2013: Summer in the US - Lovely Lovely Lovely

Ok coming back to the USA is always a fresh of breath air experience and living in Walnut Creek is no less than a holly-wood experience all in one town.                    Everything I need is there that someone has to propose something extraordinary to get me out of this "i can do everything here, so what is your problem?" attitude.    So my arrival after flying around the world trip for the 7th time, is marked by my usual pampering of self;) include massages, manicures etc..before I get swamped with work.  
The Parisian pose. lol
Checking my list of invites send me first to a Beethoven Orchestra, the Summer Cocktails and wine tasting, which is always fun playing dress up, but put me to a relaxing sleep, need I remember my taste has changed since my last trip to Vienna Austria or I have been affected by my Zumba classes in my daily routine of exercise, but I seem to have lost my calm.. Interesting.

W/ Mom
Ecstasy !
My Mom came to visit, and was also my B-Day and so we had grand times!  My Mom loves the US.  She comes at least 2-3 times a year and enjoys every bit of it and us.
Z fashion earring)
As expected, she spends much time at the stores!  You go Mom!

The next day we also spent the day in Walnut Creek, same thing, shopping restaurant-ING, get her hair done and doing padi mani, and simply being silly around Mom.

Another day, we did some shopping in SF and drove off to the Tiburon  Peninsula in Marin County, a quaint place by the Bay, past the city next
My Sis w/ Mom
OMG, this shot is simply
Hallmark Moment
to Sausalito, to have lunch just between the three girls only.

We simply were having a glorious time.
In Tiburon w/Mom

That was the summer before I had to fly out again in mid July off 2 Durban South Africa for work.  Will chat later...

Another Around-the-Globe Trip and Back home to Cali - Picture Highlights

With Ambassador Bobby of Jamaica
 in Kenya

my shoes captured by a
 friend's camera & sent to me
Wow, very late posting.  Busy Spring days in Cali.  The New Year of 2013 has passed and many months after.  I left the US in Early Feb and just got some minutes to reflect and log the major highlights of what I have done in the past few months.  As my work and personal life is intertwined, it is not always easy to separate my accomplishments  however it certainly was a long journey of 3 continents, Africa, Middle East, China, and a few days in New York before setting foot in my home in Walnut Creek, Ca.

With Irine et el @ local nightclub, Nairobi
Kenya has been my second home and where my current Africa work is based, and so where many friends I have made.  I arrived a day before Valentine holiday, did not even know Valentine day was celebrated in Kenya and this well. As much as it is a western tradition, I happen to simply go out for dinner in my local restaurant Karen Blixen, and boy was surprised with the table decor and special menu selection all labeled with lovers name.  Yes it was Valentine!  Flowers for each guest and it went on and on and believe it or not the restaurant was full.  We did not have reservation, but good customership has its privileges  we got seated with no problem.

One has to love the vast fashion Manikins in Addis

The rest of my stay for the few weeks was following up with work and going out with friends. A local night club with great dance and lounge was opened by some Kenya Airways pilot in Karen city where I stay, so we visited and danced most Thru/Fri there.  It was safe, good crowed and most of all close to our homes.
My usual visit to my President
in Ethiopia, with Pres, Girma

View from our Family Penthouse 
Kuriftu Resort out of town
Then off to Addis to attend conferences and spend the most treasured time with Mom and family.  Our family Penthouse with space as large as one can accommodate a bicycle ride from one corner to another is a place of serenity. The view from top allows one to enjoy the beauty of the country, a mix of the city view and the mountains.  Breakfast on the veranda will always take one's breath away.
shoe candy I hardly can walk in 

Capturing the historic election of
 Kenya on TV
After I got my Visa for Beijing in Addis, off I went to Kenya to change bags, spend a week there and start my travel to the most mysterious destination I have never been.

Witnessing the historic election in Kenya was worth my time.

China with its over 1b population, I was so anxious to go.  I was going of course for the ICANN meeting, it is work, however these meetings at ICANN always intersect between tourism and work.
Amazing architectures in beijing
Showing off our names written in Chinese
I certainly was set on climbing "The Great Wall" of China when GAC was conspiring to block my application and nothing would stop me from making history, either way it was history making, ".africa Objection" or g "The Great Wall"; which was cool with me.

Yes, a medal of prove of my 
climbing The Great Wall of China!
Climbing The Great Wall of China,
fashionably too;)
Nothing I can't handle I said to myself.
English is not so commonly spoken, so I had to hire an English speaking guide along with my private driver to go around including all my tours.  I did some shopping.

Ouch! my fall was painful for days
Oh BTW, I stumbled a fell like a little school girl as I was crossing a street from convention center to hotel, which was close bye.  Not fun, my face was saved but was a hard fall on my hands and knees. Hotel where I stayed JD Marriott took great care of me on a daily basis, so I was happy.  My shoes was torn and the Front desk manager even went out to town the next day to get me a super glue to fix the shoes? Wow, that is some graceful service. I was a little sad I could not take a dip in the gorgeously decorated spa and Olympic swimming pool at hotel.
Yes my Party Outfit w/ my
Chinese name 'sophia' Fan!
Need I forgot to tell I went to the Gala dinner, which one can can say is the government affiliate host organized, Fantastic experience. It was another history making done at the People's Hall by the Tienanmen square. You then feel like am in Communist CHINA?  Nothing around Beijing makes you feel like it is a communist country.extraordinary high rises, nearly every western hotel has Presence there, there are hardly any old cars on the roars, the international brand name shops have people lined up on the outside.  All in last 10 years?  Now this is what you call development of a nation.  I has an amazing and extraordinary experience.

@ Yale University
 Next in front of me was a flight that was dreadfully long, 20 Hours to New York and then another 2 hrs car drive to Connecticut to speak at Yale University the next day.  All went well, student chaperone picked me up from airport, they put me up in a nice guest suite on campus, so it was lovely to see the students through my window everyday walk by, reminded me of my own campus days.  Yale is a lovely place, very much looks like Oxford in London but spread out.
W Ethiopian Students I met at Yale

The starbucks across was full of students, and after my presentation the next day, I spend time walking about in the city, stopped over for a great meal for lunch and a dinner treat from one of the organizing Student, who refuse for me to pay.  A great group of student leaders who are trying to solve the issues of Africa and get involved. They should be applauded for their initiatives.  The flight back to  California was uneventful, arrived at evening, took the usual shuttle service home and refused to leave my place to go anywhere that would exert me energy including my Gym.  I only got out of my place to take two massages that week, and pampered with fixing my manic/pedicures and a movie and catching up with comfort sleep.   This was the summary of my trip ya all.  Cheers til next time.  Enjoy pics that say a 1000 words!