Raderstorf World Wide Adventure

Friday, December 24, 2004

Happly Holidays Everyone!!!!

Blessings to you family and friends,

We are in sunny, quaint, old town Lijiang and it’s 3 days until Christmas. Decorations are scattered about and you hear an occasional merry tune. This past week in Yunnan Province has been a wonderful respite in a heavenly spot: lush farm land, fruits and vegetables galore, sun all the time, friendly folks, bicycle riding and time to play. We find ourselves especially grateful to our wonderful hosts Junyi and Waters and their friends who have welcomed us into their homes, restaurants and lives. Our three week visit to China has given us but a taste of this vast and wonderfully diverse land. We will leave with so many fond memories and a strong desire to return, especially to Yunnan.

Although we are far away, we think of you all especially in the moments that seem most appropriate. Uncle Ross and Lauren, we needed you to find the hidden treasures at the Shaping Market (a huge bazaar of handicrafts, everyday items, fruits and vegetables, chickens, raw meat and more). We thought of Uncle Mark and Timmy when we went to see the fishing birds (birds with a piece of reed tied around their neck who swim and fish while the fisherman makes noises that resemble a sheep herder). Every time I see a baby on the back of a mother or grandmother farming on the sculptured green farmland, I think of Juliana and all of my activist momma friends. Aunties Rosie, Mary and Carla would love the shops lining the maze of cobblestone streets here in old town Lijiang. We think of the Higgins and their baby dog Stella with every cute small dog we pet (there only seems to be small dogs, Mmmm). Grandma, we think of you when we see the pick blossoms on the Camellia trees that resemble dogwoods or when we see the women shop keepers knitting with 5 thin needles. The fish head soup among other culinary delicacies makes us think of Uncle Drake (only one of us was brave enough to try it and no one would touch the head). Keith and Steph, spending time in little cafes makes us think of Duo. Uncle Dick, we’d love you to see the farms of Yunnan. Can’t think of anyone who would enjoy the squatty potties, but we have discussed who might or might not be able to handle them. Grandpa Jerry and Bob would love the bargains, almost all prices are negotiable. Leonard, Cam and Rex would enjoy traveling around each province to sample the local beers, 50 cents for the bomber size. And of course we think of the Lacy family when we choose physical activity over lounging in a coffee shop. And wow Jessie, there’s plenty of work for you and Gary here in China. Katherine, the Naxi (pronounced Na-she) traditional dancers with their wonderful costumes reminded us of you. The rest of you have appeared in our quest for candy, taste-testing pizza, card games, lack of central heating, loud families, crazy drivers (Marty, you would never survive a taxi ride in China), and the list goes on and on.

We are also reminded of you by some of the treasures you sent along or helped us purchase: the Chicken Soup for Travelers book is great for read aloud, the journals are filling up, my facial scrub from Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary reminds me of home, the hackey sack knows no language barriers, the green mushy pillow, this tiny laptop, the postcards of Boulder, and music (tears filled our eyes as we listened to Bob Wiz’s poetry & piano compilation on the train to Chongqing). And yes, it is possible to survive with only what you can carry on your back (although I must admit bringing the lime green sweater was a big mistake as it is now gray and all of our socks and perhaps the t-shirts too will need to be fumigated or discarded once we reach the warm beaches of Thailand).

Most of all, we are especially grateful to have the time with each other as we explore new territory (and yes there are trying times like tonight at dinner sitting with Dragon Breath, BO Monster and Mr. Mexican Jumping Bean). Even if they are smelly and loud, traveling around China with three sons earns us pseudo celebrity status. People ask all the time to have their pictures taken with the boys and so many mothers and fathers have complemented us on our good fortune. And perhaps that is the greatest gift of all, having the time to recognize so completely just how fortunate we are to be on this rotating wonder of a planet with our boys, all of you, and the 6 billion other folks who cherish their babies, work really, really hard and give it all they’ve got. With two countries under our belts, it’s safe to say that stereotypes don’t hold true and what unites us is far greater than what divides us!

From Quin: I wish you were here. There are really cute puppies just as cute as Stella (our next door neighbor’s dog) here in China. I wish you all a great, great time around the world. I’ll be in Thailand and I won’t see any snow. Luckies, you get snow. I haven’t ran into any trash cans or elevators or fallen into any ponds lately. There are lots of streams in Lijiang and really good desserts. Love, Quin

From Ben: Ni hao from Lijiang! All is going quite smoothly as we approach the holidays. Most of the shopping is done and we won’t have anything to do in Thailand. The old city of Lijiang is very cool even though it’s streets are dominated by jewelry and dried yak meat stores. The streets are very thin and are paved with cobblestones. No wheeled vehicles are allowed in the old city aside from garbage, fire and mail trucks. The fire trucks are a good thing because all of the buildings are very old and made of wood. Unlike Quin, I’m glad we will be sitting on a beach in Thailand as opposed to freezing our butts off in Boulder (ha ha ha). Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night (okay, I guess it’s morning there, sue me). Ben

From Max: Hola! (oh I guess that’s he wrong language, o well). It’s now the eve of Christmas Eve and there isn’t much Christmas cheer in the air. The fact is that no one seems to celebrate Christmas here. Most of the Christmas trees are plastic and the decorations are for tourists. But it’s still pretty great here. It’s hard to leave China. The cool thing here in China is that I only spent $25 dollars (200 Yuan) on all my Christmas gifts. I am sad that I’m not going to see any snow this year, but I am happy because I will be able to be on a beach. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a HAPPY NEWWWWWW YEARRRRRRR!!!!! Max

From Scott: We have just arrived in Bangkok on the night of Dec 23rd. It looks as though Thailand may have a bit more Christmas cheer than China, but I still find myself missing the caroling, the gathering with loved ones, the feasting, the last minute frenzy and the frigid weather (as long as you have a warm house to return to unlike our last three nights in Lijiang). I miss all of you very much, especially during this week, and being on the other side on the world from you makes me miss you that much more. This journey is teaching me many things. The most significant is how fortunate I am to be apart of a loving and supportive family, to have a beautiful place called Boulder to come home to and having such wonderful friends to look forward to seeing again. I wish you all the Happiest of Holidays!! I hope that you think of us sometime during your merry making this week and know that we are think and toasting to you as well. Cheers!!! Scott

As we begin the next leg of our world adventure and celebrate the birth of one of the greatest peace-loving guys ever to walk on this planet, WE SEND YOU BLESSINGS AND LOVE!

Happy Holidays to All!!!!!!


  • At December 26, 2004 at 3:00 PM, Blogger Jim said…


    I don't know if anyone will find this info. but this is what we've heard. (Cheryl and I are house sitting for the r'torfs). Rex, one of Scott's brothers, called this am with the following: he got a call from the US Embassy, they are all OK, but lost everything to the ocean, are hanging out in the jungle waiting to be rescued by helicopter. They are with 150 survivors (don't know how many were on the island). The Higgins (neighbors) found copies of their passports and relayed them to the Embassy. They were apparently on the Thai island of Phra Thong at the Golden Buddah Resort which can be found with some googleing. I will post any more that I hear on this comment site...hopefully we will hear directly from them soon.


  • At December 26, 2004 at 3:55 PM, Blogger Jim said…


    I can't tell if my first comment was posted so I'll repeat it. The Raderstorfs Are All OK. The ocean took everything but "the clothes on their back". They are with 150 other survivors on the Thai island of Phra Thong waiting to be rescued by helicopter. This info is from Scott's brother Rex who has been in touch with the US Embassy. Apparently a Danish tourist with a cell phone on the island was able to get that info to the Embassy. Rex said that he has been in email contact with the owner of the resort who reported that 25% of his staff were missing. I will post any new info I get here.

    Jim (house sitting for the R'torfs)

  • At December 26, 2004 at 9:44 PM, Blogger Brian said…


    This information is very helpful, when we first heard of the Earthquake and aftermath the safety of "The Raderstorfs" immediately came to mind. The Golden Budda's website is http://www.goldenbuddhabeach.com and has some additional information being posted on a link off this page.

  • At December 26, 2004 at 9:45 PM, Blogger Jim said…

    The latest:

    They are being taken off the island to Kuraburi and family members are expecting to hear from them soon. There is an eyewitness report of the tsumani at their resort you can find by googleing "golden buddha thailand" (google news) from an Austrailian news source.


  • At April 10, 2006 at 3:15 AM, Blogger Eddie said…

    Hi, I was surfing the internet and here I am at your blog. I'm quite impressed , with how you have put it all together.

    I'll be coming back again.


    B.S. in Electrical Engineering LPN Online Degree


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