To home and back again:

Wu Lei and Visited the US for thanksgiving last November. It was her first trip to the US and it was wonderful. We were able to visit my home town and spend time with family and friends. We went to a lot of the places I grew up spending time at and I was able to tell my wife “stories of old”. We also spent time with my brother and his family and even got to play in the snow with my nephew and niece. We were able to meet up with the Reynolds family a few different times and each occasion was wonderful… they had a knack for choosing good restaurants that gave my wife a new (and very high) opinion about food in America.

After that we headed east to Williamsburg were we stayed my mother and her “Royal counterpart”. We had an amazing dinner by the Chickahominy River, saw a young fawn, a heron, and several bald eagles. We were also able to check out Colonial Williamsburg and show my wife the historical side of the area.

After that we drove north to visit the Bausermans near Winchester. For a wedding gift my father gave Wu Lei and pump action 4-10 shotgun… she was in love with it from first sight. The Bausermans let us spend some time on their farm to give her some practice shooting and we were also able to go hunting for one morning. I was able to shoot two deer (a first for me) with my father’s 8mm mauser, a gun that I have always enjoyed shooting. While skinning the deer my friend rushed off grabbed his rifle and took down a huge doe that came running into the lower field. We grilled out and cut up meet for the rest of the afternoon. It was an amazing day!

My father came up and met us and we were able to take a day trip to Washington. I hadn’t been to the capital for years so it was interesting to see the new monuments and the way the city had changed. We did a lot of walking and were able to see several of the monuments along with getting some sea food from Capt. White’s before calling it a day and heading back to Winchester for the night.

Thanksgiving itself was an event all its own, pies, steak, turkey and all the fixings of a proper holiday meal. We celebrated at my brother’s house and after gorging ourselves took out the guns for some distance shooting. I was able to spot for my brother while he made an impossibly long shot with pin-hole sighted rifle from his father’s sharp shooting days. It was a wicked shot to say the least.

Before we left, we spent several days at Radford University doing presentation about China and talking with university officials about how to build up interest in China. The international studies office and center for experiential learning took wonderful care of us and arranged a magnificent schedule of events for to take part in. There is a story about out visit on line; you can see it here (http://www.radford.edu/NewsPub/December10/1209kirk.html).

As much fun as we had we did have to leave. Our flight back to Shanghai was not as long as I remember and we slept for most of it. After arriving back in Nanjing we rested for a few days before getting back into our normal work schedules. It was wonderful to visit home, see family and friends and spend time with the people we miss. I hope we can do it again soon.

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