Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Friday, November 7, 2008

China Spree

Well! It appears that we have neglected our Blog but the fact is that we left for China on Oct. 9th and were gone the rest of October. We are now over jet lag and while Wayne is tearing off our roof I am finally taking the time to fill in the gap.

Wayne found a tour company that had a fantastic deal on a trip to China so we booked this thing over a year ago. I was sceptical about whether the trip would turn out to be as good as it was promoted to be. Wayne can say I told you so! We had the most fantastic adventure.

We left Fresno on Thursday afternoon and we arrived in Bejeing on Friday night. We were greeted by a Chinese version of Wayne's uncle Carlisle. He was friendly, energetic and ready to go! Bill was to be our National Guide and would stay with us the entire 3 weeks. In each area we went to we also had a Local Guide. Our group consisted of 18 people and we could not have put together a better group if we had hand picked them ourselves. We were like family by the end of the trip. One couple has daughters in Frederick, MD. One of them even lives in the housing developement that Jonathan and Margo are in. We have already made arrangements to meet in Frederick in May.

We traveled a huge loop from Bejeing to Shanghai. We had plane rides, cruises, and train rides to get from city to city and then in each place we prayed fervently as we put our lives into the hands of a bus driver who had to weave through the horendous crowds of cars, bikes and scooters. Let me just say I would NEVER attempt to drive over there. The traffic is crazy.

Beijing had been cleaned up and spruced up for the Summer Olympics. This was a floral display from the Olympics, at Tienamen Square.

This picture shows the huge crowds we had to deal with at The Forbidden City.

In the course of our travels we saw Tienamen Square, The Forbidden City, the Terra Cotta Warriors, The Great Wall, The Shaolin Temple, Temple of Heaven, The Summer Palace, a tea plantation, a mountain with thousands of carved Buddhas, lakes, streams, farmers homes, etc., etc.

We stayed in 4 and 5 star hotels, ate chinese food twice a day for 20 days, learned to sing the Olympic song in Chinese, went to a silk factory, mongolian carpet factory, jade factory, pearl factory and a few other factories. We experienced the art of haggling over prices in the factories and in the markets. That was fun!

The Wall of glass was the BATHROOM! The beds were just beside this wall.
Several hotels had all glass in the bathroom.

These "yellow" pictures are of our room on the cruise down the Yangtze River. I guess the lighting was not good for picture taking.

We upgraded to a suite and were SOOO glad that we did. It was wonderful!

This was the head board in one of the hotels. I have no idea what it said but I do know that you read it from right to left. No matter what it said it was really pretty!

This was a "family" restaurant in the Hutaung where we at lunch one day. I think it was one of the best meals that we had.

This was our Peking Duck night.

Wayne has four hours worth of picture viewing but has not downloaded the pictures yet. I have posted just a few of the pictures I took before deciding that I did not need to take pictures because he was taking 5 to my 1. I am sure that we will add to this later.

Though 3 weeks was a long time to be away from home, we loved every minute of the trip. It is by far the best vacation that we have ever taken. The people were wonderful, the sites were fantastic and we had such a great time. We would encourage anyone who has an opportunity to travel to China to do it! With the way things are going with the economy, China is the most economical place to travel to.

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