Thursday, May 30, 2013

Slidell - Sand Box and Birthday

Sunday afternoon Mike built a sand box for the kids. It was a huge hit although the the concept of keeping the sand INSIDE the box isn't universally understood.

We could have built a nice sand castle but apparently stepping on each bucket full is more fun.

I think this might have been a discussion about where the sand belongs.

Emily helped supervise the transportation of the sand.

Just a cute picture.

Same here.

Here Emily and G.G. analyze the trivet.

We celebrated Emily's birthday early. They will celebrate again next week closer to her actual birthday.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

World War II Museum

View of the Douglas SBD dive bomber at World War II Museum in New Orleans

During the afternoon nap time, Margot, Mom and I visited the World War II museum in New Orleans.

This was originally the D-Day museum but has been expanded to cover all off World War II. This building, sponsored by Boeing, is dedicated to aircraft used in the war.
Douglas SBD dive bomber at World War II Museum in New Orleans

I wish I had paid more attention to the signs. I'm not sure which aircraft this is.

(My Uncle Chip tells me this is a Douglas SBD dive bomber.)
Change-Vought F4U at World War II Museum in New Orleans

I think this is a navy aircraft.

(It is a Chance-Vought F4U fighter.)

This is the cockpit of a bomber. In fairness to the guy on the right, he is not studying the nose art. He is looking into the cockpit.

Here is a what the guy is seeing.

Lots of planes hanging from the ceiling.

This is a one person  German air raid shelter. These were placed above ground in frequently bombed areas like rail yards, etc.

I don't have any pictures of the typical museum displays of which there are many. It was too dark in the galleries for good pictures.

Everything from tanks to machine guns.

This is a German 75 mm gun.

This handcart was very popular with French farmers and others. Not many made the trip back to the U.S.

A water cooled machine gun.

An American mortar.

This is a German anti-aircraft gun (88mm, I think) that was also an effective anti armor weapon.

This is not a good picture but this is a landing craft but I thought I should include it. It was designed and built by the Higgins company in New Orleans.

The museum is right downtown. You can see the statue of Robert E. Lee from the windows. The Superdome is past the statue and the tall building.

A half-track.

The museum is well done. I recommend it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Visiting the Grandkids

We are back in the states for a couple of weeks for Home Leave. So far the highlight has been visiting with the grandkids. (Sorry, Melanie, Alyssa, Sue, Bob, Greg, Theresa, Tom, Misheil.)

We did visit Kansas City to celebrate Melanie's graduation from Kansas State and had a chance to catch up with Sue, Bob, Alyssa, Greg, Theresa, Tom and Misheil for a couple of days.

Here Margot reads to Emily.

Mom joined us for the trip to Louisiana to visit Lauren and Mike and the grandkids.

Emily likes to read.

Ben kept us entertained as well.

Bath time is very popular.

More Louisiana activities in the next few posts.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Huang Caoliang - Beijing

A few weeks ago we went on a hike organized by the China Culture Center to an area in Beijing called Huang Caoliang.

Huang Caoliang is in a district of  western Beijing called Mentougou. As you can see it is quite mountainous while central Beijing is as flat as a pancake.

This rock formation is known as the elephant trunk. It looks like this chunk of rock sort of slid down from up above.

There are a lot of flowering trees in the area.

This area has seen a lot of investment in tourism infrastructure over the last few years. The roads into the area are in good shape with a lot of spots for picnicking, etc. They even have emergency location towers along the trail.

There are a lot of fruit trees under cultivation in the area. This farmer is walking along an irrigation channel. It looks like he has a saw in his pack for trimming the trees.

This little cemetery was located at the trail head. The stone on the left is for a man named Wang. It was erected by his children in 2011, I believe.

These beekeepers were working in the area.

Here Margot and I are standing on the trail.

The flowering trees were very pretty.

Some are apple and some are wild peach.

Several different types and colors.

Some sort of wild flower I think.

A lot of trees.

I'm not sure if these are all the same or not.

At this elevation (about 4000 ft) the tress were not nearly as leafed out as in Beijing city.

Another wildflower.

This is about the only wildlife we saw other than birds. I understand this centipede or whatever is used in Chinese medicine.

No idea what this hut was used for.

There were hundreds of these walls forming terraces up the valleys. Someone spent a lot of effort lugging these rocks around to make the walls.

It looked like it was mostly fruit trees planted on the terraces.

There was a herd of goats grazing near the entrance.

Here is a link to Google Maps location. We started our hike at the very bottom-center of the map.  Huang Cailiang