Sunday, June 21, 2009

Next Stop, China

Now that my daughter's wedding is complete, my next major point of focus will be the final preparations for my Total Solar Eclipse tour of China, only 23 days away.

I should mention here that the wedding was a complete success, a good time was had by all and everything went like clockwork, boils down to good organization and the tons of work my wife put into it, even picking out my suit and tie. Even the weather co-operated, if my trip to China goes the same way I'll be a happy camper.

The major contributing factor to a good trip will of course be the weather, if cloudy skies, no see eclipse, having said that even with no Solar Eclipse I will still be in China, what a remarkable place to visit, so rich in history and tons of cool things to do and see.

I have bought lots of books on China since first deciding on doing the tour and have learned a lot about this fascinating place, such as;

-China's climate ranges from sub-arctic in the north to tropical in the south.

-China straddles 5 time zones but has adopted UTC, (Coordinated Universal Time), which is Greenwich Mean Time + 8 hours.

-China has the world's oldest continuous civilization dating back 8,000 years.

-China has the longest continuously used written language system in the world.

-Chinese astronomers were the first to record a meteor shower in 2133 BC. and a Solar Eclipse in 1217 BC.

-Over a million prisoners, peasants and soldiers were used to build the Great Wall of China. It took over 1700 years to build and stretches 1500 miles, and I'll be seeing it live and in person.

-Many religions are practiced in China; Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Heaven worship, Chinese folk religion, Christianity, and several other new religions and sects.

-The Chinese language has over 20,000 characters.

- Chinese invented the first ice cream in the 7th century.

- The Chinese actually invented a lot of cool things, gunpowder, rockets and fireworks, printing, books, papermaking and paper money, the abacus, stirrups, wheelbarrows, seismometers, porcelain, silk, the compass and kites. The kite was used for military purposes, spying or carrying messages.

-China's name came from the Qin Dynasty, (pronounced chin).

Somehow this whole going to China seems so surreal to me still, me...... who is so afraid of flying and an going off to China by myself, what am I thinking? It is kind of liberating to be able to tackle so many of my fears at one time, like I'm taking control of my life and doing what I want and not letting the phobias take control of me.

I'm going to leave you now with a You Tube video of the Terra-Cotta Warriors, one of my stops on my surreal tour.


Stephanie B said...

I'm SO happy for you and I'm glad the wedding went smoothly.

Moonshadow said...

I am sooo jealous! You better take plenty of pictures and not just of the eclipse. :) The terra cotta figures have fascinated me since I first heard of them. So much history, so little time.

Daisy said...

I'm glad the wedding went well. I hope you have excellent weather for your trip to China!

Dr. Lauren said...

Congrats on the nuptials and good luck on your trip. I would love to see the wall in person.:D :-D

Ruth said...

Somehow I think the planet is going to cooperate with you, and you will have clear skies. I didn't realize you are going alone! That's fantastic (I don't mean anything against your wife!) - because there is something so cool about traveling alone once in a while, and on such a momentous journey, you will be doing just what you please all the time. But if you're like I was in Paris alone, you'll be chatting with someone at some point during the day to share it, because you'll be busting to.

I was thinking about you all weekend and the wedding. I hope ours turns out so well.

FishHawk said...

Umm, while it is good and dark over there, could you find some time to slip over into North Korea and take care of some much needed business?

Max said...

Hey Bob :D!

I see that you joined SB: welcome!!! :D I am so happy that you are a part of our community!!

Now, I wish you all the luck and excellent weather for you China trip *crossing my fingers*! I will be going on vacations, myself, in 15, I wish you all the best: have loads of fun and take a lot of photos :D!

Aww, your daughter was such a beautiful bride: did you drool with pride? lol ;)
I am glad it all went well *phew*...I know how stressing it can be to organise a wedding...I am glad your wife survived it :)!

So, Chinese language didn't evolve much, eh? I am not sure that is a good thing...but oh well...

" Chinese invented the first ice cream in the 7th century." - the Arab world claims this as well...but either way, I am grateful to both nations :D! I love ice cream!!!

Everything will be fine, Bob: consider it a spiritual trip (where you will find yourself) :)! God will be with you!

Wonderful post :D!

Have a blessed week!


Rolly said...

Best wishes and congratulations to your nice trip.

Joro Livelihood
Joro, The New Beginning
Absolutely Joro
The World Of Joro
The Tale Of A Bukidnon Lad
Baconchezjoro Multiply

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Stephanie, it went very smooth.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

For sure moonshadow, I intend on taking lots of pics, hopefully get some good ones with the telephoto of the warriors.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot Daisy, fingers crossed for the weather.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Dr. Lauren, the Wall is something I've always wanted to see in person but never thought I would.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ruth, my wife is going with a close friend to Italy so I will be doing this one alone, but like you say there will be people of like mind to chat with over there, should be very cool. Good luck with your upcoming wedding, I'm sure everything will go awesome.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Lol FisHawk, I'll see what I can do.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Max, yes I joined just have to take the time now to visit the other great sites on SB. Have a great time on your vacation and take lots of pics too.

My wife is starting to relax a little and has taken this week off to refresh, it went so well and yes I was very proud of the both of them.

Have a great week too Max.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Rolly thanks a lot and thanks for dropping by.\m/\m/

kRiZ cPEc said...

guess you must be getting more excited by the day, good luck!

Character Education said...

Good Luck on your trip: Lucky u r:

Ivanhoe said...

Oh Bob, I'm so jealous. In a good way though :o) How long is your trip? I'm sure it's at least a couple of weeks...
Wishing you cloudless skies!

Swubird said...


Congratulations on a fine wedding. The pictures look like something you can be proud of. One of our daughters was married just two years ago, so I can relate to your experience.

I know your excited about the upcoming trip. I don't blame you. One of our daughters went there for a few weeks several years ago. She said the experience was very enlightening. It's definitely not like the USA or Canada. It ought to be interesting.

Great video. I love that display. Such a task of putting all of those soldiers together.

Happy stargazing.

Cashmere said...

Hey Bob!

Congrats to your daughter and glad it was a success.. I'm anticipating your trip to China also.. I'm excited for you.. :)

Anyway, thanks for dropping by my blog and for your kind words and concern.. Appreciate it.. :)

Bob Johnson said...

I sure am kRiZ cPEc, everyday it gets closer the more real it seems.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Character Education.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Ivanhoe, it is a ten day tour, but I am taking 2 weeks off.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks swubird, who knows, I may have another wedding coming up.

I have talked to a couple people that have been, they said get ready for some culture, it will be a once in a lifetime experience for sure.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Cashmere thanks a lot!\m/\m/

Roger said...

Your going to ave a great time Bobo! Pack your hiking shoes for the wall!

Mike said...

Glad the wedding went well for you. Now you can concentrate on getting ready for your big trip. Good luck and thanks for continuing to share your adventures. Excited to see what you will be sharing about the trip.

Bob Johnson said...

Hey Roger thanks, I will be taking my hiking shoes,lol.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Mike, it will be an interesting journey, probably post little posts everyday.\m/\m/

Lynda Lehmann said...

Congrats on the wedding! It's great that it went so well--not always the case!

You, an introvert? Honestly, I never would have guessed, in spite of your solitary sky pursuits. :)

You will have a great time! I would love to see that wall, and look forward to your photos.

I think most of us have some qualms about flying. One would not be sane to completely LOVE being in the sky in a lone, moving object, lol. I always psych myself into believing that the clouds are like a safety net that would catch the plane in an emergency. I can (sort of) make myself believe it long enough to get through the trip.

But statistically, you have a real good chance of having a totally uneventful flight!

I hope you have a wonderful time.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Lynda, clouds as safety nets, I'll have to give that a try, I'll try anything once,lol.\m/\m/

Anna said...

Hey Bob now you are China expert, and you have not made it there yet, lol. I have special connection with Chinese culture too, I am a big fan of Bruce Lee, lol.

BTW bride looked beautiful! And your wife is amazing, too bad that she is not going to China with you lol, but may be it is time to learn of Independence, like you said. Hopefully I will break that fear one day too, I always need a guard with me......otherwise I usually end get lost somewhere [not funny, I really did couple of times, lol]

Excellent post, and thanks for sharing stuff about China. Anna :)

Final_Transit said...

Bob, as you describe the preparation, I am excited as well! Especially since Indian and Chinese cultures are so linked. The Chinese say that India dominated China for 2 millenniums without sending a single soldier across. You will have such a fun time there! Please take tons of pictures for us. :)

Bob Johnson said...

Lol Anna, I liked Bruce Lee as well. I'm hoping I won't get lost too soon, I like to wander off, we shall see what happens,lol.

Bob Johnson said...

Hi Priyank, yes I will be taking tons of pictures and doing lots of posts the weeks after the trip, won't be going back again so might as well take advantage of the situation.\m/\m/

gLoR!e said...

I was in China unfortunately was not able to go Great Wall of China..i'm some kind of sad but time didn't make it!:(

Congrats to the newly weed and have a save trip to China!:)

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks Glor!e, too bad you didn't get to see the Great Wall, I'll take lots of pics.\m/\m/

kml said...

Glad the wedding went well and you all enjoyed it!

I'll keep my fingers crossed for good weather on your trip.

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot Kathy!!\m/\m/

Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

I'm sooooo happy for you, Bob!!! Two important miles stones in your life!!!

Great pics and post. The wedding looks AWESOME!!! Am looking forward to your China photos. :D

Hugs, JJ

AngelBaby said...

Wow this was really cool, I loved the video about clay figures. China is so interesting to study, it has been around so long the history is amazing. I hope you have a wonderful trip and take lots of pictures.

Love and Blessings,

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks JJ, I am very much looking forward to my trip as well, lots of pics will be taken.\m/\m/

Bob Johnson said...

Thanks a lot AngelBaby, I will be taking lots of images, so much to see, so much to do, so little time.\m/\m/

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