Capturing: China

/ Monday, December 10, 2012

We're going to China. 
When I was little, my aunt gave me a few gifts from her recent travels - a Chinese stamp & ink pad which showcased my Chinese & English name and an "I climbed the Great Wall" t-shirt. The t-shirt is long gone but the stamp is an heirloom that sits deep within my desk drawers. I only take it out to admire the skillfully hand-drawn lines & symbols created with strong hands. She showed me a picture of her sitting on the wall steps and shared stories of her adventure in China. I dreamed of climbing those same steps but didn't think it would come so soon. About 8 months before our trip, my sister told me she wanted our family to take a vacation to China. Lo' and behold, the best opportunity presented itself and we packed our bags.

Last Monday I was traveling for about 24 hours with 21 other people anxious to get home after an amazing 10-days of culture, history, food, and lots of shopping. We had tons of stories to tell. This trip was my first tour guided "vacation" and there was so much on the itinerary, it made me a little dizzy at first.  I couldn't imagine doing it differently because 1) I didn't understand the language and 2) I couldn't read the Chinese characters everywhere.

China was good to me. We explored Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. There's so much to share... I decided to split up these posts. Starting with Beijing...

The Summer Palace... where the emperor would spend his holidays in the summer...

Then the trek to Tiananmen Square & the Forbidden City...

And, crossing off an item on my bucket list...

We traveled through Old Hutong and Alley by Rickshaw... an eye-opening experience. We also visited a sweet family & learned more about daily life in Beijing.


We ended our tour in Beijing with a quick visit to the Bird's Nest...

Off to Suzhou & Hangzhou next!


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