My Trip to China: Huangshan Part 1

via Daily Prompt: Witness

(NOTE: Please do not take any photos- they are all mine. Thanks!)

My family and I had to take a really long ride (like 9 hours?) from Shanghai to Huangshan. Unfortunately, it was the rainy season, so we got caught in the rain with only two rain jackets. Luckily we avoided some of the rain under this mushroom stone structure. We couldn’t go anywhere with a storm more than a 1000km above the ground.

The peaks were dizzying but the day was so beautiful.

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The Essence of a Meal

Daily prompt: Feast

Mmmm… Who doesn’t like the idea of sitting down to a big, delicious feast? We all welcome the idea of gouging on that crispy roast chicken or chocolate cake. Scrumptious food- perhaps even those delicate plates and prettily folded napkins- is what we think a fancy meal is about.

We hardly think about what it means to sit down and enjoy our food. We stuff ourselves silly and then leave. Or maybe we weren’t even eating in the dining room in the first place.

What is the essence of a meal? Is it the excitement leading up to it? The gorging of food? Or is it the blissful feeling of fullness and picking your teeth afterwards for meaty bits?

It’s the people. The very people you sit down to eat with. Together, you eat and talk and bond and laugh.

Many people often don’t eat together with their family. Maybe it’s takeout in front of the TV, eating out late because of a job, pizza at a friend’s  house, or just eating by yourself in your room. Just 10 or 15 minutes of quality conversation during a meal is important. If you think about it, the whole family usually doesn’t spend much time together. Mom’s doing dishes, dad’s watching TV, the kids are playing or doing homework upstairs. Family time is important and that makes mealtimes together important.

Meals are a chance to catch up with each other, relax, maybe teach better eating habits, and ultimately lead to healthier relationships. Dinner doesn’t have to be the fanciest meal; it can be super simple. It’s not too much about what you’re eating.

If you eat dinner together everyday, for say, 20 minutes, multiply that by 365 and you’ll be adding 121 hours and 40 minutes more to the total time spent with your family in a year. It’ll be even greater if you eat lunch together on the weekends. So today, be sure to ask your loved ones about their day while you’re dissecting that chicken leg.

Fireworks Update

Daily Prompt: Burn

As many of you may know, yesterday was Canada Day. My city had a fireworks display nearby so my family and I went to check it out.

The fireworks were supposed to start at 10:00 pm but we went around 20 minutes early. Gosh, it was soooo cold! I was only wearing a hoodie and I felt sorry I hadn’t worn anything warmer. I was jealous of everyone who wore winter parkas and brought furry blankets. That’s summer for you in Canada.

Despite the freezing cold, the fireworks were beautiful. I love how when they go on, everybody just stops and stares. Can you imagine? Hundreds of people standing still in a park, gazing up at the same sky, all captivated by the same lights.

So if you’re in the mood for a little celebration, I hope these pictures will bring a little spark to your day. Enjoy 🙂

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Happy Canada Day!

Daily Prompt: Pleasure

Hey everyone, I’m so happy today! It’s July the 1st, the birthday of my beautiful nation. Happy Birthday Canada- I’m so proud to call you home!

Here are all the reasons why I love Canada:

  1. Democracy
    We have the freedom to vote and to speak what we think. Power to the people!

    democracy.jpg                                         Image source: the Manitoulin Expositor

  2. Healthcare
    Compared to many other countries, Canadians are really fortunate to have access to free, high quality health care.

    canada health care.jpg                                                        Image Source: Health on Earth

  3. Bilingualism
    All Canadians students have access to learning French on top of English. Très cool!

    bilingualism.jpg                                                      Image Source: Parkland Players

  4. The many cultures!
    You could have come from any corner of this universe and you would fit right in with the rest of the community. 🙂

    multicultural.jpg                                                Image source: Canadian Geographic

  5. Education
    All children can access good education, it doesn’t matter where you came from, where you live, or how much money you have. You can learn.

    education.jpg
    Image source: Bulls and Mosquitoes

  6. Equality
    Canada regards all genders/ races/religions with equality- everyone is a part of the community.

    equality.jpg                                               Image source: Local.gov.uk

  7. Environment
    Canadian landscapes are absolutely breath-taking, ranging from forests to lakes to mountains. There are also a huge variety of animals throughout the nation (which allows me to go fishing :D).

    environment.jpg                                                Image source: Travel and Escape

  8. Comfort
    Canadians are blessed with a very good standard of living compared to many other countries. Clean water, clean food, and clean air.

    refreshed.jpg                                                       Image source: Valpak

  9. The Food
    We have our own culture as well and that includes food! Start your day with a plate of fluffy pancakes drizzled with fresh maple syrup. Try some poutine (hot fries with cheese and gravy) or a beaver tail (deep-fried dough topped with whipped cream, chocolate hazelnut, cinnamon sugar, or whatever you desire). YUM!

    pancake.jpg
    Image source: BBC

    HAPPY 149TH BIRTHDAY CANADA!