We took a 2 hour trip yesterday to Ningbo to check out the town and visit our friend Qiu Dan Ling (Anita). The weather was so hot and muggy that we wished it rain, and boy, did it!
Before the storm however, we made a visit to Tian Yi Ge, a very old private collection of books and associated building that was founded by this man, Fan Qin (1506 - 1585). There were many old buildings and a very nice garden setting in which to walk around and see displays of ancient books, mahjong tiles and art.
We walked around the gardens looking at all of the carvings and decoration...
... including this structure which is a Zun Jing Pavilion, a building built to store and respect the classics. It was originally built by a local government school, but then moved to its current location in 1934!
Sophie consistently runs everywhere at top speed and RARELY falls down no matter what surface she is running on - she's very sure footed. However today her shoe caught a crack in the walkway and down she went skinning her hands. No blood though. Peter rushed over to comfort her - what a good big brother!
Fortunately, the wounds weren't anything a little ice cream couldn't fix. It was so darn muggy today. You can see the hair sticking to her sweaty little mosquito-bitten mug.
Balancing the camera on a "monopod", or what the rest of the family unknowingly calls a "rock".
... and just off camera on the left side there are about 20 people watching us try to get this shot. We never quite got it as it took awhile to herd the kids into position, but we got close :)
We then went to lunch and timed it PERFECTLY as it started downpour like crazy. We hung out in the restaurant until there was a break, then we headed off to find Dan Ling's office in a modern office building in downtown Ningbo.
Meanwhile, she had come out in her work clothes, in the downpour to find us! Eventually, through liberal use of cellphone technology we hooked up. She showed us around her office - she works for Web English, which has a very modern facility for teaching English, and we met her co-workers, some Chinese and some westerners who were all so nice.
After her shift was over, we went to dinner at a local restaurant...
Finally, we all jumped on the bus and headed back to Hangzhou. We had a very tired driver and this big bus was WEAVING. We tried singing "99 bottles of beer" to keep him awake but on retrospect we think this just annoyed him! Finally I asked Dan Ling to say something to him. She asked him if he was ok to drive and he said he was, but now he knew we were watching him so he perked up. The next thing we knew, he had his headphones on and was serenading us with some old fashioned songs he was listening to. Nice ambiance!