The End of The Summer

We came back to Peking University a week ago. Before that, we had a week filled with shopping and packing and of course saying goodbye to everyone.

I replay what I have experienced this summer in my mind.
I remember the first day we arrived, tired but definitly excited and curious.
I remember the first meal we had in the US was Chinese food, and so were the second and the third meals.
I remember the first time I went to my lab and met my advisor, nervous but pleasant. I remember my first Meijer trip alone, stunned by the fact that I have to walk twenty min with two heavy bags all by myself and kept complaining about the car dominant country.
I remember the first and the last movie experience at showcase, Harry Potter!
I remember the volleyball time with other REU students, we were a great team~
I remember the taste of ice cream made with liquid nitrogen, of course!
I remember the first Chinese meal we made by ourselves.
I remember the first movie I made by myself of the beta hairpin in my project.
I remember the first poster of mine and the first "international" joint meeting!
I remember them now and will still remember them for a long time.

Summer 2007, thank you.

It is the end of this summer, but it is also the start of a fresh year!



I am insane last night for deciding to spend the night in my lab!

I always think about sleep in my lab but every time I think it is insane and so give up. Come on, there is a comfortable couch!

And last night, coming back from the celebration party for the succesful defense of a graduate student in my lab, with a little nerve from the wine, I made up my mind: I am going to sleep in my lab tonight!

Waken up several times in the night because of cold, I was dizzy and forgot my way in the morning. Trying really hard, I find out where I am and decided to go out for a run. Struggling to my feet, I felt pains here and there in my body. Anyway, I went out to run a short time and my head "hit" the grass in the lawn and I fell asleep!

When I came back to my lab, there is still no one there. And a few minutes later, my mentor came and I am sure he must be surprised since I never came to the lab earier than him like today... haha


Chicago, Hi & Bye (4) --- These and Those

When I sat in the train took me back to Ann Arbor, I still did not relieve, still worry about whether I am in the right train (actually, I did get in a wrong carriage but in the right train ) or whether miss something. With a short time but a big ambitions, I had made a tense, really tense plan:
arrive at about 5 pm the first day and then have a simple dinner
1. the art insititude for free tour to nine o'clock.
2. explore and wonder in the Michigan Ave and go to the music fountain.
3. have formal dinner in some restaurant in the Michigan Ave
4. Check in hostel and get some sleep.
the second day:
1. get up and have breakfast
2. the Grant Park and its neighbour
3. Chicago river
4. Navy Pier, rant a bike and have a tour
5. the beach of Michigan lake
6. have lunch in signiture room on 95th story of the John Hancock Observatory
7. the Field Museum

After a really rush hour, we made all these! However, if let me to plan again, I would not be so greedy and wish to get a relaxation, after all, that is what tourism means.
And we had some troubles too. The short of battery and memory card of the camera really freak us out and made us breathless. It is unacceptable for us not to take photos in such a wonderful tour. That makes me think again, we pay too much attentions to the photos that we nearly lose the chance to enjoy ourself!

Chicago, Hi & Bye (3) --- Museum

An undeniable famous part of Chicago is its many world-class museum, from art to science.

We first went to the Art institude of Chicago because there is a free night on Friday ^_^

Although I am not a "art" person, I don't know much about art, but that does not mean I cannot appreciate art! After nearly two hours wandering in this big collection of art, I am a little lost and so tired. I began to think is it really a good idea to assemble so many great art masterpiece together? At least for viewer, the answer may be no. Let alone the visual fatigue brought by watching so many works at one time, it is not fair for many works since they cannot get the fully appreciation and respect they deserve when showed with so many other great pieces together. And it may also increase the risk for storage, once something like fire or other distroy happans, it will be a disaster for the whole world. During the tour, someone works there told us the story of one of the most valuable pieces in the museum which came from France. she was so pride of the museum for having bought it at a low price when the France didn't notice the value of it and refusing to sell it back to France after ten years at a very high price. I do feel happy for her but I don't agree to her. The painting should be in its own place, its own country where it was created and only where it can emit its charm and magic completely.

We also have a glance at the museum of contemporary art, it is really comfusing...

Now comes my favorate, the Field Museum of Nature History. It is so pity that we only got one and half an hour! Just show some photos here:

Chicago, Hi & Bye (2) --- City view

Before the trip, I got an imagination of myself about what it is going to look like in the big city in the US. I have imagined the tall buildings side by side standing so near in front of us and taking our breath away, I have imagined the hurry and wave of crowd running after their destination and the fast life pace and I also have imagined the high rate of crime. All of these are partly proved to be true. I saw the most tallest building ever in my life and in such a unbelievable density:

And the people do walk realy fast:

And I have heard more three times of the beeping of police car or emergency car.

So I may think that living in a city like this is scary and uncomfortable at all.

However, what I saw which is what I haven't and cannot imagine is a beautifully and comfortablly agree between the nature and the city. We can see the birds flying in the forest of buildings and so many parks around us, entertaining us.

Water, yes, water, that is the impressive view Chicago left to me. Not to say the great Michigan Lake, the Chicago River, the Fountain has already made me forget every unhappiness. Just take a day off and lie on the beach of the Lake and there is nothing more relaxing than that. What supprised is that the lake and the river are in such a fitness with the whole city or we can say the whole city is so harmonic to them. The sound of water, cars, laughters all came together to my ears and doesn't become noise but a symphony instead. It is really amazing.

And the city got something knocking our minds out, some fancy staff as well:

Maybe not very clearly, can you see the small box after the bike? There is a baby in it! I've never seen someone carrying their babies like that! And please look carefully, there is not a single car at all in the most busiest street! That is the red light, hehe

We have seen many luxious cars like this one in Chicago. But what I want you to see is the motorcycle on the up right of the photo. It is because the speed of the motorcycle that makes these two fancy lines. There is a competation of motorcycle that night, I think, it is really cool!

A really interesting thing. You can see the whole view and yourself as well in this mirror-like thing.

And there are still a lot of interesting staff we have seen or wait us to see next time. We really had a great time in this fantastic city, attracted by its harmony, its amazing view, sound and smell.

Chicago, Hi & Bye (1) --- Before the trip

Actually, I have been "dreaming" for the trip for a long time but for the reason of no place to stay at night I put it down. Only until one day a friend of mine here happened to talk about the hostel she has spent a night at that I can take the dream into realty to consideration finally.
So, first I want to talk about the hostel. It is like a place specially provided to the young travellers who don't have much money and willing to share a room with others to make friends with each other. That is the idea. At first, I was a little worried about the condition of the room and roommates. However, when I check in there is no anxiety any more. Here are some photos I took in my room:

the apartment contains four sleeping rooms each can hold two people and a rest room a shower room and also a living room for commen use. Very clean, convenient and comfortable. This is the view of my sleeping room:

So, basically hostel is a pretty good option for our students. And you can make reservation before your trip to make everything easy. Just type "hostel" and the destination in google you can find what you want : )

Now, talk about the transportation. I choose to take trains because the railway station locates in downtown which makes it much easier for our tour and it is cheap and doesn't take a very long time, only four hours. Interestingly is the difference in the time zone between Chicago and Michigan. So according to that it took us three hours to go and five hours to come back.

I made a reservation on line (at Amtrak) first and picked up the tickets at the station.

For in the city, there are many options to take and all of them are very convenient. The subway in Chicago is very developed. However, we didn't get the chance to try it this time. Because the interests we want to visit this time are almost all in the downtown so we can just walk or take buses. There is a website helps you to make your travel plans by bus much easier:

on the bus:

make sure to take the time for transport when planing your trip and leave some time for emergency please. We almost missed our train when we went back though we have left one hour for the time on road already. There always got something out of your plans however perfect it is. It is lucky of us to catch a taxi after running and looking for half an hour. One more thing: do not forget to give tips when you get out of a taxi. ^_^

Another tips: If you want to save money, you can have lunch in the signiture room of John Hancock Observatory without pay for the fee of tour. The view is almost the same and the lunch is not too expensive. Don't forget to make a reservation first.

Sorry for that some photos are not in the right way~


Chicago, Hi & Bye

It is such a short trip (only one day) that it looks like just say hi to Chicago and we have to say bye. However, we do have a wonderful and unforgetable experience in this modern big city!