Caroly's brother Larry, his son James and grandson Jonas made their first Florida visit. So of course we took them horseback riding, camping, shark's tooth hunting, manatee watching and swimming in the springs for a nice December three days at New Year's. Remember that springs in Florida are always 72 degrees. Here we are at Manatee Springs on the Suwanee River. See how many people you recognise who tagged along for the fun. Remember to click the pictures for a closer look.
Glitzy and glamorous best describes Hong Kong. We spent almost two weeks there, getting home just in time for Christmas. You have to look hard to find anything that looks Chinese except for the writing on the signs. We got around on subways (MTR), escalators (outside on the hillsides), ferries, and double decker busses. I gave a couple of papers on Filipino English and pop culture at conferences held at two universities. Mom went crazy with the pictures--over 180. I chose a small sample to show below. Remember to click on the picture to see the details better.
We finally figured out how to work the electronic camera in Macau,the laid back gambling town across the river from Hong Kong.It is now a world heritage site to preserve the old Portuguese look. I gave a presentation on Filipino English at the university. Here are some pictures of street scenes, the university, and the Venetian "entertainment" complex (gambling casino). Be sure to click on the warning sign we found in the elevator of the dorm we stayed in for a closer look.
We spent Thanksgiving on the way to the Philippines where I gave a lecture about Filipino English in the media sponsored by the Philippine Linguistics Society. Carrie gave mom a digital camera when mom visited at Halloween. We weren't quite sure how to recharge it and use it so I think we erased all the pictures we took in Manila. We did get these pictures of me after the talk (dressed in my barong tagalog), the place we lived in 1996 (Valle Verde Terrace), and MegaMall, once the biggest mall in the world. We lived about 1 mile away and walked there every night to shop, eat, go to the movies, ice skate, or just cool down in the aircon, as they call it there. This picture is from Shangri-La mall next door, another of our favorite hangouts for cooling down.
The end of August I went to a linguistics convention in Essen, Germany to talk about Filipino English. While there I made a side trip to Budapest, Hungary to check on Arpad, our ancestor, went to church in Dusseldorf, and stood in the field where the Berlin Wall stood when we chipped away 40 pounds of the wall to carry home in 1990. I did find one stretch of the wall that is still standing. I'll let you match my comments with the pictures below.
We made a quick trip to Texas to feed the police horses in Houston and attend the Texas Thompson wedding of Spencer and Donna's Brit in Dallas. Who can you identify in the group picture? Remember to click on the picture for a full screen view.
In July I taught 221 students in 7 sections of advanced conversational English in a special summer session at Shandong University at Weihai, a seaside town on a peninsula sticking out towards Korea. Of course I had to make a trip to walk on the Great Wall and to see the Forbidden City in Beijing. Enjoy the pictures below. Note: if you click on them, you can see a full size version.