Monday, August 27, 2012

Panda's at Beijing Zoo

Day 10 - So glad we got to see the Pandas while in China.  But the most memorable was the Pelican scaring me to death when it took off flying!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beijing - Forbidden City

Day 9 - Our arrival in Beijing, China's most well know city and visits to the Forbidden City and Tien'namen Square.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Terracotta Warriorrs

Day 8 - Even more than the Great Wall I was most interested to see the Terracotta Warriors and they did not disappoint.  I still cannot believe why someone thought they needed all these "body-guards" in the afterlife!

Monday, August 20, 2012


Day 7 - Xi'an thought to be one cities in China with the most history so only fitting we started our visit by going to a history museum.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Day 6 - Who would have thought we'd go to a cave while in Asia?  Certainly not one as beautiful or as large as the Snowy Jade Cave.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lesser Three Gorges

Day 5 - Seeing the sights and many cities along the Yangtze including a visit to the White Emperor Castle.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

July 4th

With July 4th falling on a Wednesday we opted for a low key barbeque with some friends.  Darren made some delicious ribs.  One of the great things about living where we live is the view of the downtown fireworks.  Like last year we sat on our porch and enjoyed the show.


Darren with Wes and Jay. 

The guys with Mollie and me.  Vic had gone home already to watch the fireworks with Rebecca.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012


Day 3 - Arriving at our riverboat cruise ship for our sail along the Yangtze river.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Dad's Birthday Weekend

The weekend in between my Dad's birthday and Father's Day, mom and dad came up for the weekend.  We spent the day at the art fair. I'll have to share our purchases at a later date, when I get around to taking pictures of them and framing some as well.

Since mom and dad didn't have much on their list for Mother's Day or Father's Day, plus in honor of my dad's birthday, we decided to do dinner at a nice restaurant, Harry & Izzy's. Mom and I decided to split a steak and ended up with a bone-in ribeye.  It came with this gigantic bone! Steven convinced mom to gnaw on it and I snapped this picture. 

No birthday is complete without dessert with a candle in it.  Steven chose, vanilla bean creme brulee.

Always happy to get some updated family pictures.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Michelle's 30th Birthday

Michelle's Birthday fell over Memorial Day weekend.  It coincidentally fell the same day as the Illiana Mayfest which included a NW Indiana Beer Fest.  We were able to convince Jason, Michelle, Marlene and Jerry to join us at the beer fest.  It was small and we were able to try a lot of different things but that building as HOT!


That night we had a BBQ back at Jason & Michelle's place and of course there was cake!


Then on Sunday we continued the celebration with lunch at Cooper's Hawk and a trip out to Hollywood Casino.  Glad to have a little luck back and leave with more money than I arrived with. :)

The "Ballard" ladies.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Day 2 - A trip to Suzhou's silk factory and a boat ride on their famous canals.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Disney - Hollywood Studios

After the Animal Kingdom we headed over to Hollywood Stuidios. Unfortunately the weather didn't hold off for a long visit but we hit the highpoints!

In front of the Hollywood Studios "Magic Hat."

Liz and I went on the studio tour.

And visited "Disaster Canyon!"

And saw the famous water tower with ears.

And then ran into Sully!!

But my favorite ride was the Tower of Terror!

And then the rains came and poured we left the park.  We ate dinner at celebrity chef Cat Cora's restraunt on the boardwalk called Kouzzina.  It was awesome.  By far our best meal of the weekend and we felt like the prices were pretty reasonable too, even for Disney.  After dinner we caught this beautiful sunset over the resorts!  Awesome dinner to cap off our really fun trip.  Super thankful for Elizabeth to coordinate even though she didn't get to go.  Also so glad to spend a long weekend with Erin and Liz.  It had been far too long!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Shanghai, China

So excited to start scrapbooking our trip to Asia last year.  I realize I'm still far over a year behind but getting this trip done will allow to catch up much more quickly.

Day 1 - Shanghai included visits to The Bund and the Yu Yuan Gardens.