Peloton, Rory and ice cream.

Jeremy did make it home on Sunday morning from Chicago at about 9:15 am, snow be damned (there ended up being no snow in Chicago – but all flights out on Sat night were canceled). It meant that he could stay for entire 50th anniversary party of UCS in Chicago on Saturday night instead of just showing up for an hour and then high-tailing it to the Chicago airport. And it also meant that he could try out the Peloton bike at the fancy hotel gym. I don’t know exactly how this is happening, but even though I’m working a crap ton and he’s taking on so much of the house logistics, he is managing to get into great biking shape. My workouts are basic and I have set low, low bar expectations (my bar is slow low that it’s laying? lying? lieing? (where is Vickey – my grammar guru?) on the floor) and I’m watching my fitness ebb away out of my perimenopausal body as I knew it would when I started working so much, Jeremy is like – I set at PR on Strava! I’m going to bike 70 miles today! I’m going to climb up this enormous mountain! Twice! We’ve tried various in-person cycle classes, but he’d never tried Peloton. The verdict was that it was just a fine workout, but not his thing. This particular instructor squeezed in-between intervals his struggles with alcoholism which isn’t really Jeremy’s thing. Jeremy just wants to ride fast – he’s not into the personal narrative. He’ll stick with Zwift.

Buff Peloton instructor – whhaaa?

Vince came home from an orienteering campout this weekend and we went to the final meeting for the kids that went on the China trip. As Vince grows up, I get so much pleasure from small things that surprise me! I love that he lets us sit with his friends and that Edda joins in at the table and we get to participate in the conversation. Everyone had Chinese food and bubble tea and we saw a slide show. The slide show was set to the song Africa from Toto and I was like – I think my own high school slideshow was set to the same song. Jeremy confirmed that the song was released in 1982.

It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do

Lauren, Molly and Rory came by to try out Edda’s old wheelchair. Molly fits into it pretty well, she’s a bit smaller than Edda and this is a few inches narrower than Edda’s present wheelchair as Edda has outgrown it. They have a big wheelchair that’s perfect for school/bus, but they need a smaller one that can fit into the car when they run errands. Rory played the game of Life! with me and he beat me, yet again.

Rory pumping up Molly’s new wheels.

Our ice cream desires where thwarted when the ice cream line was too long.

Line is too long at Carmen’s

China, Denise, Chicago

My parents with Vince and our exchange student Irving in the library of my mother’s high school on Chong Ming island near Shanghai.

Miss a few blogging days and life just keeps tumbling forward. I’m going to try out this new blogging platform ( and see how it works. I’m paying for hosting and I’m going to start having the photos directly imported into the website. So much trouble. I was in such a despair over this (and other things) yesterday that I actually went to the gym and started my workout and then I gave up on it and went to McDonald’s. I think it’s been years since I’ve done that.

Vince giving the class speech at Chongming High School.

Vince’s trip to China was amazing and fun. Unlike his summer trip to language camp a few years ago, this trip was pure American tourism. At summer camp, he was expected to explore the city and talk to the residents and manage more things on his own. This school-arranged trip was run in the standard tour group way – a lot of things to do, regimented to the half-hour and relatively isolated from the non-tourist population. He did not need to access from the dusty recesses of his brain various Chinese phrases, he did not need to tone down his American-ness. He emphasised to me when he got home, I did all the proper tourist behaviors and it was so much fun!

Dancing on the Great Wall.
Freaking out at the Oriental Pearl Tower – Shanghai.
Group photo at the Great Wall.

After we came home from LA and Vince came home from China, we welcomed Denise for a few days. Denise was our au pair from 2011. It was really wonderful to see her. I forget how much has changed since she’s left. Of course, Ruby is gone and the kids are grown. She said she would not have recognized Vince if he was walking past her in a store.

Denise and Edda at the Woodley Gardens park.

I worked at the hospital on Tues and Wed – a tough shift on Tues, a better one on Wed. Often – so often – at 4pm on a tough shift day, I’m like what the hell am I actually doing? I am stupid, stupid, stupid. I could be home eating a bag of Doritos and watching some excellent Netflix. I can not possibly keep doing this. But I inexplicably keep going. Last week, I had a shift where none of my patients spoke English. It was Spanish, Vietnamese and French Creole. Chinese is surprisingly unhelpful at my job. Almost all the other Asian languages seem to be ahead.

On Thursday, Jeremy and I had a date night. A date night meaning a day that we would have dinner together at home. Actually, for our date night, we had the kids and Edda’s caregiver, Kitachi, and then I invited Brian and Ning and baby Noah over for dinner as well – so I’m not sure how much of a date night it was. But actually, after dinner, Jeremy and I cleaned the kitchen together and talked for an hour! A whole hour! By ourselves. That was so nice – hardly happens that much these days. I need to change that.

And then on Friday, Jeremy flew to Chicago. He was suppose to fly home tonight. Until I got this text from him this morning:

All flights home tonight are cancelled, I hope to see him Sunday.


I have to migrate the blog.  I’ve been very lucky that for 17 years, I’ve been able to use the same platforms – blogger and flickr – to do this little hobby of mine.  Now I’ve realized, slowly and painfully over the past month or so, that I’m not really able to upload photos effectively from my very new iPhone to the very old Flickr.  Vince and his friend took well over 1,000 photos on his China trip and it was a combination of getting those photos onto Flickr and trying to put together that blog post that was upsetting to me.  I’m not sure quite what to do.  I have well over 100,000 photos on flickr.  I’m afraid both flickr and blogger will become obsolete before I figure out how to do this.  Years before I was kind of OK with this disappearing into the ether, but today, I’m feeling needy and I want it to stay around.


Recap of LA trip.

We are home and I’m fighting a head cold.  It crept up on me on Thurs/Friday, but it was the worst on the flight home and today, I’m just trying to rest and sleep but really, I think I’m just making my jet lag worse.  Jeremy is at Dulles now picking Vince up from his China trip. 

Quick photo recap of the vacation.  Jeremy took most of the photos and I’m trying a new workflow for photos since my flickr uploader seems to not be working from my iPhone.  So here goes:

Lunch in the Burbank hills at a place called Castaway with Eva and Nancy.   Talked a lot about biking and drug/medical device development.  Had half a mimosa. 


Castaway has great views,  Edda’s not impressed.



Then Jeremy went to Minnesota for a few days – those days are documented in the previous blog posts.

On Wed, he came back.  We went to Tree People where Julia and Katherine began their friendship:


Edda walked a good bit on the trails:


Wed night we had a dinner party of 10 (?) no photographic evidence, oh well.

Thursday I took public transit (Expo line) to downtown LA to meet up with Ruth for a swim at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.


The swim was in a pool on the 5th floor.  I’m always astounded by pools high up in the air.  We had lunch at the club, this was the only photo I snapped. 


While I was swimming, Katherine, Jeremy and Edda went to visit Barbara and her in-home dog sitting business.  Seems like a lot of fun.



I came home and napped with Edda, Jeremy and Katherine went to visit Miwako.


Fun old photos of the families:


This was the first time Jeremy traveled with his bike.  It was an adventure in packing, paying luggage fees, breaking down and rebuilding the bike.  It didn’t get damaged in transit, it got damaged at Julia’s house where he left it outside when he went to Minneapolis and it fell over and got a dent in one of the carbon fiber shafts.  He rode up Mount Wilson on Friday while Edda and I found Europane, our wedding pastry provider and enjoyed blueberry brioche and a cheese danish.



From the Mount Wilson triumph, we met up with Aunt Liz at Ding Tai Fung.  Turns out there are two locations within a mile of each other and we managed to confuse the two.  Delicious soup dumplings and lovely to catch up.


Feviu came over for dinner on Thursday night:

IMG-0691 (1)

Today, back home!   Celebrating Easter with Nat and her family.


Getty, Shanghai.

Every day in California is glorious.  In the mornings, Julia – our host, walks outside onto her porch wondering what the weather is going to be like that day.  I laugh and say, it is just different shades of absolutely beautiful.  Because of the heavy winter rains, everything’s green and in bloom.  There is not a trace of humidity and nothing feels better than taking a nap in a patch of sun.  Oranges and lilies grow in Julia backyard.  There is even a pet turtle that wanders by.  I eat chocolates from Trader Joe’s. 

On Tuesday, we made it out to the Getty where we toured the gardens.  There were so many usual and unusual plants growing in the garden.  We were looking for the Shazam! app for plants, but we couldn’t find it.  There was a family of ducks swimming around the central water pond thing and I commented that this fowl family had the best real estate in all of Los Angeles. 


Edda was not impressed.  OK maybe she was impressed, but didn’t want to acknowledge it.


Going to the galleries was an afterthought, we were a little short on time and had to skedaddle – but we went and saw Vincent’s famous Iris painting. 


We are getting hundreds of photos from our Vince’s China trip.  I’m having trouble downloading photos, but my parents did manage to see Vince and his friends at my mom’s high school and they spent the day in Shanghai.  Will post some photos soon.


LA update.

We are in Los Angeles for spring break.  Well, right now, Jeremy is in Minnesota because after we scheduled the vacation, a work commitment cropped up that needed committing to and Jeremy flew out of LA to Minn on Monday and will be back tonight.

On Monday, I visited Charlotte.  Bella was there and we talked about the grandkids getting married and various adventures.  I’m so happy I had the chance to catch up with Charlotte.



In the afternoon, Katherine, Edda and I went to the Santa Monica pier.  Edda enjoyed watching the waves.


We enjoyed some ice cream and walking along the boardwalk.


We saw Shazam in an almost empty theater and then ate a delicious meal at the True Food Kitchen.  Very vegetarian/vegan.  California is delicious.  I’m having a good time.  I’m hoping to get some naps in.


Spring break.

We are also on our own spring break trip, but first I needed to stop off at the hospital to pick up my new work schedule.  I needed to find out if I was scheduled to work while I was in LA because though I put my vacation time in and the scheduler said – I got it!  Don’t worry about it!, I have often had other days off I put in the system mis-scheduled.  It was also a chance to introduce Jeremy and Edda to my coworkers.  I’m a bit self conscious introducing Jeremy and Edda to my coworkers and Jeremy knew this and asked are you more self conscious about me or about Edda?  It’s hard to say.  I pass as younger and goofier without Jeremy at my side even though I make no effort to hide my real age or how seriously I take my responsibilities. And Edda, well, she’s Edda.  I have told people at work that I have a special needs daughter, but it’s another matter to bring her to work.  It was fine and lovely visit and I’m not scheduled to work on my vacation and Jeremy saw the negative pressure room and the Pyxis.

Edda tolerated the flights very well, she didn’t make a ton of noise and she didn’t kick the people in front of her.  She managed her bowels well (we hope for no pooping on the plane because the airplane toilet stall is not made for two people).  So bowel-ing happened on the ground in a large bathroom stall.   Wonderful!


We are getting constant photo updates from Vince.  They seem to be having fun.  Beijing doesn’t seem super polluted or unbearably hot.