“Hey, are you ever going to write a blog and post daily photos again?,” began an e-mail I received over the weekend. “We miss it, what happened?”
What happened is that I went to China. Our daughter, who is teaching in Taiwan, met me in Beijing before Christmas. We toured all the standard Beijing sites,then traveled to Hangzhou, a lovely city south of Shanghai where our family lived while on a teacher exchange in 1987-1988. We spent some time reliving the past by visiting places we frequented 20 years ago:
Then we were fast forwarded into the present when we visited the current site of the Hangzhou Foreign Language School. Formerly housed in a sorely inadequate classic Chinese-style stucco building, HFLS now serves 3000+ students, employs about 500 people and is located on a sprawling modern suburban campus that looks more like a college than a 7th-12th grade school.
We were utterly amazed at the transformation of the school and the city. (And we highly recommend that if you visit China you just skip polluted, crowded Beijing entirely and head straight for Hangzhou.)
Meanwhile, back at the resort Bob, Quinn and our great Bearskin staff were coming up with ideas for reviving an old-fashioned Bearskin Lodge New Year’s Eve party. Andy McDonnell used to attend the Bearskin New Year’s Eve party as a kid, so he had a vision for exactly how a fun party should go — a bonfire, outside activities and tons of food. The whole staff worked extremely hard to pull off the party and by all accounts it was a superb success.
Not only didn’t I blog during this time, we also had to completely set aside the daily Bearskin pictures on the Flickr web site. As my e-mail correspondent said, “We’re really getting tired of looking at the picture site and seeing that same old orange school bus driving away from Bearskin.” Yeah, we know. We felt the same way. So look again–the school bus has been replaced and now there are lots of great new pictures each day.
It’s good to be back.