IMAGES – MVHS Boys Swimming at Naperville North 2020


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Jan. 16th At Naperville North Tri Meet including DeKalb


MVHS – Boys Swimming 2019-2020 – Seniors


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Jan. 6th 2020

Below are the Seniors who are members of the Metea Valley High School Boys Swim Team for the 2019-2020 season.


Nov. 2nd 2019

This was our last day in Beijing.  We made our final Stop at the Beijing Zoo and visited the 10 panda enclosures.

Tiananmen Square – Forbidden City



Nov. 2nd -Tiananmen Square – Forbidden City

Select Images from Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City

From 2000

Same Image 2019

image in 2000                                                 Same in 2019

Tiananmen Square in 2000

Tianamen Square 2019


More Images from 2000

More Images from 2019

The Great Wall – China


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Nov. 1st

The Great Wall is still the same yet so different.   in 2000 there was just one entrance through a hole in the wall.  Now there are three.  The hole in the wall – a funicular which we rode and a cable car.   In 2000 the busses parked on the road leading up to the hole in the wall – now there are large parking lots.   This year we have notice much larger numbers of Chinese Tourest at each of our stops.  All three entrances are needed to allow visitors to have a chance to walk on the great wall.   No security checks or video surveillance in 2000.   It looks as if they are also working to restore more of the wall beyond the section you are now allowed to walk on.

The entrance in 2000 – everything was up from this location.
Now there are three entrances – I marked the path we took in 2000 (yellow) the path we took this year (Red) and the cable car entrance (Blue)
During both our 2000 and 2019 trip we walked to the end of the line and look on to where the wall continued.   This was much easier in 2019 as the funicular dropped us off half way there.  the difference was remarkable.  Were once the wall was in decay you can see the work done so far to restore the wall and I am guessing that it will at some point be open to visitors.
In 2000

Same location in 2019 – still not open to the public.

Other images look just about the same – except that we visited in Fall this time so the trees are not all green.
2000 – green trees

2019 – Fall

Leaving our hotel we had a beautiful sun rise and there is the required stop prior to climbing the wall.
IMAGES FROM 2000 –  We had much more up and down climbing to do – but there were fewer people when you got to the end as the hike was twice as long and much more difficult.

Beijing – Old Town Hutongs – Tea – Family Dinner


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Oct. 31st

We flew from Xian to Beijing arriving in the afternoon.  In Beijing we went first to the Bell and Drum Square for a  sampling of different Tea.  After our tea tasting we walked on to the  Old Town, Hutongs, for dinner with a local family.

The Old Town is one of the few locations in Beijing were people are allowed to train racing pigeons.   I was able to spot a few roof top pigeon lofts in the area but unable to get a good photo of any of them.

China -Xian – Terra Cotta Warriors


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Oct. 30th

On the 29th we traveled from Lhasa to Xian.   The morning of the 30th we headed out to see the Terra Cotta Warriors.   The site had not changed much at all from our visit in 2000 but the area around the site was quite different and there were many more visitors.     In 2000 the street leading up the entrance was not wide and filled with vendors in canvas stalls and the main entrance was very close to the main building.    Now you park quite far away and the parking lots are enormous.  It is a large distance from the parking lot and ticket booths  to the entrance and so we took a golf kart ride to the entrance.  Leaving we walked back and on the way there were shops and vendors but in permanent building in a very nice setting.  On this trip photography was allowed.   In 2000 there were guards who did not want you to take pictures in side, but I did get some.


IMAGES FROM OUR TRIP IN 2000 – Include the farmer who made the discovery, signing books.

Lhasa – Tibet Potala Palace and Sera Monastery


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Oct. 28th

We visited tot Potala Palace and Sera Monastery.    With the thin air (12,000 ft)  it was quite an effort to climb the Potala Palace.   We stopped several times to rest on the way up.  I was waiting for the highest point to get photos looking down, but once we got about 3/4 of the way up we were mostly indoors and there was no place to look down until we were exiting on the far side.  Same as at the Jokhang Temple we were not allowed to photography the interior but a good portion looked just like the interior of the Nunnery we visited the day before and the Sera Monastery which we visited later in the afternoon.

After leaving the Potala Palace we had lunch prior to visiting the Sera Monastery.  At the Sera Monastery we were allowed to photograph the interior.

After our group returned to our hotel Becky and I went our for a walk to the Jokhang Temple area looking for a shop that sold hangings similar to those found in the temples made for hanging in your home.  It took a while but we did find a shop.

Lhasa Tibet – visit Jokhang Temple – Barkhor Market – Local Nunnery


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We went by bus from our hotel to a stop about three blocks from the entrance to the Jokhang Temple.  Similar to many of our other visit to sites in China we under went a facial recognition  scan and xray of our bags.

The Temple is surrounded by the Barkhor Market and people in the Market were circling the Temple in a clock wise direction.  We did the same and then went to a local restaurant  for lunch.

After lunch we walked to a local Nunnery for a short visit before walking back to our hotel for some rest.

Tibet – Arrival – Home visit and transfer to Lhasa


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Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, lies on the Lhasa River’s north bank in a valley of the Himalayas. Rising atop Red Mountain at an altitude of 3,700 m, the red-and-white Potala Palace once served as the winter home of the Dalai Lama. The palace’s rooms, numbering around 1,000, include the Dalai Lama’s living quarters, as well as murals, chapels and tombs.

Sat.  Oct. 26th

Leaving the Yangtze behind we deboarded in Chongqing and flew to Jiazhulinzhen  on the Tibetan Plateau, where we visited a local family compound before going by bus to  Lhasa.

Our local guide indicated that the family  we visited would be middle class for the area.

Arriving in Lhasa we checked in to the hotel and were given the afternoon to rest and adjust to the altitude of nearly 12,000 feet before resuming visiting sites the next morning.

On this day most of the people touring with Viking went to the Chongqing Zoo to visit the Pandas.   As our flight left earlier in the day we saw the Pandas on our last day in Beijing.


Our hotel in Lhasa


The view from our hotel