Weekly Photo Challenge – A Face in the Crowd

Our family vacation to China and Hong Kong was a memorable trip. When I first made plan for the trip, we had ten people on the list. The travel agency was able to book a private tour with a van and our own driver. Our itinerary included Beijing, Xi’an, Guilin and Hong Kong. We flew from Los Angeles, U.S. to Beijing, China to start our tour. The travel agency made arrangement for the connecting flights and had local guide/driver pick us up from each city. Several weeks before the trip, three family members were not able to make it. With only seven of us, we thought the travel agency would put us in a large group. It was fortunate that we still could have our private tour.

During this trip, we saw faces everywhere. In this post I only include a few photos of Beijing and two photos of Hong Kong. At the Beijing airport, we were a small crowd with seven of us and a few people around. I love to take scenery photos, but in popular vacation places, it’s hard to take photos without including a crowd.


In fact, Will, my son-in-law’s mom Kathy had never seen a big crowd such as the one she saw in Hong Kong, and she gave us a surprised look! The night life is full of energy in this city!

Weekly Photo Challenge – A Face in the Crowd


Weekly Photo Challenge – Variations on a Theme

When Mercy was in 5th grade, she and I took a ceramic painting class at a ceramic wholesale shop. It was a hobby we both enjoy and continue to keep. Several years ago, we had a mother-daughter outing and went to do ceramic painting. When we took the class together, my first project was painting the grey bottlenose dolphins. I’ve developed the fondness toward dolphins and have various collection of dolphins.

We are also delighted to watch live dolphins in different occasions. On one of the vacations in Maui, my husband went diving and swam with the dolphins. On another vacation in North Carolina, my husband went diving and we were so happy to see a school of dolphins up close.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Variations on a Theme

Weekly Photo Challenge – Weathered Rock Formations

Mercy and Will went to Zion National Park in 2016 for Canyonning and rock climbing. They took rock climbing lessons prior to their adventure. It was an awing experience to them.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park in southern Utah is amid the impressive National Parks and National Monuments. The Park’s abundant beauty stops visitors in their tracks and leaving them gaping in awe. The crushing violence of Mother Nature has created the weathered perfection in the heart of Utah.


The nine-known exposed geologic formations in Zion National Park are part of a super-sequence of rock units called the Grand Staircase. The rock formations represent about 150 million years of mostly Mesozoic-aged sedimentation in North America.

  • Uplift affected the entire region, known as the Colorado Plateaus, by slowly raising these formations more than 10,000 feet (3,000 m) higher than where they were deposited.

  • The faster-moving streams took advantage of uplift-created joints in the rocks. Eventually, all Cenozoic-aged formations were removed, and gorges were cut into the plateaus. Zion Canyon was cut by the North Fork of the Virgin River in this way. During the latter part of this process, lava flows and cinder cones covered parts of the area.

  • High water volume after snowstorm in wet seasons does most of the downcutting in the main canyon.



  • Guided horseback riding trips, nature walks, and evening programs are available from late March to early November.

  • The Junior Ranger Program for ages 6 to 12 is active from Memorial Day to Labor at the Zion Nature Center.

  • Seven trails with round-trip times of half an hour (Weeping Rock) to 4 hours are found in Zion Canyon.

  • Lodging in the park is available at Zion Lodge, located halfway through Zion Canyon.

  • Three campgrounds are available. Overnight camping in the backcountry requires permits.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zion_National_Park#Geology

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weathered

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Circle

The theme for Frank’s Photo Challenge is “Circle.”

We have traveled to different places and delighted to see the artistic designs of the garden, courtyard, street using circular green in grass areas or green bushes. They deserve my admiration for the creativity.

The first photo is the Prince-Bishops Residence which is a palace in Würzburg, Germany. The second and third photos are the garden in Getty Museum, Los Angles. The last photo is the view from the southeast on the top level of the Eiffel Tower, looking down the Champ de Mars (Field of Mars) which is a large public greenspace in Paris, France.

IMG_0697 Prince-Bishops' residence

IMG_2363a Getty Museum

getty-garden2Eiffel Tower 1

Frank’s Durch Goes the Photo: Tuesday Photo Challenge – Circle

Weekly Photo Challenge – Neuschwanstein Castle

On our vacation trip in Germany, we visited the Neuschwanstein Castle. We ascended the castle on horse-drawn carriage. We were given a shot of vodka and a wool blanket on our laps before ascending.

The Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival Palace on a rugged hill top above the village of Hohenschwangau with an elevation of 800 m (2,620 ft) in southwest Bavaria, Germany.  The fairytale castle was commissioned by King Ludwig II as a retreat and a homage to the king’s favorite composer Richard Wagner.

The construction began in 1869. The estimation for completion was 3 years. In 1884, the King finally moved in, but the palace was still not completed. He only stayed in the palace for 11 nights before his death in 1886.

Had it been completed, the palace would have had more than 200 interior rooms, no more than about 15 rooms and halls were finished. The largest room is the Hall of the Singers, followed by the Throne Hall.

The Hall of Singers was decorated with scenes from Wagner’s opera, which is based on German mythology Lohengrin, the ‘Swan Knight’. Richard Wagner died in 1883 and had never seen the completed castle. The first performance in the Hall of the Singers took place in 1933: A concert commemorating the 50th anniversary of Richard Wagner’s death.

Walt Disney was so inspired by the fairytale architecture of Neuschwanstein that he used it to create Cinderella’s castle in the 1950 animated film, and the Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.

ascend 1

ascend 2


Weekly Photo Challenge: Ascend

Weekly Photo Challenge – Peek

When I travel, I love to peek through the airplane windows to see if I could capture some interesting sights. The photos in this post were the aerial views from my recent trips to Portland, Oregon to visit my daughter, son-in-law, and my granddaughter.

Sunset on the way to California
Above the rain clouds over the California mountains
Overlooking Portland area

Weekly Photo Challenge: Peek

Weekly Photo Challenge – Rounded

The theme of this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge is “rounded.” I take the literal interpretation to choose the landmark structures, buildings, and the dancing water that we visited in Spain.

rounded 1
Fountain in Granada
rounded 2
Bullring, Plaza De Toros in Granada
rounded 4
Arts & Science Building in Valencia
rounded 5
Dancing Water Show in Barcelona

Weekly Photo Challenge – Rounded