So a quick overview of the China trip. If you have any questions, feel free to ask me or a family member 🙂
– Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City (not so forbidden anymore eh?) It was much too cold for my liking
– Rickshaw ride in the old neighborhood, as well as a tour of a home
– Tai Chi lesson
– Silk factory
– Shopping at the Pearl Market and the market with all the good “fake goods” (ended up getting good and lost in the market and being the last people out by at least 30 minutes. Us kids, though, not the parents, we lost them)
– Peking Duck dinner
– Early morning drive to the Great Wall! After a little confusion, Allie and I rode toboggans down to the bottom after traversing the wall
– Lunch at a local place with a tour of an art making gallery and workshop. The workshop made traditional wire paintings and pottery and jewelry
– The Summer Palace
– Acrobatic show (I have lots of pictures for this, and some ridiculous stories, such as 7 men on motorcycles in a wire ball at one time, moving; then there were 12 girls stacked all over each other on a bicycle; I mean really, the talents they all had were amazing)
– Morning flight to Shanghai; arrived at the “Hyatt on the Bund”
– The family wandered Shanghai with Katy and her mom, ended up at a Howard Johnson’s buffet dinner. Let me tell you though, this was not your average HoJo’s, had you put our hotel next to it, with no label, I would have assumed it was a Ritz or something like it. The dinner was delicious, with plenty of crab and sushi and meats and beer and chocolate fondue to go around. Afterwards was a little window shopping and then we headed back to the hotel
– This morning, we woke up bright and early to go on a tour of the water town, or the Venice of China. The town was exactly that, with elaborate waterways, funky boats and houses and shops just lining the water. We visited a temple, tied our wish ribbons and did a little shopping (I even bought two pet turtles that I was able to keep for about 24 hours. Yin and Yang will live in my heart forever.)
– Lunch was at the “Seagull” restaurant and was pretty much the same food we’d been having the whole trip… the food was starting to get a little old. Group style food in China is not my favorite.
– A traditional tea ceremony was next. It was fun to see the different kinds, including a type of tea that contained a jasmine flower that opened in hot water.
– Our last dinner, after drinks at the top floor of the hotel, was at an Italian restaurant (we were clearly sick of the food) and then it was time to head to bed before our last day in China
– The last day consisted of breakfast at the hotel, and then we went to the “fakes” market to do some last minute shopping. After finding some cute purses and other items, we headed back to the hotel to get ready to be shuttled to the ship.
– After doing some last-minute touring of the ship, there was a reception for the parents with the deans and our teachers and the staff of the ship. After a speech by the deans, it was all of the sudden time to say goodbye and our families were ushered quickly off the ship in order to prepare for our departure. After a teary goodbye, we were waving to the parents as they hopped on the buses and headed to their dinner spot.
And we were off to Japan!