We are back from our incredible trip to China! It came at the perfect time in our lives and it was SO nice to get away. We left on April 21st and flew to LA, then from LA to Beijing. It was almost a 12 hour flight! We visiting Beijing, Xi’an and Shanghai. I didn’t really feel like our vacation started until we got here because normally when you leave your house, you get to your destination fairly quickly. We still had a full day until we got there! We lucked out and got a an empty seat in between Tyler and I so I was able to lay down and sleep for some of the trip. Can’t complain about that!
Some of the highlights of our trip:
1) Tyler’s sister Katelin has been serving an LDS mission in Singapore for the past year and a half and she met us at the Beijing airport! Not only did she meet us at the airport, but she was at our gate the second we got off the plane. It was so much fun to see her and hang out with her the whole time! This photo was after our 2 hour flight to LA then 12 hour flight to Beijing. I know I’m smoking hot, you don’t have to keep reminding me or it will go to my head.
2) The Great Wall of China. Did you know it is 4,000 miles long? Say what?! And it goes through mountains up and down. We climbed it, not walked it, because there were some parts that were really, really steep. I told Tyler it was like the stair stepper and if we lived in China we could just go there for our workout every day. It was incredible and I will never get over the fact that people built such incredible things with such little resources. I think that’s what I love about traveling the most. Being absolutely amazed with how talented people are.
3) The Terra Cotta Warriors. Tyler is convinced that China just made the whole thing up and is using it as a tourist attraction because we can’t get over how crazy incredible it is. The emperor had thousands of people build him his “tomb” with an army to protect him in the afterlife. Before that, the emperors would bury their servants with them…alive. Shiver.
4) Being really grateful for American food. We ate different version of the exact same dishes for 10 days straight for every lunch and dinner. I’m all about trying new cuisine…but a girl can only handle so much of the same thing every day! Give me anything and I’ll be sick of it after that long! We ordered Pizza Hut two nights in a row, and our tour guide said, “Two nights in a row?!” Um….
The plates they give you are the size of an appetizer plate and it’s all family style. Is that why America is fat? Our plates are too big? I filled up on rice most days and my waistline is really appreciating that one. If I gain weight I at least want it to be from eating a whole chocolate cake by myself or something.
We had dumplings one night which were good. They brought out different serving dishes with many varieties. And some of the Chinese restaurants had orange chicken!
5) Taking a cruise to see the Shanghai skyline. The second tallest building in the world is in Shanghai and the buildings are all incredible! I still don’t get how they don’t fall over. We have a nice little photo bomber in this picture. Hi, Lindsay! 😉
6) Suzhou. We went to a local market with live animals ready to be purchased and slaughtered for dinner. Eels, snakes, frogs, ducks, chickens, you name it and we saw it. If you don’t have a strong stomach, I suggest avoiding this. I thought it was so cool though! It grossed me out but I love seeing the way other people live. We took a little boat ride to get to this city. Some people were washing their clothes in the dirty river water. It definitely makes you grateful for all that you have. We went to a silk factory afterward and saw how silk is made. My mind was blown! Lots of silk worms, then cocoons, then machines that pull the silk and combine the little strands into one thread. We bought a silk comforter and it’s so cozy. After the factory we went to eat lunch and after the market, we couldn’t stomach much of the whole shrimp or fish head…
7) My cankles. This is not a highlight, per se, but something of significance! We took 7 flights in 9 days and my ankles were real ticked about it. I have never seen them so swollen in my whole life. My mother-in-law said she can sometimes feel the water jiggle in her feet when hers are swollen after traveling so much and I laughed so hard, then woke up the next morning and could totally feel my feet jiggling! My feet are normally bony skinny, so the fact that I could hardly buckle up my sandals on the biggest hole was a little surprising. I mean, look at these things! And no, I don’t have elephantiasis if you were wondering so keep the jokes to yourself.
8) Acrobatics show. Oh. my. gosh. I don’t even understand how these people were able to do such incredible things! Jumping through small hoops while flying through the air doing back handsprings, using the fabric that hung down from the ceiling to spin around and do crazy tricks. I know I’m doing a horrible job at explaining this but it was just unreal!
9) Going to a natural medical hospital. I loved this. They emphasized using natural herbs to prevent sickness instead of not taking care of yourself then having to use medicine after you’re sick. We also got a foot massage and Tyler’s massage therapist liked to see him in pain I think!
10) Seeing Tyler dance with the locals at the park. All of the locals gather at the parks because they don’t have yards and they do dances, play games and exercise. Tyler jumped right in, of course, and started dancing in a circle with them. I love that guy.
Let me know if you have any questions about my trip to China!!
What would I recommend packing for a trip like this, you ask? Well…funny you should ask because I was planning to tell you!
1. Comfy shoes!! I wore these J Crew New Balance Shoes every single day and I loved them. They’re white so they go with any outfit without standing out like running shoes. These ones were sold out then came back in stock and are not back ordered until August. DO IT!! They are worth the wait. They also have other colors too if you are feeling impatient. What I loved about them is that they are fitted to your foot and don’t make your foot look bulky like some sneakers. I have a very long foot so I have to worry about things like that. Also, don’t worry about the white getting dirty. Mine got a little smudge but I walked everywhere in them. They are super easy to clean and really don’t get very dirty at all.
New Balance for J Crew Shoes | $80
2. T-shirts! When you’re on a vacation like this where you are constantly moving, you want something that I comfortable, loose and easy. These ones are on sale!
3. Cute sunglasses. I have been crushing on these ones and there are some as low as $16!! Get a few and your shipping will be free after you spend $50.