry), I gently directed the teachers to look at him and not me when answering the questions.  We got an enthusiastic senior to tell us how he’s taking three science courses this fall even though it’s counter to the program’s approach of creating the holistic student.  He got all his questions answered and we bailed before the formal program started with Vince laughing and saying – it’s not for me!  let’s go get some groceries and to the scout meeting.

Here are the stats for the program (I couldn’t resist, because really, how can I resist?):  1000 people apply, 120 get in each year.  Of those 120, about 35 are National Merit Scholars.  Of the graduating class – 5 people got into MIT, 4 people went.

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Vince helped me get some groceries.

At the Giant.  My favorite grocery store.

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Then we played dodge ball with the scouts.  I did play a round, but I haven’t learned how to really hurl a ball well.  All my throws are puff balls in a wide arc.

Weekend wrap up.

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Finished the very last day of OB clinical on Friday.

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Drove a bunch of boy scouts (and Keyla and her pals) to Hershey Park on Saturday.

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Did a very Noel Lee / Donald Lee thing and took a nap in the van while the boys went up and down all the roller coasters.

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Went to my favorite toddler’s birthday party!  Happy 3rd birthday Bert.  This is the only photo I took with my iPhone, but I took more than 600 photos on my big camera.  I hope some of them turned out.  Or at least are better than this one.

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Edda came to the party.  Ate and took a nap.

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Hosted Sunday night dinner for the first time since 2007 without Jeremy.  Turns out I can order Chinese food as well as the next person.  Jeremy left today for a week in Chicago…!

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Date night.

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Jeremy took me out on a proper date tonight.  Not the grocery shopping date or the Target run date, but a date with dinner and dessert in a place that we haven’t gone to before.

We looked at expensive bikes.  We need there to be self-driving cars soon because I need to get rid of my car/van so we have more room in the garage for bicycles.

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Things.

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Make up violin lesson today.  Totally forgot about it.  Usually I’d make Vince ride his bike there, but since we remembered three minutes past the hour we were suppose to be there, I drove him and stayed.  I haven’t seen Kelly in a long time, it was nice to hug and catch up.

On the way home, we spied Edda and Keyla in the puffy jackets that my mom got for us…  cutie patooties.

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I went through some of the mail from the huge, unsorted, intimidating mail pile I posted yesterday.  I got Edda’s mid-term report card.  The tiger mom in me is like, hell yeah!  Straight As, baby!  And then the other (mouse?) mom in me is like, WTF?  Advanced English?  Huh?  I don’t get it.  MCPS, I love you – you taught me the ideal gas law (PV = nRT), which I love to this day – but you confuse me to no end.  With both my children.

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Ruth, boo to you too!

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Rett syndrome stroll-a-thon

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Vince, Edda, Ruby and I went to the annual Rett Syndrome stroll-a-thon in Virginia today.  We used to raise money for this event until we started Edda’s birthday party extravaganza a few years ago.  I can ask friends to donate only once a year – so it’s Edda’s birthday and not the stroll-a-thon.  We had a nice time, very low key for us.  I met a few new people this year, including a girl who can TALK!  Unbelievable.

Curious, I asked the mom – so what does your daughter talk about?  What is she thinking about? Well, she loves to talk about her iPad, her movies and netflix.  And I said, I think if Edda could talk, she would talk about those things too!

Vince is the kindest big brother, making sure his little sister gets to eat all the regular snack food I’m reluctant to feed her.  Ruby is hoping for her share too.

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Other people will blog about their beautiful house.  I will blog about how our house is a disaster area.

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