I hear the kids playing from the daycare two doors away.  Their shrill chatter and screaming are getting on the one nerve that I have left this morning.  I remind myself that they are children and they're playing, having fun.The sky is overcast with the storm still yet to come.  It is stubborn, not yielding, not wanting to let go of the rain.  Days like these grate on me.  They remind me of New York and Beijing.  Seems like their skies are always grey with smog - especially in Beijing....more

Early Morning Walk In Beijing

Up at 4 a.m. to catch the sun rise, I was in awe of the morning sky.  The strong wind and rain yesterday cleared out the air and, for the first time, I got to see blue skies and the mountains surrounding Beijing.   Who knew???  Obscured by thick, grey pollution almost all the times I've ever been here, it's quite lovely when the pollution is washed away.  Too bad they can't program a typhoon every week to clear it out....more

Hot Damn..Hong Kong Heaven

I LOVE HONG KONG! Seriously, it is clean, civilized and gorgeous. I was lucky to stay on the outskirts in Cyperport at the Le Meridien Hotel. Infinity pool. CHECK. Crazy bean bag lounge overlooking gorgeous water view. CHECK. Walking distance to mall and park on the water where dogs, really big ones, roam free. CHECK. International grocery that sells bagels and People magazine plus cheap wine. CHECK, CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK....more

Boise to Beijing-The Journey Begins

Good bye blue skies and fresh air!  Hello grey, chunk-filled air that causes me to cough..hard.  So long family and friends!  Hello insane work schedule though I love what I do.  Tomorrow I will make the long, long journey from Boise, Idaho to Beijing, China.  Leaving behind my new granddaughter Mia and my lovely family including my husband, who will stay to oversee the purchase of our new home here in Boise, our retreat from China but primarily a vacation rental till we expatriate.  Though I have been busy working from Boise to get ready for my big project in ...more

Bullet Train to Beijing

Just call me a local because my new regular work commute is to Beijing via the bullet train--a four hour journey speeding through the polluted countryside.  We set off today for a week long adventure to Beijing and Nanjing.  Thom and I are always amused at the security "lite" detail at the train station that consists of putting your stuff through the scanner while the security gal texts her friend and shops online and being wanded haphazardly as they yawn in is quick and painless, at least for us.  They seem bored to ...more

Beijing Smiles

My husband, Thom, has made a new game out of coaxing smiles from China locals.  It’s silly, like him, and fun, like him.  This is quite the challenge but “Thom the crazy Laowai” is up to the task with his goofy grin and tenacious NYC attitude….no amount of bla...more
We could start a movement...more smiles in China!  Let's do it--one smile at a time!more


While writing a recent article for Huffington Post, “Worrywart’s 8 Stress-Reducing Things to Do in Beijing,” I began thinking about how much planning a worrier does before traveling in order to help assure things go okay.  Yet the most fun parts of a trip can result from allowing serendipity to take over, especially in Bei...more

Celebrating our 5th on Hou Hai Lake, Beijing

People say that it’s good luck to give wood for the fifth anniversary. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s probably got something to do with the adding of experiential rings; growing together, evolving. The roots that flourish bring life to more and more buds, each new year that you are together....more

A Trip to China: Final Installment

So as you know, after a few erm, technical hitches (ok, I missed my bloody flight), I finally managed to get myself from Guangzhou to Beijing by taking the train which was a very different affair from taking a train in England. It was on-time for a start. And it was fast... very fast. And it was cheap. And if that wasn't enough, the cup of green tea that I ordered from the buffet car was drinkable. So by the time I got to Beijing I was feeling pretty relaxed in readiness for the final leg of my journey the next day. ...more