Originally posted on my other blog because I didn’t know how to switch it on the WordPress app! This was actually from Friday but better late than never 🙂
I am feeling so cool right now because I’m writing this post on one of the free iPads in the Delta terminal! This morning marks the start of our 2 week trip to China and I’m both excited (for the actual trip part of it) and dreading it (13.5 hour flight is so exhausting!). There’s also the imminent language barrier so it’s time to brush up on my very elementary Mandarin!
Surprisingly enough neither me nor my husband are very tired considering we spent much of yesterday driving down to NYC from Syracuse – although I did take a nice long nap when we got home! We woke up at 4:30 and by 5:30 we were on the road, getting a ride to La Guardia Airport courtesy of my wonderful dad! It was a quick half hour drive and then we were in! We had checked in online the night before (I love this!) so all we needed to do was drop our bags off and we were good to go. Being used to the chaos of JFK, we had arrived super early but at LGA the security check line was insanely short – we were done in 10 minutes and then we were on to the food court! As expected expensive but actually pretty decent.
Delta Terminal D also has a pretty cool lounge area where they offer seating with mini iPads with free Internet usage – quite surprising in this day and age of charging fees for breathing the air and whatnot.
Chilling with our free iPads before our flight! Also they keep you updated with your flight status at the bottom so you don’t miss your flight while playing with their electronic goodies.
So our trip will be mostly visiting family, starting with Shanghai to visit one of my husband’s cousins and his wife. It’s a little mind blowing to think that the last time we saw them, his wife was pregnant and since then they’ve had a little boy who is now 3 years old! Time seriously flies.
While in Shanghai we will be visiting Zhujiajiao, a water town just an hour away. I’ll admit I’m a little disappointed because the weather is great in Shanghai today (78 degrees and sunny!) but by the time we land it will be down to 50s with chance of precipitation. Similar weather in Jinan, the main city we will be staying in and my husband’s hometown. Why does bad weather follow us wherever we go?!
Still, it’s warmer than the 30’s weather we are used to so I suppose I can’t complain! In fact it’s practically swimsuit weather for us!
Jinan is a Chinese city that most people will not find reason to visit. It does not have the cachet of the more famous cities of China such as Beijing or Shanghai – in fact, Jinan has the dubious honor of being known as one of the most polluted cities in China! However, my husband was born in and raised in Jinan until he was 15, and his maternal family still lives there. Therefore, we made plans to visit Jinan and some other cities for three weeks – March 2-23, 2010.
This was pretty significant in our relationship because at that point we had been dating for about a year and a half and I was going to meet half of his family. Needless to say, I was a little nervous. Compounding my anxiety was the fact that I don’t speak Mandarin well at all! Or understand much either. My parents are from Hong Kong and Guangzhou, areas where they mainly speak Cantonese – therefore, it would be difficult to communicate well with his family. I was also a little anxious because in China, the one-child policy has caused parents to be extremely protective of their single child – even more so for a son due to social and cultural ideas. I was well-aware that I could be found wanting by his relatives – a non-Mandarin speaking and short Chinese girl. Apparently their family is proud of their height (my husband is 6’1″, in contrast I am 5’….). Already a few strikes against me!
the symbol of Jinan in Quancheng Square
Once in a while I like to revisit my past trips and relive the experiences that I had on those trips. There’s the good, the bad, and sometimes the ugly – but it always brings back fond memories and hindsight even the bad or annoying things get a nice sheen of nostalgia too!
a dramatic sky over the desert landscape in Arizona
The first trip I’ll be revisiting is the trip that my husband and I took to Phoenix and Sedona in Arizona, from 11/27-12/1 2011. Honestly, I had never really thought about visiting Arizona again (I had briefly gone to the Grand Canyon with my family as a child). It was actually a Groupon gone wrong that led me on this trip! Originally my friend and I had each bought a Groupon for a three day-stay at a ranch in Tucson, AZ that included meals, horseback riding, and a tour for only $64! It sounded like a great deal, and we decided we would both bring our significant others. Everything seemed fine – I called them to book a stay in late November after Thanksgiving and they had us down in a nice bungalow. I booked my airline tickets back in February (I like to book my tickets early… my downfall in this case!) and everything seemed pretty set!