Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts from the first 1/2 day

And advice for future adoption travelers.

A 13.5 hour flight is as long as it sounds like it would be.

If anyone is traveling to China anytime soon... my advice, don't bother packing anything but perhaps a travel pillow in a bag for the flight. Because once your backpack is "securely stowed underneath the seat in front of you"... you won't be able to get it out because the seat in front of you will be reclined the whole flight leaving about 4 inches of space between you and the seat back. So, instead take out your pillow from your bag and put the bag in the storage compartment. You'll have more room for your feet so you can actually move them. DON'T do what we did... two backpacks and a camera bag stuck by our feet for 13.5 hours made an uncomfortable flight even more uncomfortable. We were so grateful for in-flight entertainment system... enough movies, tv shows, games, etc to keep anyone occupied for quite a long time.

You CAN find a place for coffee at 4:30 am... we know because Steve went on the hunt this morning after we woke up at 3 am and couldn't fall back to sleep.

It's a lot of fun learning how to say words in Mandarin. Everyone so far has been SO nice and patient with us. I love that my husband is willing to try to learn how to say anything, and willing to eat anything!

Dinner last night was an experience. I'm sure we offended every person around us with our rude American behavior. First, we were so tired we literally had trouble keeping our eyes open at the table. Second, we stink at using chopsticks. I had a shrimp wonton noodle soup. It was quite yummy (except for the unidentifiable eyeball looking thing floating in it... I just didn't eat that) , but I had trouble picking up the wontons, so Steve picked them up and fed it to me. Steve was slurping his noodles a lot. :)

Pointing and gesturing is critical to communication success. Sort of fun! Anyway, the waitress pointed to what we owed on our check, but I swear it was wrong because our whole meal cost cost 80 RMB... $13 US dollars. And we had an appetizer, two main dishes and a bottle of water.

No worries friends, there is a Starbucks down the street. :)

We went for a walk yesterday to stay awake. We intended on crossing the street, but gave up when we realized, unless we risked our life, we weren't getting across. We tried to stay with the natives... but even they couldn't cross.

Skype is awesome! We have already seen/talked to the kids TWICE!

This one is for you R - S says... there IS ESPN, however it only seems to carry European soccer.

Unfortunately, our extreme fatigue last night stopped us from enjoying the last night of the Lantern Festival. However, at about 11 pm, I was woken by a TON of fireworks going off outside... it lasted for about an hour, non-stop. I'm sure it would have been cool to see, but I enjoyed thinking about all the people celebrating the Lantern festival.... while I happily slept. Too bad it wasn't tonight, perhaps we could have enjoyed it more.

We are going to meet the rest of our travel group in about 1/2 hour and have a day of sightseeing planned.

OK. Sort of random thoughts so far. I know... kind of boring.

3 days until Gotcha Day!!!!!!!


  1. Thanks for the advice for us future travelers. Sounds like you're having fun getting acclimated. Awesome news about the

    Have fun on your outing today!

  2. LOL. Sorry S. Wow. You guys are getting along fantastically. Starbucks? Good food. Skype. Fun walks. And you basically JUST GOT THERE! Awesome. Enjoy! You should get over that grogginess in a day or so. Fear not.
    OK. DEF want to go back for Lantern Festival. Sounds cool.

  3. Did you HEAR him?! He wants to go back for the Lantern Festival! What does this mean?????


    Do you hear Muzak wherever you go? Our favorite was Chariots of Fire at breakfast. And yes...R ran in slow motion to the buffet. You can't take him anywhere, apparently.

    Miss you guys already! Prayed for you at WT tonight!

  4. Great talking to you today!! Hope you are having a blast doing the tourist thing today! Looking forward to the internet connecting working for yo & getting a few pictures downloaded!

  5. Wow, excellent post! Steve sounds like a fun person to travel with.

    Remember, "order what you want, eat what you get"!!


  6. Hey, sounds just like it's your first trip to China! $13 is a very expensive meal, but then things do cost more in Beijing. I can feed a family of 7 for that most of the time.
    Funny about the carryon bags, I have learned the hard way to take out anything I may want when I sit down, put it in the seatback pocket and then stow the rest. Of course, since I am usually sitting next to a person considerably shorter I can also put my bag in front of her and not have to kick it the whole trip.
    The chopsticks will get easier as will crossing the street. There is Starbucks in ZZ...JZ? ROFL, that's a no.
    Sorry you missed Lantern festival, it is my favorite holiday here. I guess you'll just have to come back. ;) Wishing you a great night of sleep and one more fun day of sightseeing before things start getting really interesting!