Adventures in China: Day 1

20120521-143311.jpg

Day 1: Never ending travel

We landed! After a 4am start at the Tucson airport, a quick hop over to L.A., a 6 hour layover, and then a 14.5 hour flight to Hong Kong … we are exhausted and so ready to be off the plane.

20120521-143545.jpg

Leaving Hong Kong: It was night time, so this was all we got to see. We had quite the adventure getting out of HK and then getting into China, though. We boarded 2 charter busses (50 people, 100+ bags/luggage) and start driving out of the city. We then had to stop, unload, reload onto a shuttle bus that took us to customs. We had already gone through customs at the HK airport, but had to now go through customs for entering mainland China. That took probably an hour to get us all through. Then we board another shuttle bus, which then takes us to another bus station where we finally load onto our final busses and begin the trip to Huizhou.

20120521-144225.jpg

We arrived at our hotel at 1am (China time). It is a beautiful hotel! A dinner buffet was set out and waiting. It was delicious! We got our rooms and headed to bed. I was warned that the beds here were a lot firmer. Uh, yeah. I thought that would mean not a whole lot of give to the mattress. Nope. It’s practically like a board with a thin layer of padding on top. SURPRISINGLY, it was pretty comfortable. The room was big, the bathroom was big, the shower was big. All in all, a very pleasant stay. We had a breakfast buffet this morning (all the meals are buffet – very dangerous to my waistline!).

Next post: Day 2 Exploring Huizhou

Schedule for China!

We finally have a rough draft of our tour schedule for China. (If you click on the map, it will take you the google maps) I’m so excited! We leave from Tucson on May 16th and fly to LAX and Gaungzhou (roughly pronounced “gwang jo”). It’s Southeast by Hong Kong.

Then we take a 2.5 hour bus ride to Huizhou (roughly pronounced “whee jo”) and stay there for two days – one day of rest and one show.

Next up is a 1.5 hour bus ride to Dongguan (roughly pronounced “dune kwang”), where we do two consecutive days of shows. And by we, I mean Phil and the rest of the people. I’m free to roam about as I please.

After the two shows we pack up and board a plane to fly two hours to Chongqing (roughly pronounced “chong ching”). We get two days of rest before doing two days of shows and moving on to…

Hefei (roughly pronounced “who fay” or “ha fay”). We take a 2 hour plane ride to get there, and then get two days of rest. This brings us to May 27-28, where we do two shows.

After, we board a plane and take only a one hour trip to Wenzhou (roughly pronounced “when jo” or “when shoo”), where we rest for the day. Then two more shows it is!

On June 1st, we get on a train (I’ve never been on an actual train, so I’m super excited about this part!) and travel four hours to Changzhou (roughly pronounced “chang jo”). We rest, and then two shows. I’m noticing a pattern here …

Zhangjiagang (roughly pronounced “jon jee eng”) is our next stop, arriving there after only a one hour bus ride. Again, we rest for a day and then perform two shows.

The ride to Qingdao (roughly pronounced “ching dow”) is again by train, this time for 6 hours. So far this is our longest travel time yet. If you look at the map, you’ll see we are traveling from about mideast (near Shanghai) to the most north we’ll have been on the tour so far. We rest that day, then complete two shows.

Next, we travel by bus for 3.5 hours and arrive in Yantai (roughly pronounced “yon tie”). We have just one show that same day.

On June 11th, we board a plane for Huhehaote (roughly pronounced “who he how too”). The travel time is not specified on our schedule yet. We rest and then two shows it is.

This next part is “to be confirmed”, but I think they are trying try squeeze in a day in Beijing. Oh pretty please, pretty please!! We can’t go to China and not see Beijing!

Our last stop is Shanghai. Two shows are still waiting to be confirmed, then we rest and fly home. Unless at some point during the tour I happened to make a call to the travel agent and extended our trip. But I’m not planning on that right now because we might be completely ready to go home. It’s a lot of traveling in 32 days!

Again, this is a rough draft schedule. But it doesn’t matter to me! This opportunity literally came out of nowhere. Phil was referred by Petie Ronstadt and Sam Egan, which I think is a huge compliment to Phil’s mad skillz. He was hesitant to accept at first, but after thinking it over he agreed with me that it is an opportunity of a lifetime! All his expenses are being paid for, plus he’s a contracted employee so he gets a paycheck, and he has enough vacation time saved up. We are paying for me to go along (travel, meals and visa), but the balance after his paycheck is not very much. We are going to China for 32 days almost for free! Well, that is if I don’t shop too much ;) If you know me, you know I LOVE to shop!

I’m so, so, SO excited for this trip!