Well, here we are. After a year or so of planning, payments, and hype, I finally went to China!
Our flight was so early that I didn’t even bother to sleep the night before, although I did manage a few quick naps on the drive to the airport. My friends and I just hung out and watched Netflix until it was time to leave, which was a pretty good way to start off the trip. We got to LAX at around 4 AM, met with the rest of our group, and went through security before boarding an Air Canada flight to Vancouver.
Due to delays, our layover at YVR ended up being a little longer than expected, but we actually had tons of fun running around and
wreaking havoc exploring! One of the teacher chaperones organized a little airport scavenger hunt for us, and I got to smell the deliciously syrupy scent of real, actual Canadian money and add it to my growing collection of foreign blue cash.
Eventually, we got on our flight, and after around 13 hours, landed in Beijing at 4 PM. The air quality wasn’t bad at all, but most of us still put on our masks. My adorable cat one was custom-made by the online store Melon Boba Tea! [And I’m totally wearing it upside down.]
We met with our tour guide, Cathy, and then boarded our bus to head to the Dongfang Hotel, where we’d be staying for the next few days. We had a buffet dinner before heading up to our room, which I was lucky to share with my two friends.
We passed out, completely exhausted, at around 9:30, but not before I managed to snag this quick shot of the city at night from our room!
Although we didn’t really do much, it was kind of an emotionally tumultuous day for me. I had been waiting on an admissions decision from UC Berkeley, but wasn’t able to access the website, so, long story short, I got one of my friends back in the US to text me my results. I was rejected, unfortunately, and spent a good 10 minutes in the airport at Beijing crying. The general panic over my future that ensued threw quite a wrench into my attitude for the duration of the trip, which wasn’t fun for my friends. [I’m pretty sure my mind actually snapped.] On the bright side, at the tail end of our trip, when we landed back in LA, I found out that I got into my top choice, and that resulted in more crying, but the happy kind, so it all balanced out.
As always, I’m still on the prowl for members for Travel On!, a network for travel bloggers that needs both new members and a better name. Here’s the info!