Travel with Mona to Beijing, China

We left home on Friday, at 4:00 am to reach a 6:00 am flight, the first flight of a very long trip, two hours to Philadelphia with a forty-minute transit and a flight to Chicago, two hours transit and then the thirteen hours, yes THIRTEEN hours, long flight to Beijing. I was blissfully tired and lucky enough to sleep during most of the trip. We arrived in Beijing on Saturday, at 5:00 pm. There is a twelve hours difference in time between Florida and Beijing.

Of course, we lost our luggage. While we ran down the Philadelphia airport to catch our connection to Chicago, our suitcases procrastinated and missed the connection. We met a couple from Seattle who were in the same predicament. Very nice people, so friendly, they couldn’t wait to start their vacation and enjoy it. Unfortunately, their dream cruise ended in a horrible way as the man had a heart attack at the end of the cruise on his way home.

For our first day in Beijing, my husband had booked a private tour with an adorable guide very . Our guide was a lovely young woman, fluent in English, answered my unending questions. She explained, the government was still communist but more open to the West. Years ago, she was living in a small apartment with her father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, uncle and aunt and a cousin in a two-bedroom apartment. Notice one child per family. They all shared one kitchen and one bathroom with the rest of the building and they all had to dress the same way. Now she is engaged. Competition is encouraged. She and her fiancé worked hard and saved money to buy a one-bedroom apartment.

The 2008 Olympic Nest
One of many high rises in Beijing.
Notice the TV screen.

She showed us the Olympic Nest, downtown Beijing and the Summer Palace. We had a delicious lunch in the adjacent restaurant.

The Summer Palace
The Summer Palace
An imperial boat on the lake
In the Summer Palace gardens

I was agreeably surprised to discover that Beijing is a clean, modern metropolitan capital with more high-rises than Manhattan. I am not kidding. Not at all the idea I previously had of China.

For our second day in Beijing we joined the official cruise tour. We visited the Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. The square is a huge place overcrowded with a million tourists every day. To cross the large avenue and reach Tiananmen Square, we had to go through a tunnel. It was here that one of the tourists in our group panicked and said she couldn’t find her mother. The poor old woman was separated from our group. We spent half an hour looking for her, while taking pictures and then the group had to continue. Two hours later, both women finally joined us.

We spent three hours touring the courtyards, pavilions, and palaces of the forbidden city. Each of the emperor and empress had their own palaces. There were pavilions for the guests, for the officials, for the empress’s family…The yellow color was reserved to the imperial family. No one else could use it in China. The various servants serving in the Forbidden City were carefully chosen. It was an honor to serve the imperial family. But once chosen, the servants could never leave the Forbidden City and the parents could not visit.

On our third day in Beijing, we went to the Great Wall of China built in the 3rd century BC. I was surprised to find out that the Wall is formed by stone stairs framed by two walls interrupted by towers. I walked up to the first tower. It was almost like climbing three stories. The steps were at least one-foot high and irregular. My husband felt challenged and kept going to the second tower as high as eight stories. Apparently, the view is breathtaking from there.

As you can see it was cold on the Great Wall. This picture is taken from the first tower. The third tower visible from far.

People rarely walk beyond the third tower, although the Great Wall completely surrounds China and is the only man-made artifact visible from the surface of the Moon.

The statues of soldiers from the Ming Tombs.
And here, a picture at the Cloisonné factory where they manufacture gorgeous vases and plates.

MOTHER’S DAY BABIES https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C4Z7MM8/

Relax with a Sweet Romance

FREE on May 4,5,6,7 and 8

This book is dedicated to the mothers we celebrate with love
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Widowed for seven years, Barbara Ramsay lives and breathes for her five grownup daughters and their babies. She’s also used to chatting over the phone with her good friend, Lou, and soothing his stress. But why has he invited her to come to Paris with his TV Network crew? Powerful News Director, Lou Roland is certainly not marriage material, yet he has suddenly decided he wants Barbara in his arms. Not an easy task when his pretty confidante from Kentucky proves so difficult to date–unless he follows her rules. Can the over-fifty confirmed bachelor and the widow loyal to her husband’s memory find true love and share a future?

Holiday Babies Series:
With high moral values and a strong sense of unity, the Ramsay family counts five daughters—Madelyn, Roxanne, Heather, Claire, Tiffany, and their mother Barbara. Later, stepdaughter Monica Roland joins the clan.

Holiday Babies Series:

Holly Jolly Christmas: Prequel to the series.

Christmas Babies: A sweet and powerful Christmas Story.

Valentine Babies: Can he love a woman expecting another man’s baby?

Mother’s Day Babies: Never too late to find love and happiness.

Wedding Surprise: Is it the worst or best wedding surprise?

Christmas Papa: Who’s my Papa, Mommy?

On Christmas Eve: We want a mommy for Christmas.

Celebrating the Season

What is your favorite holiday to celebrate? Is it Christmas, when everything around us is sparkling lights, mistletoe, and evergreen? Or is it New Year, where you get to toast to new beginnings? What about Memorial Day, where everyone is ready for the sun and sand of the summer?

Personally, I’m a Memorial Day and 4th of July kind of girl. Celebrating freedom and spending time remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for that freedom. Plus, I’m totally a summer sun person!

Several years ago, I wrote a book called, Tangled in Tinsel. It was a sweet little Christmas romance, and one of my readers told me that she loved the little town of Celebration that it was set in. She said it would be so awesome to have a series there.

I thought that was a great idea too, and thanks to her, Tangled in Tinsel became the first of a thirteen books series!!

Celebration Township is made for family, friends, falling in love, and don’t forget celebrating the holidays. The first twelve books bring two people onto center stage as they overcome odds and figure out what their futures may hold. There is laughter, love, romance, and even suspense when you join these couples as they each find a happily ever after over a holiday. The thirteenth book brings all twelve couples, and even a few special guests, into final focus as the first couple in Tangled in Tinsel prepares for their wedding one year after they met.


Tangled in Tinsel, Book 1 (Christmas) – Download this one for FREE!
Tears to Cheers, Book 2 (New Year’s)
Heathens to Hearts, Book 3 (Valentines)
Rainbows bring Riches, Book 4 (St. Patrick’s Day)
Sweet as Sugar, Book 5 (Easter)
Making Mom Mad, Book 6 (Mother’s Day)
Sparklers or Spankings, Book 7 (Memorial Day)
Raffles to Rattles, Book 8 (Father’s Day)
Flirting with Fireworks, Book 9 (4th of July)
Working with Wheels, Book 10 (Labor Day)
Masquerading at Midnight, Book 11 (Halloween)
Blessings & Beans, Book 12 (Thanksgiving)
Velvet & Vows, Book 13 (Christmas one year later)

Mother’s Day: A Short History by @Donna_Fasano

Mother’s Day is a celebration that commonly involves giving moms cards, flowers, and other gifts. But have you ever wondered how and when the holiday began? Well, here’s a short history. Mother's Day

Commemorating motherhood goes back to ancient Greek and Roman times when people gathered in festivals in honor of mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele. The first Christian celebrations to praise moms was called Mothering Sunday in the UK and other parts of Europe. Early Mothering Sundays had religious connotations. Held on the fourth Sunday of Lent, people would return to their “mother church”—the main church in their area—to celebrate a special service.

An Official Mother’s Day

Over time, Mothering Sunday became more secular and was established as a day when children would give small gifts of appreciation to their moms. Even this practice began to fade in Europe until the holiday caught fire in America in the early 1900s. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson officially designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

In honor of Mother’s Day, I have put my 2-book “duo” sweet romance boxed set on sale for just 99¢. You can save $6 off the regular price. Click the image of the book cover below to go to the Kindle Store.

No one on this earth is more resilient than a single mom. She has to be. Her children are vulnerable, and they’re depending on her to create a nurturing, loving environment. But single moms deserve caring and affection, too. Come along as fate forces… er, ah… helps Julia and Lainey find the men of their dreams. (Goodness knows, these single moms are both too busy to find love on their own!)

Falling For a Single Mom