Main Gate at Asakusa (36 Hours in Tokyo)
January and February have come and gone but it's like the movie, Groundhog Day, here ~ still quilting Molly's quilt, still looking out the window at snow, watching it fall endlessly, once again ushered in by a polar vortex. (Who ever even heard of a polar vortex before?) I think this winter seems so long to me because in recent years I've high-tailed it to Japan to visit Molly in January and take in the annual Tokyo Quilt Festival. I really missed that this year, both the change of scenery and the quilt show. As a small consolation, I've been visiting Tokyo vicariously this week, through my daughter-in-law Heather's travel blog, Ferreting Out the Fun.
In the Cambodian countryside (Far Flung Temples and a Wild Ride)
Like many of us, Heather started her blog as an easy way to keep in touch with distant family when she and K moved to Shanghai a few years ago. In their two short years there, they were fortunate to be able to travel quite a bit both within China and to numerous countries in the area ~ South Korea, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, among others. And as they traveled, she documented, snapping thousands of photos and noting small details that might otherwise be forgotten.
Airborne lanterns in Thailand (Celebrating Loi Krathong in Chiang Mai)
Quickly, Ferreting Out the Fun started gaining a wider audience. Heather was asked to write articles for a Vietnamese travel magazine and mention of FOTF popped up on Huffington Post and numerous travel sites. Soon, readers, not satisfied with mere observations about accommodations and restaurants, started requesting more information about pricing, etc. As a result, her posts now are not only a great escape, but a wonderful resource for travelers. She's set up her front page to accommodate post searches by location, among the usual criteria. Lots of good recommendations if you're thinking about a trip!
Miao woman (Dali Ancient Town, a Place You'll Want to Dally)
I've previously written of my son K's preference to fly under the radar. For the first two years of the blog, Heather wrote under a pseudonym. With her audience is growing, however, she decided to 'come out' and in her New Year's post she introduced herself to her readers, which gave all of us who know her a good laugh. You still won't find K anywhere in sight, but if you read the recent posts from Japan, you might just spy Molly popping up here and there.
Giant Buddha of Leshan (Seeing the World's Largest Buddha in China)
My favorite posts usually fall into two categories ~ exotic locations I'll probably never get the chance to visit and fun observations on various cultural themes. Among them:
- Sumtseling Tibetan Monastery, Shangri-la
- A Luxurious Junk Boat Cruise of Halong Bay (Vietnam)
- Lijiang, China: Is Beauty Only Skin Deep? (A roadside dentist?!)
- Pandamonium in Chengdu (Visit to a panda preserve)
- Say What? The Best Chinglish from Two Years in China (For a good laugh)
- Snapshot: Laundry Day in Shanghai
- Seven Things You Might Not Know about China
Students' silk embroidery (Baisha Village and China's Famous Medicine Man)
Currently, the kids are back in the States for a while and Heather has been writing posts about fun spots here in the U.S. as well as cultural reflections on favorite past locations. Soon they'll be departing for their next adventure, a two year stint in a place about as different from Shanghai as you can imagine. She hasn't announced on the blog yet where that will be, but I'm already planning my next big trip. Hint ~ I'll be packing my mittens!