“Princess Of China” by Coldplay & Rihanna

November 6, 2014

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It’s Throwback Thursday! Today’s #tbt song is by one of my favorite groups and is the perfect song for today in China!

I am feeling very lucky to get to be with my Princess in China, and today we are off to see the jewel of China.

We are heading out to hike the Great Wall of China. We are not going to the refurbished, tourist section of the wall, but instead we have hired a guide to take us out climbing and hiking in a much more rugged area. I did a lot of research and our guide came highly recommended by many people who I spoke with from all over the world. (That, in itself, was fun! I reached out to people from all over the world regarding a shared experience and we instantly connected. Friends are everywhere!) Anyway, this sounds like the perfect adventure for me and my daughter. I am so excited and imagine I will have some great pictures to share.

Today’s song just resonated with me for an adventure day in China. I am so excited to be here and the video is an awesome look into the romance and allure of China. “Princess of China” is from Coldplay’s 2011 album, Mylo Xyloto. We saw Coldplay in concert following this album. It was the second time the entire family went to see Coldplay in concert – the first time was at Wembley Stadium in London in 2009 and the second time was in Dallas in 2012 – and so Coldplay is always at the top of my list as a family favorite.

Off to conquer the wall and marvel at a wonder of the world. I am feeling blessed today.

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“Back To Home” by Tristan Prettyman

November 4, 2014

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14 hours! Actually 14 hours and 5 minutes!

That is how long a direct flight takes from New York to Beijing, China. I know this because I am on that flight right now. For weeks I have been panicking about sitting on a plane for 14 hours. I am not very good at sitting. :/ I bought me some Sleep Well and in an hour or so I plan to attempt sleeping so that I can try to be right ready to jump onto China time. That is probably wishful thinking since they are 13 hours ahead of my time, meaning that I should already be asleep now as it is 3:30 am tomorrow there right now. I know … confusing! I might as well admit to myself now that there is a very good chance I will not be posting on Wednesday. 🙂

I am so excited to visit China. I have never been to China and there are so many things I am looking forward to seeing, but mostly I am excited to see my daughter! ❤ She has now been in China for 10 weeks and still has another 6 1/2 weeks to go. I can’t wait to hear how much her Chinese language skills have improved and it will be so exciting to see China through her eyes, as well as my own. We will be spending a few days in Beijing, which will be new for her, and then I will accompany her back to Shanghai.

I am posting a new song today by Tristan Prettyman. This song is from her new album, Back to Home, which was just released last week on October 27. I have been a fan of Tristan Prettyman’s music for many years. She released her first album back in 2005. I think her music is so pure, raw, honest, and soulful all at the same time. Sometimes it feels light and breezy, reminiscent of her California surfing background, and other times it is just an incredibly deep lyrical song backed by great music. This album has a much different sound than her older music, but I love it! Today’s song is definitely my very favorite from the new album.

I really connected with this song – “Back To Home.” As I am sitting here on a plane off to China it struck me that I am off to find “home.” Home is not necessarily a place; I have learned that over the last 23 years through all of our moves and changes. Home is where I am with the ones I love. Home is where my heart is … and right now my heart is spread far and wide.

I was texting my son right before takeoff and I said, “I am so excited for you to come back home!” He responded, “In like 2 weeks?” I obviously think we disagreed on how close it seemed. 😉 I am just so excited to have him come home and I guess as I am off to visit one piece of my heart, I started anticipating having another piece return back home. I know that home will always be there. Life is a journey and my little family is certainly having a journey, but I find a lot of solace in the line of this song that says,

“All of these roads lead us back to home.”

No YouTube videos for any songs on this new album yet, so I have attached a recording of the song from SoundCloud. I hope you enjoy this new music as much as I have.

Let’s see … just 11 more hours to go! YIKES!

SONG OF THE DAY – “MISS SHANGHAI” by The Shanghai Restoration Project

September 3, 2014

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It has been a crazy, busy week with so much happening, and so many life changing events occurring, that it has not even really hit me yet. I have so many things that I want to write about that I don’t even know where to begin. I think I will just start with Shanghai … and my Miss Shanghai.

My daughter arrived in Shanghai, China last week and, after a few days of orientation to her study abroad program, she started school on Monday.  I hate giving up the tradition of “The First Day of School” photos and, even though she is starting her Junior year in college, I always ask her to send me one. She is always so willing to send me a photo and it makes me smile that she will appease her sentimental mom.

These are her first day of school photos – one alone and one with her roommate. Her study abroad program is located at The Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (上海财经大学) and these photos are just right outside of the campus.

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My daughter is truly an amazingly adventurous and brave person. Other than Singapore, our family has not ventured much into Asia yet, so she is forging the culture shock on her own. I think food has been the most challenging experience for her thus far. She has let me know that American Chinese food is NOTHING like the Chinese food that is actually in China. So, if you think you like Chinese food … don’t be fooled. 🙂 She is trying lots of new things, but trying to find familiar food as well.

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She found Doritos! Made her dad happy. 🙂

She said that flying into the city of Shanghai felt like it could be any large, modern world city. She, however, lives outside of the city and she has found it to be very different. She told me that I need to watch [the new] “Karate Kid” movie again because that reminds her of where she is living. I plan to re-watch the movie as soon as I get home.

I don’t think it has really sunk in for any of us that she is going to be in China for 4 more months. We were just talking about Thanksgiving plans and realized that she would not be home. So strange!

I was so excited when I found this song. I LOVE the sound! This song was released by The Shanghai Restoration Project in 2005. Their sound is very exotic. It is contemporary electronic music that combines traditional Chinese instruments and sounds with Western hip-hop and electronica. I absolutely love the video as well because I get the picture of China that my daughter is describing. The Shanghai Restoration Project was started by Emmy-winning Producer, and Chinese-American, Dave Liang. Liang was born in Kansas and grew up in upstate New York. He attended college at Harvard University where he majored in Applied Math and Economics. He has produced an amazing sound that is pretty timeless. They will be touring next year (2015) in China and two locations in the US: Provo, Utah (interestingly) and New York City. Check out their other music, it is really cool I really like Babylon of the Orient and Babylon of the Occident.

Missing you my Miss Shanghai!