Needless to say, this entire 16 months of my life has been a dream come true.
Well, only part of that is true.
I NEVER dreamt of living abroad. Ever. Travel? Yes. Living? Not even in my wildest dreams…
However, when this job came through for Corey, we literally had a “why not?” situation on our hands. Kids in Uni We were young enough. The job was a GREAT fit for my amazingly talented husband.
So, when the move came, I guess my dreams were of NOT having a nervous breakdown, of finding new friends and then, travel.
Up until March, I think my “dream come true” place was St Petersburg. It was SUCH a dream of mine, we took Part 2 of a cruise we took in 2006 because I could convince NO ONE in my family that this would be an amazing destination. Persistence, and we got to go there in 2010! It was worth the wait AND proved to be a better fit for the kids as they were older and could appreciate it more.
SO…when the opportunity came around to meet my Mary Ann and Stewart in Beijing before THEIR dream come true trip…How could we NOT go? It’s less than 4 hours from Hong Kong and one of those places you tend NOT to get to unless you are there on business because so much of your travel happens on business!
The WONDER of the American Women’s Association is the amount of knowledge 950 members brings to the table.
We needed a plan. My friends Susan and Carol helped me here…both gave amazing (and similar advice) about the “must” see areas. Corey and I are much more likely to be back there, so my itinerary setting was focused on Mary Ann and Stewart.
NEXT – we needed a guide AND driver. Again, in step AWA members. We have a list serve that we post to, and this question had been asked before. Three emails later I had the addressees of 3 different guides. I chose the guide who had coordinated a trip for a “family” AND for a “couple” I figured if he was a good find for these diverging interests, he would be great for us!
A few emails, a couple backs and forths and voila. An itinerary and a plan were born.
So, the day has arrived to fly to Beijing. Hot knife through butter…kinda. The Taxi line at the airport has a sort of “interpreter” to help the driver if the communication is lost. I’m not sure if we really needed this, but he was there and we used it.
Less than an hour later we are checked in and down to the lobby to await Mair and Stew’s arrival!
They had been flying forever…so I’m not sure they appreciated the pictures
They almost got to unpack before we met in the lobby for drinks (like THAT wasn’t going to happen)
To bed…and then….The adventure was to begin!