Spring Festival Planning & Trips to Beijing

Here is just a quick update of the blog. It’s been a while because I have been busy. Seems when you get 10 days off for a holiday, you always have to work like mad to get ready for it. You heard me right. 10 days. Our Spring Festival/Chinese New Year vacation grew from 7 days to 10 days, and we are so happy. It is high time we had a vacation. Now, I know some of you are thinking, aren’t you two already sort of on a permanent vacation? Well, you know, everyone deserves a break.

So I announced a while ago that we were planning on going to Cambodia. I think I jiinxed us, because we couldn’t get tickets to Phnom Penh. (Wow that is a difficult city to spell.) So instead, we are going to Thailand with the idea of maybe crossing overland into Cambodia, to see the amazing temples of Angkor Wat. (If you saw Tomb Raider the movie, it was filmed there.) From what I have been reading, the trip across the border is quite a trip in and of itself, as it takes all day and you end up driving down a crazy, pot-hole filled dirt road for 4 hours. (Good news – the risk of landmines in the area is practically nil!)

We also want to spend a few days at the beach, snorkeling for me and scuba diving for the DH. Then, we will probably head to Northern Thailand to the Chiang Mai area. On our flight back to Shijiazhuang, we will spend a day and a half in Chengdu, which is a city in the Southwestern region of China called Sichuan – where all the spicy food comes from in China. The DH has a student from there who we may meet up with. Then, it’s back to glorious Shijiazhuang.

It has snowed a few times over the past week and everything is coated in a lovely layer of white snow. It is interesting riding a bicycle through the snow. It’s not that hard because there are legions of Chinese workers who take to the street everyday to clear a little bit of the ice and snow away with shovels, handmade brooms and shovel-like contraptions made of plywood. Who needs a snow-plow when you have a billion people in your country – now that is manpower. Actually, we’ve had very little snow so there isn’t much to clear away.

Tonight the DH and I are taking a train to Beijing. We both have dentist appointments tomorrow. Just because you are on permanent vacation doesn’t mean you can neglect the teeth. I’ve been having some pretty extreme sensitivity pain in one of my teeth and it is getting so bad that I am practically begging for a root canal. Because we are going to be in Beijing anyway, we’ve decided to finally visit the tourist sites. Sunday evening I should have posted some photos of the Forbidden City, Tianenmen Square and the Temple of Heaven. We may go to the Great Wall, but more than likely we will wait until next month or March when it gets a bit warmer.

So have a good weekend, wherever you are. And stay warm! Or cool, I guess depending on where you are.

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