Last week I sat down in our local coffee shop, Java by the Bay, chatting with a friend, Anni, while waiting for her daughter, Christina, and son-in-law, Alex, to arrive.
I was especially excited to see Christina because she’s an up-and-coming blogger. Yes! She posts two really good blogs and I wanted to hear her thoughts about this blogging world.
Christina is one year older than our oldest child, and we’ve watched her grow from a shy sprite into a confident engaging adult. She left our Upper Peninsula shores and trekked out to San Francisco many years ago, but you can tell she’s still a Yooper at heart.
Here is a photo of the two of us chit-chatting away about blogging and six million other things last Wednesday. (Of course Anni and Alex added lots of other fascinating tidbits as well.)
Now I am going to show you a photo of Christina when she was almost four years old. The boy in yonder photograph is little Christopher celebrating his third birthday, our own shy boy, and Christina is appropriately engrossed in the cake. (Shades of her future interests as you will soon discover.) So you can see we’ve known each other a long, long time.
Now you’re wondering about the title, aren’t you?
Shanghai and away! Doesn’t that sound exciting and daring and adventuresome?
I think it is, and Christina features a wonderful blog titled “Shanghaied Away.” Do you know what it is to be Shanghaied in these modern days? You’re thinking piracy, aren’t you?
Well, here’s what happens when Christina and her husband, Alex, decide to play the Shanghai game:
One of them–depending on whose turn it might be–decides on a secret location somewhere around this fair globe. They plan the flight, accommodations and fun activities. (Such as ice climbing.) They locate the passports and apply for appropriate visas without telling the other partner where they’re going.
Other rules of the Shanghai game: the location must be a place where the person has never visited. The supriser packs the suprisees luggage in order to hide the climate of the destination.
OK, we all know the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) would not allow an innocent bystander to be blindfolded and led through the airport. Too many terrorist overtones. So, instead Christina and Alex devised the wearing of opaque sunglasses with purple construction paper taped to the inner lenses so that the Shanghai “victim” can only see the ground. (Inquiring minds want to know: What does the TSA think of purple construction paper on sunglasses?)
The “victim” also listens to loud music through ear buds at the airport, in the gate and on the airplane. They also crunch loudly on crackers when, say, the pilot decides to make an announcement.
You see, I am sure they do not WANT to cheat, as that would spoil the surprise and fun of the game.
When the secret Shanghai location is reached, the glasses, music and crackers disappear and the “victim”–who is now probably one of the luckiest and most excited travelers on the planet–gets to guess where the heck they are.
As in: Where in the world is Christina Sandiego? (For those of you not in the know, this is a reference to Carmen Sandiego, that famous geography game and children’s television game show.)
Our Christina devised this totally fun & amazing virtual game a few years ago after pondering:
If I were dropped by airplane somewhere, anywhere, in the world, how long would it take me to figure out where I am? What clues would I immediately notice upon opening my eyes that would begin to help me put the puzzle together? The terrain, the people, the climate, language, signs, etc.? What would it be that would ultimately give it away? I ended up loving this idea so much that I wanted to create it in real life. Thus, was born “Shanghaied Away.”
You can travel excitedly over to her blog and subscribe to receive notice the next time Alex or Christina “Shanghai Away“. I certainly have subscribed and eagerly await the next chapter.
So far they’ve Shanghaied one another to Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Alaska, China and St. Maarten. (And I may be missing a few–do go over to her blog and dig in the archives.) Her writing and photos are wonderful, too.
Now comes dessert!
You think that’s all Christina blogs about?
She’s a fabulous vegan cook and started a wonderful blog called Fruit of Adventure. Any of you healthy eaters will salivate to read her recipes and try her creations. And to admire the photographs–I certainly couldn’t photograph food to look so appealing and yummy.
When we chatted at the coffee shop Wednesday, I started the conversation by saying that three members of our family–Chris, Kiah and myself–had all made her recipes in the last week.
Kiah and I made the Most Amazing One-Ingredient Ice Cream–out of bananas ONLY, mind you–and Chris whipped together a batch of the Dairy-Free Nut-Free Basil Pesto (Kiah and I didn’t even know that Christopher was making one of her recipes, too.)
The banana ice cream is to die-for. Yum. Double yum. Triple yum. And healthy, people! Who needs all that cream and fat from regular dairy ice cream or frozen yogurt?
Just wanted to share the blogging fun created by an Upper Peninsula native. Hope you will pause by her blogging hearth, both to read of Shanghai adventures and to whip up a delightful vegan dish. Her latest post even shows some Upper Peninsula wildlife hiding among the Pinto Bean Hummus(ish) Dip.
It was great to see you last week, Ms. Christina!
Happy blogging and may many readers find their way to your posts.
(And I want to Shanghai somewhere now…gosh, that sounds like so much fun!)