Teresa (Tess) Karlinski is a retired grandmother who lives with two cats: pernickety Lady Gaga and schmaltzy Dickens. She is often behind schedule as both compete for her attention. She works best while they snooze.

2017-10-20
Guilin: Out and About
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Next stop: South Sea Pearl Museum Upon arrival, we were whisked through a five-minute presentation on the color of pearls. Glassy-eyed, the husbands trailed behind. A runway fashion show followed with five formally dressed beauties … Continue reading →...

2017-10-13
Yangshuo to Guilin
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Breakfast was meager, the second bad one and the worst of the two. We packed our bags and were downstairs for breakfast by about 7:20. The fried eggs were tough and rubbery; sausages were fine; … Continue reading →...

2017-10-06
Yangshuo: Water Buffalo and Shopping
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin After our cruise on the River Li, we traveled once again by bus to Yangshuo. We’d paid for an optional tour to visit a rice terrace, but it had been canceled. However, Lily was kind … Continue reading →...

2017-09-29
Yangshuo to River Li
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin After breakfast, the bus driver headed through the Yangshuo countryside to the Li River. Quick Facts Yangshuo is known for pomelo and persimmon trees Smoking and drinking the hardest vices to control Cigarettes very cheap: as … Continue reading →...

2017-09-15
To Yangshuo: Countryside
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin I had to catch my breath as we rushed through the zoo. Next on the agenda was a local flight to Guilin. We had to get our luggage checked and be ready to board by … Continue reading →...

2017-09-08
Chongquin, Part 1
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Real Pandas We had our last breakfast on the Yangtze Cruise ship. At 8:00 a.m. our new female guide, Romy, arrived to escort us from the ship. We disembarked at Chongqing, a long walk to the … Continue reading →...

2017-09-01
On the Yangtze, Part 7
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin How precious is a pen? I’d brought four with me and lost one. The last one is almost out of ink. What will I do if I can’t scare up more or another one? I … Continue reading →...

2017-08-25
On the Yangtze, Part 6
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin We woke at 6:25, dressed without showering and headed for early breakfast. After the cancelled excursions the past two days, I noticed passengers appeared antsy to go on the Shibaozhai trip, scheduled for 7:45 a.m., weather permitting. … Continue reading →...

2017-08-18
On the Yangtze, Part 5
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Forecast: overcast skies and temperatures between 17 and 23 degrees C. Fog, mist and cold, damp air had already set up shop. The 1:00 a.m. time slot to pass through the locks had been canceled … Continue reading →...

2017-08-11
On the Yangtze, Part 4
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin The Wu Gorge had been scheduled for 4:30 p.m. with dinner following our return at 8:30. However, the day turned wet with light rain and mist by midday. A PA announcement advised dinner time change … Continue reading →...

2017-08-04
Cruising the Yangtze, Part 3
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin I awoke before six again too lazy to rise until seven. Sue and I moseyed down to breakfast and were the first arrivals at The English 8 table. … Continue reading →...

2017-07-28
Cruising the Yangtze, Part 2
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin (Photo shortage. Nothing to take pictures of and I forgot to ‘preserve’ the buffet. Pictures next post.) Chinese Saying: “If you run out of oil for the hot pot just pour in some wine.” ~ … Continue reading →...

2017-07-21
Cruising the Yangtze, Part 1
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin My apologies for the scarcity of photos in this post. I awoke at 5:50 A.M. Outside, the weather appeared dull and overcast with a veil of hazy fog—not smog—I hoped. I called it misty because … Continue reading →...

2017-07-14
Wuhan, Part 2: Cruise Ship
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Harry, our new soft-spoken Chinese tour guide (30-ish) met us at the airport. We walked for miles and miles to reach our awaiting bus, which smelled bad: between burned electrical wiring and forgotten musty rags. … Continue reading →...

2017-07-07
[no title]
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin We had a leisurely breakfast with nothing on the schedule for the morning. Although a five-star, our hotel was situated too far from the Bund and the waterfront attractions for wandering around on our own. … Continue reading →...

2017-06-30
Shanghai, Part 6: Dinner and a Show
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin When we arrived at the hotel for dinner, a clamor ensued for the small elevator. Eight bodies crammed into this tiny, inadequate space. Something wasn’t right. “Sue’s missing,” I said. The rest of us continued up … Continue reading →...

2017-06-23
Shanghai, Part 5 – Nanjing Road
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Tummies full, when we left the restaurant around 12:45., the weather had become humid. http://www.travelchinaguide.com/cityguides/shanghai/west-nanjing-road.htm (what’s on offer) The shopping area is pedestrian-friendly with an occasional trolley/mini tour bus. Prominent other than McDonalds and Haagen-Daaz, … Continue reading →...

2017-06-16
Shanghai, Part 4 – Silk Workshop
I enjoyed another lumberjack’s breakfast. Afterward, we were treated to yet another factory tour. This one was about silk and the most enjoyable so far. Though impressed, I had no plans to shop or spend as I didn’t need anything. … Continue reading →...

2017-06-09
Shanghai, Part 3 – The Old Bazaar and More
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Chinese Saying Keep your belongings in front of you. What’s in front belongs to you; what’s behind, belongs to someone else. ~ * ~ Whenever we left or entered the bus, our tour guide … Continue reading →...

2017-06-02
Shanghai, Part 2 – The Bund and Huangpu River
Away from the stalking (however polite) salespeople at the embroidery shop, we headed to a different lunch experience. The atmosphere had a cafeteria look and feel and the tables were communal and banquet-hall length. The following links show better than … Continue reading →...

2017-05-26
Suzhou to Shanghai – Part 1
At home, my regular breakfast consists of a small container of yogurt, a hard-boiled egg, and coffee. From the first morning after our arrival in China, I ate breakfast as if it were my last meal. I even sampled more … Continue reading →...

2017-05-19
Suzhou: Part 2 – Old Town Market
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Our first stop in Suzhou, a quaint, little town with a population of 3.8 million, was at the Old Town Market. The bus parked, we followed close behind Jackie to a busy crossroad where he pointed to … Continue reading →...

2017-05-12
Suzhou: Part 1 – Jade Tour and a Flight
The day began at 5:00 a.m. and not on a good note. Sue hadn’t slept well and we had no hot water for showers. I didn’t bother, but Sue did. My hair needed washing so I stuck it underneath the … Continue reading →...

2017-05-05
Xian: Part 2 –The Real Terracotta Warriors
Before we visited the Terracotta Warrior Factory, Sue asked our tour guide, Steve, if he recognized the rash she had on her ankles. In the past few days the eruption had changed from mild to a full-blown inflamed mess. … Continue reading →...

2017-04-28
Xian, Part 1 – Old City Wall (and more)
Before leaving for the day’s tour, I exchanged $100.00 Canadian to 547 Yuan and paid no commission. A Bank of China specific area was available at the reception desk. The man was pleased with my brand new polymer Canadian bills unlike … Continue reading →...

2017-04-28
Half-empty or Half-full?
I’ve been meaning to pop in with bushels of heartfelt thanks for your cheery support and warm encouragement during my unexplained absence. I’m still here and kicking and no one is ill. It is not my intent to be mysterious, but … Continue reading →...

2017-04-21
Shaolin: Kung Fu Training and Shaolin Temple
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin Already I was confused regarding the day. My iPad said Thursday but its calendar highlighted Wednesday. My laptop also showed Wednesday. Sheesh, different time zone. The reason for my disorientation was our itinerary had been … Continue reading →...

2017-04-14
Luoyang Part 3 – Dinner and Stories
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin At 5:00 p.m., it was still 25 degrees Celsius when we left the Longmen Caves. All around us, the Chinese people dressed in sweaters and wool leggings. Our tour guide, Lisa, wore red sweat pants and … Continue reading →...

2017-04-07
Luoyang, Part 2: Longmen Caves
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin We were supposed to visit the Terra Cotta Warriors, but our schedule had been switched. Our new guide, Lisa, met us at the airport in red sweats and a quilted jacket. It was warm (forecast … Continue reading →...

2017-03-31
Luoyang, Part 1 – Domestic Flight
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin So far, our English 8 Gang has traveled from Toronto to Chicago to Beijing, approximately 7,041 miles (give or take). This does not include the bus trips in the three days since our arrival in Beijing … Continue reading →...

2017-03-24
Beijing Part 11: Special Peking Duck Dinner
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin When the bus dropped us off, we stumbled to the restaurant down an alley and a weird sidewalk, up-heaved and unfinished, or maybe under construction. We entered a shopping mall and took the escalator to … Continue reading →...

2017-03-17
Beijing Part 10: The Hutong and a Rickshaw Tour
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin After the disappointment of Olympic Park, the day became more interesting. We visited The Hutong, once the old walled city. The buildings were ancient, many were decrepit. We drove through the shopping district but did not stop. As the … Continue reading →...

2017-03-13
Obstacles
Friends, neighbors, and fellow bloggers: A truckload of obstacles we call life has dropped at my door. I need to sign off for an indefinite period. No, my health is not involved. I will miss you and our daily chats and … Continue reading →...

2017-03-10
Beijing Part 9: Olympic Park
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin The Olympic Park The Olympic grounds had been built on razed farmland. We were told all the displaced farmers had been given jobs and a better apartment than the farmhouses they’d lived in. Everyone’s happy; … Continue reading →...

2017-03-07
#ShortStory
I confess sci-fi is not me. No way am I up for this week’s #BlogBattle prompt. Instead, I offer this short story for your weekly entertainment. Heart Burn I never understood her—my mother: blonde, a goddess, svelte and self-assured … Continue reading →...

2017-03-05
Have You Met Luna Saint Claire?
Horns blare! Drumroll, please. It is with pleasure I introduce guest Luna Saint Claire who today shares background information about her début novel The Sleeping Serpent. Luna is a costume designer and author residing in Los Angeles with her husband, … Continue reading →...

2017-03-03
Beijing Part 8: The Pearl Store and Summer Palace
Image Courtesy of Sally Cronin We left the hotel at 9:00 a.m. Upon entering the Pearl building, we were bustled into a small room with folding card chairs. Our pearl instruction lady described the different types of pearls: fresh water … Continue reading →...

2017-03-03
My First Post #myfirstpostrevisited
I’ve been shanghaied nominated by Willow and Judy to re-blog my first post. Thank you, both. I don’t usually participate in blog hops as I’m always frazzled. Thank goodness this required only five nominees. A tag started by a blogger/writer called Sarah … Continue reading →...