As the clock nears midnight on this Father’s Day 2014, I want to try and squeeze in a blog post I have been meaning to put up since March. Life has been awesome and busy and crazy and full of fulfilling work these past two and a half months, so much so that these photographs have been sitting on my hard drive collecting virtual dust. So, here goes! This spring I had the opportunity to travel to Asia for the first time, and most importantly to travel there with my dad. The trip came about in a pretty typical way for me. I had planned on teaching a photography workshop in India in February, but the workshop was canceled. Bummed out, I was telling this to my dad over Christmas dinner and he mentioned that he was planning a work trip to China this year and that I should tag along. Well, why not? I jumped at the opportunity, something that was made easier by my super supportive husband and a slow wedding season, and booked that ticket before anyone could change their mind. As excited as I was to set foot on a new continent, the part that really made me rush to buy the ticket was the idea of getting to travel with my dad. The last time he and I took a solo trip was around 15 years ago to visit colleges. Since then I have changed, my priorities have changed, my awareness of life’s brevity has become more acute and my desire to spend quality time with the people who make up my life has intensified. The trip was everything I hoped for and more. As much as I researched leading up to it, I didn’t have a clear visual in my mind of what was awaiting me at the other end of that very long airplane ride. What I found was a country of warm, welcoming hosts, constant work and movement, and incredible contrasts. I made new friends, ate all kinds of delicious (and some rather interesting) food, traveled on planes, trains and boats, climbed hundreds of steps to visit beautiful temples, shopped for jade, had the jade blessed at the various temples, learned how to use my chopsticks well enough that our hosts didn’t giggle at me quite as much, saw baby pandas, and just lived thoroughly for two weeks. I also had the opportunity to watch my dad work, watch him in his element, admire his experience in his field and his patience with cultural and language differences. And, most importantly, he and I have added to our tapestry of stories and memories that will always make us laugh and reminisce. Following is a collection of images from the first leg of our trip. More photos will follow soon, but, in the meantime, these are from Zhujiajiao, an ancient town located in the Qingpu District of Shanghai, and downtown Shanghai. You will see images from the Jade Buddha Temple, the City God Temple, People’s Square, the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower and Nanjing Road, all in Shanghai. Thank you to my dad for this wonderful experience. Happy Father’s Day, I love you!