To Asia and Home Again!
We ascended over halfway to the top of Mount Fuji in Japan, climbed the Great Wall and saw the Three Gorges Dam in China, sailed four days on the Yangtze River, sailed the spectacular Li River surrounded by unending ranges of steep mountains, watched performances by the Beijing Opera, Chinese acrobats, and an awesome Thai stage show with live elephants walking the aisles through the audience! There was so much, it would take an entire book to tell it all. Knowing me, you can guess that I managed to find quite a few plot ideas and locales to use for future stories. Stay tuned!
Of course, as you know from reading my books, food is an ever-important theme with me and I had to wonder—could I handle Asian food for 28 straight days? Answer is—yes! I loved it, and even now, after being home only four days I think I could go out for Chinese again. (although I will admit that we popped out for McDonald’s a couple of times for lunches, just to get a taste of home).
- Would you eat a black egg? Near the base of Mt. Fuji, in the Hakone district, there are sulfur springs hot enough to boil eggs. When the eggs are cooked in this water for about an hour, the shells become black and chalky-looking but the egg inside is hard-boiled and delicious. We ate them!
- In China’s restaurants nearly all meals are served family style with a large lazy-susan in the middle of the table. Dishes are brought out throughout the meal and since dinner plates are tiny, you start serving yourself immediately and eating as the food comes. Sometimes three entrees will arrive, then soup, later comes the rice … no particular order … often a dozen dishes or more. We noted that watermelon is the favored dessert so we learned that the meal wasn’t over until the watermelon slices showed up.
- When KFC first opened in China people were so impressed that they dressed up to go there, men in ties and women in dresses, and it was the place of choice for special occasions.
- Parents in China tell their kids to clean their plates because there are starving kids in America! (this brought howls of laughter from us when our guide told us; guess we Americans aren’t the first to think up this means of convincing our kids to finish their dinner!)
- Would you do something for all the tea in China?—careful, China grows over a million tons a year. Did you know that white tea, green tea, and black tea all come from the same plant? The difference is in which leaves are picked and at what stage. We went to a tea farm and learned how to properly pick the delicate leaves for white and green tea, then we were treated to a tea ceremony where we tasted several varieties.
Readers Want to Know!
Patty asks if Samantha Sweet’s daughter, Kelly, and Julio might become a couple, or do I have anyone else in mind for Kelly?
A. Well, I can’t honestly say that I ever thought of Kelly and Julio as a romance, but you never know…. She’s been a little rebellious in the past and the tattooed biker might put Beau on edge if Julio were to come into the family. On the other hand, since Sam already knows and likes Julio, it might spark up the plot if Kelly chooses someone else, a man Sam would have a problem with. Boyfriend troubles are always a good way to add tension to a story. What do you think—should Kelly have a boyfriend sometime soon or not?
Keep the questions coming!
If you have a question you're dying to know the answer to, email me! One lucky person will be featured in my next newsletter.