Several wonders of the world....
Despite some frigidly cold temperatures, especially the day we visited the Forbidden City, Beijing was an exciting and fabulous place to visit!
A random SWAT team, after helping us push our broken down bus Beijing was also a haven of street food. And I saw a lot of it, but I didn't get any pictures! The night we were planning to go out and actually photograph street vendors, we were so ridiculously chilled from being out during the day that we couldn't bring ourselves to leave the hotel. But I saw lots of things on skewers – squid, octopus, snakes, scorpions and beetles. We were advised not to try any of it, and even though I decided the last day that I was going to go out and at least get some candied fruit on a stick (stalls for these skewers were all over the place), that was the night that we were too cold to move. So our last night in Beijing was kind of a bust, but flying down to the tropical paradise of Guangzhou definitely made up for it.
Guangzhou has about 12 million people and traffic that is just as bad, if not worse than Beijing. We stayed on Shamian Island, which is a colonial British historical area in the Pearl River. After the cold temps of Beijing, it really did feel like paradise. I don't know if I've ever felt so happy as I did the day we arrived, took off our winter coats and walked around in 83 degree weather, admiring the palm trees, the river, and the colonial architecture. (Oh man, I sooo wish I was still there!)
Silkworm larvae at a restaurant....
...and an assortment of creatures on the sidewalkBy the time I was on my way to Hong Kong by myself, I was feeling a lot more at ease and confident of managing all of my travel plans. I mean, Hong Kong only has seven million people! Big deal! And really, the downtown at least was much like any other large city. I even saw an Outback Steakhouse as I was wandering around. My best moment there was standing still for awhile, just watching the traffic and the people, and thinking to myself, 'It's Thursday night, and I'm standing in the middle of downtown Hong Kong.' I don't think I will ever forget that moment.
My best picture of Hong Kong - from the airportSo, after the longest day of traveling I've ever experienced – actually, the longest day of my life, literally – I made it home. Thirty hours of traveling can take a toll on a person. Just the fifteen hour flight from Hong Kong to Newark was what I imagine hell to be like. I really think I would rather be burned alive. It would be quicker, at least. And the biggest news is that Meg and Russ came home with my new nephew, Asher! Here are a couple of pictures:
The happy family
He's still up in the air about all of itWell, thanks for reading my quick and dirty synopsis of the China trip. I will get back to food in my next post.