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Recovery is faster using Apple products

It is now six days since we arrived back from our 17 day trip to China and things are pretty organized. We have gotten over our jet lag, unpacked, organized our papers and souvenirs from the trip, done the laundry and food shopping, and feel pretty good.

I’m headed to the dentist tomorrow to repair a chipped laminate on one of my front teeth (of course, it happened right at the beginning of the trip and I spent the rest of the trip trying to talk and smile without it showing).  In the meantime, my nickname is Fang. Steve is headed to the same dentist on Wednesday to put back a crown that fell off around the middle of the trip. Fortunately that was not so visible. Really fortunately, neither inhibited our ability to eat the delicious Chinese food on our trip.

But the biggest piece of wonderful news is that I can start painting tomorrow.  Every previous trip we’ve taken has included three weeks of recovery in the form of moving my photos from the camera memory cards to the computer, reviewing them, deleting some, printing a lot and placing the printed photos and my typed notes and assorted receipts, postcards, etc. into a trip binder. All very organized and helpful in showing friends where we were, answering my husband’s later questions and providing me with an easy way to review photos in preparation for a painting.

But there’s been a revolution since I began using Apple products.  It started when my son bequeathed me his old Mac desktop when he bought a new one about 5 years ago.  Then a year later, he gave me that “not quite so new” one when he moved to California.  Somewhere in there Steve and I both got iPhones and I realized how easy everything was syncing Apple products. The final pièce de résistance came when I bought an iPad.

I had already started using iPhoto on my Mac and loved how easy it was to crop, organize and label my photos. But this long-planned China trip was coming up and I was already dreading the 3-week post-trip organizing phase.  I’d seen a fellow traveler on our previous trip to Iceland organizing her photos on her iPad during a few of the longer bus rides and was determined to do the same in China.

There were a few glitches, but it worked pretty well.  I couldn’t post anything to my blog or to Facebook from within China (wasn’t sure why the Chinese government thought my blog would be sensitive, then realized all WordPress blogs were blocked), but I could — and did — organize all my photos into iPhoto Journals during the bus trips and flights around China. It took the help of one of my fellow travelers, John, who in a previous life had taught business people how to use Apple products, to figure out how to do it, but I was able to get the lion’s share of the post-trip organizing done during the actual trip itself. Halleluia!

China Spree, the trip organizer, kept us pretty busy during the trip itself (and I can’t paint on the bus or plane), so I only managed to do one quick sketch some time after our cruise on the Li River (an absolutely wonderful cruise with spectacular — paintable — scenery). I actually did two sketches, but the second one was gawd-awful, so I’m not showing to anyone.  Here’s the first one.



It is loosely based on the exposed limestone (karst) mountains we saw on our Li River cruise, the marble floor in one of our hotel bathrooms in China, and the calligraphy I admired throughout China, but especially in the Shanghai Museum.

I have an “Iceland” painting  to finish, started before I left for China, but right now karst, calligraphy and the Dragon Spine Rice Terraces are calling me.


Posted by ruthhurd on October 14, 2013

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