November 22, 2013
Randy & I have just
returned from Randy's "dream trip".
We went to China!
Honestly, I'd never wanted to go, but having run out of valid excuses,
he convinced me that this was a "window of opportunity" not
to be missed (i.e., everyone is healthy, including us, knock wood, and
we have capable people to take care of our businesses).
The tour organizers
(Kansans who once lived in China and have led 23 other trips back)
sent us a reading list in preparation, and I was hooked! I
absolutely loved every moment of our trip! Even the bus trip in
the fog up the mountain with 396 hair-pin turns! (I am not
landed in Beijing, sort of equivalent to NYC, with the population
nearly 4 x more dense!
Our first full day of
touring included climbing a section of the Great Wall. What a
blast! Had my picture taken with our excellent local guide,
Jason. Notice I'm wearing my Charlotte's Sew Natural shop shirt!
China is just about the
size of the continental US, and we got as far west as Yunnan province
(like getting to Utah?), near the Himalayan Mountains, then made many
other stops including a cruise on the Yangtze River, and flew home
from Shanghai in the south-east of China.
Since our flight out of
Chicago headed east and north, flying over Greenland and Russia
en-route, and our flight out of Shanghai flew west to San Francisco,
we actually flew around the world! How cool was that?!
I literally took
thousands of pictures, and so have come up with a few which may be
worthy of sharing! LOL
I did not see any
evidence of "patchwork sewing" while I was in China.
(The quilts in my picture are all printed.) If anyone knows of a
movement towards recreational "patchwork & quilting" in
China, I'd love to hear about it.
Sunday, in a park, I saw women
knitting together in a group, and I saw a couple of women who appeared
to be doing embroidery "just for fun".
We visited a silk
embroidery "school & factory", but the beautiful
pictures were being produced as a commodity, not a leisure-time
craft. The teacher & I had a great visit. Her English
was very good, and we both talk with our hands! LOL
Our group visited a
"silk factory", where we learned how they get the silk from
the cocoons, and I had the opportunity to "pull"
a stack of 64 cocoons to add to a silk duvet in progress. It was
very DIFFICULT! The white sleeved arm is reaching in to try to
salvage the tourists' attempt! LOL
This reminds me, as I
said, many capable hands kept the stores & web site running
smoothly. Thank you to my staff!
Thanks to all of you for
your continued support and for all the sewing and shopping that
continued while I was gone. And especially for welcoming me back
so warmly this week!
I'm working out some
"kinks" in the process, but hopefully, by later today, I'll
have more pictures and stories posted. If you'd like to see
more on my trip, please keep an eye on my blog: