A Trip Back: China Part 1

I shared a few weeks back that Robert and I are deep in the throes of planning our trip to California in December. I finally took the plunge and booked our last hotel in San Francisco and my parents are treating us to our rental car as a Christmas gift. Thanks mom and dad!

Since I have previously confessed to my “Type A” trip planning, it should come as no surprise to anyone that my 4 page, color coded itinerary is near completion. Although I love to plan and create these itineraries, they really serve as more of a rough outline to make sure we don’t miss anything we really want to see. One of the best parts of exploring a new place, especially on foot (which is really the ONLY way, in my opinion) is detouring from your itinerary to meander down unexpectedly beautiful streets, wander through unique shops and stumble into delicious restaurants. It’s important to plan so that you aren’t running in circles or from one side of the city to the next and back again repeatedly, but it’s also essential to leave time to amble. I’m excited to experience what California has to offer, both on my list and off it!

Anyway, all that planning has had me fondly looking back on some of my favorite trips of years past. So I’ve decided to preserve those memories somewhere other than just Facebook albums…with blog posts! This will be the first of a series of travel posts about trips I’ve already taken. It will probably take me a while so they may be interspersed with current trips (California…yay!), recipes and of course other randomness. I hope you’ll enjoy reading them as much as I’m sure to enjoy reminiscing while writing them!

 Summer Palace

While I was busy learning about phonemes and language acquisition in my first year of graduate school, my best friend Anna was living in China, teaching English for a year. Anna is not only hilarious, fun to be around and beautiful (because that isn’t enough, right?), she’s also really smart. Like keeps up with current events other than just on yahoo, actually understands politics and speaks Mandarin Chinese smart. I know what you’re thinking, it’d be easy to hate her, but she’s just so darn lovable. So I decided to take a break from learning how to elicit R’s and spend my Christmas vacation visiting her in China. Best. Decision. Ever. A trip almost always is though, right?

Great Wall

So after lots of e-mails and planning (mostly on her part), I renewed my passport, got a travel visa, packed what I thought were appropriate clothes for a trip half way around the world and hopped on a plane. 16 hours in coach and one unsuccessful sleeping pill later I arrived in Shanghai!

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