China: Keeping the Memories Alive – Part I (Beijing)

Well look who is actually posting on their blog more frequently. After taking over a year to finish Part II of my 2013 Ireland trip, I was inspired to post about other trips I have taken and I thought I would start with my trip to China in 2011. Now for most, maybe a trip that happened three years ago won’t be interesting, but as my friend Ashley said, “posting about your past trips is a good way to keep all the memories alive!”, and I agree. So off we go, (me and the handful of people reading this…Do I even have a handful of readers?) back to 2011.

Let me set the scene. It’s June 27,2011 and the time is 3:56PM PST. I am sitting at my cube at work and my life long friend Ashley sends me a message on Gchat. The conversation starts like most, with Ashley saying “hola” and me responding about how I just dropped my gluten free pretzels on the floor. Back then dropping my snacks on the floor or in my hair was a daily occurrence (FOR SHAME!). After talking about how I need to get it together and stop dropping food everywhere,  Ashley mentions that she might go to China around July 15th with her dad. I begin to freak out about how I want to go to China and then she mentions that her dad asked if she knew anyone that would want to go with them. If I could’ve shaken her through the computer screen and yelled “ME! PICK ME!”, I would’ve done it.

Long story short, the “might” in our previous conversation turned into a yes, and we had two weeks to plan our trip to China. I bought my plane ticket first and then rushed to get my visa. I wouldn’t recommend doing that, but since we only had two weeks to get everything squared away I decided to snag a seat on a plane first. Luckily enough my visa was approved three days before we left and on July, 16 2011 we landed in Beijing, China.

Places visited:

  • Beijing
  • Xi’an
  • Guilin
  • Hong Kong

Day 1: 12 hours, 1 bottle of free wine, a few free beers (for Ashley), 1 crappy cartoon movie with a lizard played by Johnny Depp, 1 funny movie that caused uncontrollable laughter, and a couple of stink eye glances to my neighbor taking up way too much space, and finally we arrived in Beijing.

We didn’t do much our first day besides wait in the monstrosity of a line at customs and walk around Tiananmen Square where I took a few photos of a little Beijing fashion.

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Day 2: We grabbed our things and headed to The Great Wall, where we rode a toboggan and took in the limited views thanks to the pollution. Even though the sky really could’ve used a facelift, The Great Wall was still a sight to see. As for the toboggan ride, well that would’ve been a bit more enjoyable if I didn’t have the slowest person in the world in front of me. I was seriously bummed that I couldn’t go fast, but it was still cool…would’ve been cooler if my need for speed would’ve been fulfilled.


The market on the way to the entrance of the Great Wall


Our guide Bonnie, Ashley, and me.


On our way up to the Great Wall.


On the Great Wall.

Wandering the Summer Palace


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Congested alleys with interesting finds…

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Day 3: The Forbidden City…SPEECHLESS! I am not even sure how much of it we saw, it seemed to never end. We also kept getting stopped so that people could take photos of us. At one point we had a line of people queued up. I am not entirely sure why we were so popular.

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Day 4: Left Beijing to head to Xi’an where there might have been a few elbows thrown around…I will make sure to tell the story on my next blog post. 🙂

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2 thoughts on “China: Keeping the Memories Alive – Part I (Beijing)

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