Gone to a place that is unknown to many...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Harbin Ice Festival

My mother came to DC to visit me and my brother two weeks ago. When she was here, she brought a lot of pictures so that I could view them. My father took these pictures when he was in China two months ago for his business trip. The highlight of his trip was a visit to the Harbin Ice Festival. Here are several pictures I saw:

An ice sculpture over an Olympics logo

"Snow" house

Even a door could be found in a 'snow' house

A typical day during the festival

May the night began!

You can walk on the sculpture!

Ice sculptures decorated with impressive colors of light!

This is what "Ice and Snow World" in Harbin is like!

I learned that this is the 23th International Ice and Snow Festival in Harbin, the China's northernmost major city. I also discovered that Harbin was in a race for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but it was awarded to Vancouver, Canada, instead. I don't think I will ever visit Harbin, due to its murderous cold weather - how does -15 degrees Fahrenheit sound to you?! However, I am really glad my father got a chance to visit there.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ever heard of Valentine, Texas?

Yes, there is a town of Valentine in Texas. For some real fun, you could mail a stamped letter to a post office in Valentine and ask a postmaster to mail it for you.

This is the stamped letter I wanted to be postmarked in Valentine, Texas

To make it even more exciting, how about using a pseudo name so that the recipient of your letter will never know who it comes from. That's what I did last year, and it was a lot of fun! It drove the recipient really crazy, as she was unable to figure where the letter came from!

This is the one I mailed to a postmaster in Valentine, Texas

That's a piece of cake, don't you think? I did a google search on Valentine, Texas, and discovered that they receive a large volume of letters in month of January or February. They even have their own postmark design, made for Valentine's. Other than that, it is pretty small town - only 200 people live there.

I would also like to mention that there is also a town of North Pole in Alaska. In fact, I have been there before, as mentioned in a post of December 2005. Perhaps you could have your Christmas cards postmarked there and mail them to your friends? Now, that would be a lot of fun and add more spices!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Where Amelia Earhart lived

WHERE EARHART LIVED: Allow me to tell you a bit about myself. I was born in Boston and grew up in Medford, Massachusetts. Some history buffs probably would already know this, but Medford is also a town where Amelia Earhart lived. In fact, her house is on the same street where I lived and grew up.

A marker of Amelia Earhart on Brooks Street

Amelia Earhart's home

My family's next-door neighbor in Medford happened to be a good friend of Amelia Earhart's sister, Muriel Earhart Morrissey. I had a privilege to meet her in our neighbor's home. She even wrote a biography book, "Amelia Earhart, my courageous sister." Not only that, but she also gave a book to my family and signed it. From what I know, Muriel died in 1998. Thus, that means she spent more than 60 years wondering what happened to her sister. Nevertheless, her book is very detailed and I really enjoy reading it!