Friday, February 24, 2012

From Houston to Beijing

Wed. 02.22.12
We woke up at 4am to a deafening sound of the radio. Dave wanted to make sure we didn't sleep in by accident! Although waking up at crack of dawn and only getting 2.5 hours of sleep was not ideal, I realized that leaving just one hour to get ready was also not enough. I personally should've woken up 30 minutes earlier as I needed more time to actually wake up.

United Airlines (UA) domestic flight: I still can't believe the airline no longer offers "free" snacks, not even a small packet of nuts or pretzels! Luckily I had a banana for breakfast and packed some granola bars. Slept a little; watched a bit of TV on shared screens, which made the four-hour flight go by a little faster. I didn't even have enough time to fully test out my new foldable foot rest (I'm 5 ft and a peanut) but when I used it, the circulation in my legs and feet immediately improved.

UA international flight: Dave went to the desk and asked if we could be moved to a row all to ourselves and he succeeded. What a smart guy. We met our agency's travel group (three other couples) at the gate in San Francisco! Very nice people. On the plane, I was very disappointed to find that we didn't get individual TV screens. However, having a row to ourselves made up for it as we could free up some floor space by placing our jackets and bags on the spare seat. Oh, just to save you from watching one of the worst movies ever made, don't watch the new Footloose; it really was terrible. Lunch was delicious though and I've just discovered ginger sesame dressing, which was yummy. I wish I had packed my own iPad. I had a bunch of games and activities that would have kept me pretty occupied on the long leg of our flight, and I also downloaded some kids' storybooks as well so I may have to search for these again on Dave's iPad. We just didn't have enough space and our carry-ons were already hefty on the shoulders. Finally, if you're a fan of 80s music, check out channel 8. I couldn't help myself from upper-body-dancing and mime-singing in the dark!

Thu. 02.23.12
We all met our guide, George, after baggage claim. He is such a nice and happy guy. He briefed us a little on the bus to our hotel but we were all so tired that we probably didn't take in everything. The Crowne Plaza Wangfujing was quite nice (photos below). Our room was on the fifth floor and I couldn't smell any cigarette smoke at all so I can save my Febreze for the time being!

After hanging out with another couple for drinks and supper, we crashed. We had a great night's sleep for about 7 hours! The bed wasn't as "hard" as George had warned us about and the only time we woke up was when the room phone rang twice at 12:30am!! Wrong number -- grrr!

Fri. 02.24.12
Breakfast was amazing. Dave was so happy with the bacon because it was similar to British bacon (more meat, less fat). We're meeting George at 8:45am in the lobby so I will share details about the Beijing tour at Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, and Hutong Tour later on.

Three more days until we see Henry!!!

Crowne Plaze Wangfujing
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There was even a mirror in the shower!
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Dave checking out the safe


Team Robichaux said...

Yay!! So happy you have made it safely!! I am also happy to hear that the hotel wasn't as smokey as the reviews made it sound. I think you and Sue have made me feel at ease about staying there. 3 more days!! Woohoo!!


Nancy said...

Hanging on every word! (and picture!)
thank you for sharing,
(coming in right behind you!)

Anonymous said...

Glad you arrived safely! How exciting! Thanks for keeping us updated Lin. I have been checking your blog no end of times waiting for an update! Also harrassing the kids to check face book all the time. You have put my mind at ease. Only 3 days to go Xxx big Shell

Tara and Julian said...

Yea! An update! Looks like a nice hotel and happy to hear you made it safely. We are on Delta, so we get our own screens, but I think it is pretty full. :( boo. 4 more days until we leave!

hcobb said...

Glad you two survived the long flight!