Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Winging Over the North Pole

Departing Air Canada from BWI to Toronto and then a 14 1/4 hour into Shanghai, a total of 17 3/4 hours start to finish.  We are talking achy joints and pent-up energy combined.

Monday, May 30, 2011

What is it?

Okay, I know we forgot something. The only question is, "What is it?" Hopefully we won't even notice. We both packed and had no trouble being below the 44 lb. allowance. Of course, Gerry gets the blue ribbon. His roller bag only weighed 25 lb.

On our way to the hotel near BWI, we stopped at Baltimore Inner Harbor for dinner. The harbor and boats are still enjoyable to see; however, we both kept observing how different Inner Harbor is compared to our first visit about 25 years ago. At that time, there was such an energy no matter which day or evening of the week you visited. Now it is a little tired, and there are a few empty storefronts and fewer people. We reflected back to the first time we brought Caron to the Children's Museum. We arrived in the afternoon and 5:00 p.m. came too soon for her. When we were escorted out, she sat on the steps a very unhappy little girl. Now we take the grandchildren to children's museums. Times change!

Now I am off to bed early so glad that I can sleep until 6:00 a.m. instead of 2:00 a.m. as originally planned when we were leaving from home to catch our flight. We are optimistic there will be NO delays or snafus tomorrow. Wanna bet?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Disaster Averted

Our plans had been to leave our house in Lancaster at 3:00 a.m., drive to Hunt Valley, take the light rail to BWI for our flight to Toronto where we would board our Air Canada 14 hour flight to Shanghai.  A couple of days ago, Gerry asked, "Now, what time do we return to BWI?"  When I checked, I realized that IF we arrived on time from Beijing to BWI, we would not arrive early enough to catch the light rail back to Hunt Valley to retrieve our car.  I do not want to think about how we would have felt had we realized my mistake upon our return.  NOT funny.  Consequently, I booked a hotel close to the airport which has 24 hour shuttle service and parking privileges for our car while we are out of the area. 

My clothes have been in my suitcase for two day!  I was delighted to find that my clothes only weigh 15 lbs.  Given that my suitcase weighs 10 lbs., I have about 15 lbs. allowance for the other "must haves" that have been noted on the blogs of people who have just returned from this tour.  Interestingly, the #1 item mentioned has been toilet paper.  Although we are staying in 5 star hotels and the rooms on the ship used for the Yangtze portion of the trip are well appointed, during the day when we are out and about in China it seems that we might be faced with "squaty-potties".  DON'T ASK!  SO, I am packing toilet paper.  Also packed are my Nook, i-pod, camera, and the books about visiting China that my daughter, Caron, gave me for Christmas.  Yep, the weight of "stuff" adds up. 

Fortunately, one of the most important items I am packing for the trip weighs almost nothing.  My daughter, Sarah, gave me a wig for Mother's Day.  You know how profusely I sweat in the event of humidity or high temps.  After a day of touring, you know my head will not be a pretty sight.  Given that often we will be expected to go to dinner with little time to waste, I am so relieved to think that I can just don my "rug" and be on my way.  In one of the books Caron gave me, it mentions an ethnic sect of Chinese called Uigher, pronounced "Wigger".    Well, it now seems I will be a Uigher!!!  Thanks, Sarah.  I expect your gift will often save the day for me and the appetite of my dinner mates.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sunshine on My Shoulders

Finally, we have a day of sunshine, but I must force myself to stay inside and start to organize my "stuff" for the trip.  I got my hair chopped off this a.m. to minimize the primp time.  I went to the bank to get a slew of ones, fives, and tens.  We are told that we can use U.S. currency for much of the small purchases and tips.  I'm finally going to look "big busted" with some expensive padding.  I haven't asked Gerry where he will be concealing his stash.  Perhaps I will be Dolly Parton to his Tom Jones.  I've notified the credit card company, bank, Verizon, etc.  Crazy how complicated our lives are!  I also just checked reviews of Air Canada.  Of course, there were some not so good reviews - oh, well.  Bad timing - I should have checked BEFORE I booked the flights.  I will just be happy if the plane stays airborne for the necessary amount of time.  That to me is a successful flight.  Hope you are enjoying sunshine today....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Crunch Time

Six months have passed since we booked our trip to China.  It is now six days until we leave, and it is now time to kick up our preparations schedule.  We have our passports, visas, and inoculations.  Well, at least ONE of us has full immunity!  Gerry and I use the same medical practice but different doctors.  Gerry was scheduled to see Dr. Warren at the time we booked our trip.  He mentioned to Dr. W he would be going to China, so Dr. W said he must immediately start his inoculations because the Hep A and Hep B shots required 6 months to become effective.  At Gerry's urging, I made an appointment with my doctor, Dr. Fuchs.  Dr. F said I was only to receive the Hep A shot.  When I related to him that Dr. W gave Gerry both A & B, he said only A was necessary because B was only indicated for sexual activities.  Well, imagine the conversation I had with Gerry to determine what he said to Dr. W that would indicate he would need the Hep B.  In the ensuing months, we have had a few laughs about the fact that only Gerry will be able to have sex in China.  I later inquired of Dr. F whether I should have the Hep B shot, only to be told again, "No, it is not needed."  Last week, I received a voice mail from Dr. F indicating that he just noticed that I had not received my Hep B shot.  Incredulous, I immediately drove to the office to get the first of three shots for Hep B.  The nurse was apologetic and said, "Well, you will have a little bit of immunity."  I suppose now I can have a little bit of sex in China. 

The challenge now begins to assemble everything we will need for two weeks and not exceed 44 lbs. each, including the weight of the suitcase.  I was a little dismayed when I realized my empty small roller bag weighed 10 lbs.  Hmmmm....

Before we leave I will try to post headings for each day of our trip so that you can follow us even if I do not have access or time to post.  This is my first attempt at a blog so I am not sure if I will be able to post pictures until I return home.  Just learning....