Sunday, August 17, 2008

Catching up!

I have been missing time to post lately, but will take a minute to catch up on some things while my photos are downloading from my disk.

Saturday, USA played against Chinese Taipei and won again. After the game we were supposed to pick Catherine up at a gate to the village so that she could come to the house to visit and have dinner with us. She has heard so much about the dinners our housekeeper has cooked, she wanted to try it first hand. We had a spot to pick her up that she said taxis are always there. But try as they might, our drivers could not get near the gate to the village that we were to pick her up at. We tried to make some other arrangements with Catherine, but they are not allowed to leave the village by themsleves, so we had to abandon that idea and she went back to her apartment in the village.

We ended up walking around A LOT!!! A few of the parents had mentioned that they went to the Olympic Green, on the grounds where Birds Nest Stadium is. We walked around for what seemed like almost 1 1/2 hours and could not get in to the Green either. It just was not to be our lucky day. We did get a few cool pics of the stadium and the torch and found out a bit more info about the building we are all calling the squiggly building. (See picture in the slideshow from Saturday) It is a five star hotel, according to our interpreter Roy. I think I have said it before, but architecture here is very cool.

Today, since the softball game was not until 7:30, we went to the Summer Palace and to Yuanmingyuan Gardens for sightseeing. Both places were again much walking, but very beautiful. I kept thinking, as we walked around the Summer Palace, about all the man hours and labor that went into and still go into building something like that. There is a 5 ton statue of Budda up there, and the intracate painting on the ceilings is unbelievable! At Yuanmingyuan there was a maze for the kids to spend some time to wander through and they could also climb on much of the ancient ruins there. A first for them!

The game was another first, we think. I was waiting for the USA site to provide an update, but we think tonight's game was a perfect game for Monica. And likely the first for USA. She looked strong tonight, and the ball was popping into the glove well. Coach also shook the infield up a bit, putting Crystl in at 3rd tonight, and Lappin in for Tasha,and Vicky in for Lovie, and Bergie over in right field. So I got some photos of them, but missed a great diving catch by Bergie.

Several of you have written asking what I am using for my photos. I have a Canon 20D for most of my photos. (Some of them are from Chris and Craig's camera, but only those from sight seeing) I have a great lens that Gary and Catherine bought me for Mother's Day this year. It is a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 Macro. I am having so much fun shooting the games with it. Otherwise I switch between my little Canon 35-80 mm and my Tamron 28-75 mm.

Well, I had best end this post tonight and get to bed. It is almost midnight here. I will get more photos uploaded in the morning.

Good night all!


judypaschke said...

Hi Laura,

I am a relative, & I don't think we've ever met. I am a first cousin to your dad. His dad & mine were brothers. My dad's name was Ferd & one of my brothers is Rick Kellen. He says you have met. I am Judy (Kellen) Paschke. Have lived in California for many years, but grew up in Rogers Park where my dad had greenhouses.

We watched Cat pitch & I knew from your mom's past Christmas letters that she's a relative. We checked her blog, & found yours, & have been following along ever since.

Cat is incredible & congratulations to all of you.

Your travelogue & pictures are very enjoyable. We toured in China last October so you are bringing back many good memories.

Continued good success to Cat & Team USA.

Judy Kellen Paschke

Brian said...

Thanks for joining the blogosphere and keeping everyone updated on all the details of your journey! Don't be surprised if Sports Illustrated approaches you with a job offer as a photog, lol. You've managed to capture some awesome shots so far. Btw, now i know where Cat gets her good looks, ;->. I had the honor of meeting her four times during the B4B tour and each time she was extremely gracious; she is even more beautiful in person. She continues to enthrall and inspire countless people from all walks of life.

I hear that in Japanese gardens you can't tell where art begins and nature ends and it sounds like there's a similar ambiance in The Garden of Perfection and Light as well.

From the peking duck to the Great Wall it sounds like ya'll are having a wonderful time. Hopefully you'll have the opportunity to visit the Forbidden City because I hear that it is absolutely breathtaking.

I pray the remainder of ya'll's excursion is even more sensational. Please tell Cat "Good Luck" and please continue to keep us all updated. Thanks a billion Mrs. O!!