Becky has left for China with her classmates. The itinerary will take them to the major Beijing sights, such as Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and Tiananmen Square, plus a day-long outing to the Great Wall, and a two-day trip to Xian. I directed her to take as many pictures as she can, with hopes of traveling vicariously through her; it’ll be a while before we get ready to explore the Far East ourselves.
We cannot stop to be amazed at the opportunities that she’s been afforded at her school.
Natasha, meanwhile, has been putting finishing touches on our upcoming family trip, arranging for personal tour guides, tickets to opera, dinner reservations and such. Only 9 days left, after by far the longest stay-home period of our European lives (my short hop to Scotland aside).
I joined a walking challenge with my UCF friends, which means I now walk around all day with a pedometer. To no surprise at all, I do not walk nearly enough on a regular day. Even worse, getting to the desired minimum of 10,000 steps a day is problematic, unless one is willing to get out of the house for 15-20 minutes of vigorous walking at the end of the day. When it’s cold, windy and rainy, most likely.
On the other hand, I seem to be doing ok with the desired minimum distances. Must be those long and graceful strides of mine that add up to enough of a distance even when I’m still short on steps.
On Saturday, with not much of any walking done by 4 in the afternoon, I decided to make a solitary trek around a likely street circuit. The weather alternated between blue skies and sleeting rain all day long, but it was sunny when I stepped out of the house. Five minutes into my walk, an ominous cloud moved in and it started raining again. I wisely carried an umbrella with me, but it was still a not very pleasing experience. I completed my planned route and realized that I was still about 2,000 steps short. It was too dismal outside to keep walking. I went inside.
Two minutes after I changed out of my street clothes, the skies cleared. Go figure. Were I superstitious at all, I might have taken that as a sign…
Sunday’s weather was a bit better. We spent most of the day out and about with friends. Kimmy was in a playground heaven.