Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wonderful Friends and a Great Trip

It's Saturday afternoon.  We got back from our whirl-wind tour of China late Thursday night.  We had a truly wonderful time.  Ken's sister Takae San had never been to China before and we wanted to introduce her to that wonderful country as well as our good friends from the ASTM days.  Our first stop was Beijing where our dear friend Liu Fei arranged everything from a fabulous foot massage to a wonderful dinner at the Lao She Tea House with old friends including Liu Fei's wife Hu and son Zuyuan, Zheng Weihua, President of CNIS and his wife and son Yao, Nancy Hu, Wonderful Wang Ping, and Mrs. Guo Dehua.  It was a joyful evening.  (See first photo for the dinner crew.)

Monday we visited the Forbidden City and had a chance to visit the ASTM office in Beijing.  Then we took off for Xian and a day and 1/2 visiting the Terra - Cotta Warriors, the provincial historical museum, and a grand dinner of 18 courses of one dumpling each.

On Wednesday morning we flew to Shanghai and that afternoon we visited Li Hong Zheng and her husband Sun.  They brought us to their beautiful apartment located close to our hotel.  Li Hong was a guest of ASTM's for two months about five years ago.  We have kept in close contact all these years and it was just so great to be able to visit her in her own home.  Afterwards we had the best meal of all in a wonderful old restaurant close to our hotel.   

On Thursday morning after a walk in the park right across from our hotel, another great friend - Ma Na - from the Shanghai Institute for Standardization came by and picked us up and took us to yet another fabulous restaurant where we were joined by Grace.  Ma Na and Grace were both standards experts who were the guests of ASTM for one month also a few years ago.  They are two fabulously smart, funny, accomplished women.  Again, it was such a pleasure to see them again.  Ken, Yumiko and I feel so lucky to be so welcomed and to feel so at home with these dear friends.  

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