Grace, Martha, and I loved to take road trips in California, camping on the coast, in the Sierras, along highway 395 on the eastern side of the Sierras. At home in Berkeley we often walked the trails of Tilden Park and later Redwood Park.
Then in 1970 we had our first big international adventure: six months on the Costa del Sol in Spain. After stops in Ireland and London we landed in Madrid, enjoyed Christmas Eve in Toledo, and settled in Nerja, 50km east of Malaga. From there we traveled to the Andalusian cities of Ronda, Cordoba, Seville, and Granada. Life in Nerja was quiet and slow, despite the busloads of Germans, Brits, and Scandanavians descending on el Balcon de Europa regularly.
One of Grace’s village life stories was the Sunday morning that she felt sure she was dying and had us call for the doctor. He was traveling so she called us to her bedside, and held our hands crying. Then Renee, visiting from Berkeley, asked where the rest of the brownies were that she’d cooked the night before. A Moroccan traveling salesman had come through and opened his coat to display dozens of little pockets, each containing a hunk of hash. Grace blushed a deep red and jumped out of bed since she’d “cleaned up the crumbs” that morning.
Grace’s international travel picked up in 1980 when her sister Aggie invited her to go to China with her, just after ping pong diplomacy opened the gateway. Then they traveled to India, Kashmir, and Sri Lanka in 1985, Italy in 1987, and a grand tour from Morocco to Spain, Portugal, and France in 2002.
In 2002 Grace accompanied me to Northern China, where I was working on environmental projects in Dalian. My sponsor, Dean Wu, treated us to a lavish all mushroom banquet and pulled strings to get us into a Chinese-only resort famous for its great beauty since the eighth century. This poem is from that fantastic visit. Bing Yu Guo
In 2003 I was a faculty member at a summer course on sustainable development in Chalon en Champagne, France. Timing was right so Grace and I celebrated our anniversary on a Bateaux Parisiens luxury dinner cruise on the Seine and by the river in Chalon en Champagne. From there we went to another course and a stay in a villa near Krakov, Poland. See photos in the travel gallery.