Thursday, December 27, 2012

Off To China

We leave later today for Beijing and I will be so happy when we get on that plane. However, I am not too thrilled about what will be waiting for us when we get off the plane because the HIGH temperature in Beijing yesterday was 21 degrees (after a low of 12 degrees!). Just a little chilly for our tropics-loving family!  

I have been quite stressed trying to organize for this vacation so soon after the kids' birthdays and Christmas and I have done a lot of scrambling around the last two days. Late Monday night, I realized that, not only did we all need warm clothes, we all needed warm clothes for five days. On his most recent trip home, Kevin brought his cold weather clothes back from Virginia so he is all set but the kids and I had nothing. nada. zilch. Fortunately, I have been able to beg, borrow and steal long pants, sweaters and coats from friends in Nichada for the kids and I to wear. My mother-in-law sent us plenty of socks, gloves, hats and scarves which really helped us out. I wasn't too sure I would be able to find that kind of stuff here in the tropics. My next-door neighbor moved here from Rome and she was able to lend us two coats and some sweaters. Another friend loaned us a jacket for Christopher. We will layer from head to toe and I think we have just enough that we will at least be comfortable (but definitely not fashionable). My biggest worry is that our feet are going to be cold as we only have running shoes to wear but I hope layering two pairs of warm socks will do the trick. We are meeting my brother and sister-in-law in Beijing and will play tourist around the city on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  I think we are most excited to see the Great Wall but everyone has been telling us how cold it will be there so that is dampening our enthusiasm a little. Monday, we are taking a short flight South of Beijing to Xi'An to see the Terracotta Soldiers exhibit which sounds just fascinating. 

From Wikipedia... "This attraction is a collection of terracotta sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. It is a form of funerary art buried with the emperor in 210–209 BC and whose purpose was to protect the emperor in his afterlife. The figures, dating from 3rd century BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers in Xi'An. The figures vary in height according to their roles, with the tallest being the generals. The figures include warriors, chariots and horses. Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits near by Qin Shi Huang's mausoleum. Other terracotta non-military figures were also found in other pits and they include officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians." 

We will return to Bangkok on January 1st and Jim and Jan will stay with us until January 11th. I  am using their visit as an excuse to cross off a lot of activities on our list of "things to see & do in Bangkok" and have planned lots of adventures for while they are here.

Other than the kids' Kindles, we are not bringing any technology with us on this trip so I, most likely, will not be posting until we return. 

Until then, have a Happy New Year!

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