Saturday, December 15, 2007


Two out of three nights on trains. Crowded traffic. Hectic shopping. Crowded subways. Busy shopping streets. That sure doesn't sound like a recipe for refreshment. However, there was one factor that made my quick trip to Beijing an extremely rejuvenating time--my dear friend Lana. It's not really something that can be described, but quality time with a close friend that loves and understands you so well is just about the greatest gift I could ask for. I'm so thankful for the women the Father has placed in my life to encourage me along this journey. When I think of these beautiful treasures I've been given, I just feel so incredibly blessed.
Wednesday night I took the train down to Beijing--and tossed and turned throughout the night to the chorus of loudly snoring men and newborn twins screaming. Not exactly the recipe for a restful night. I met up with Lana, we headed to the Mac for showers and then headed to one of the main attractions of Beijing. No, not Forbidden City. Not the Great Wall. Not Summer Palace. For me, one of my favorite spots in Beijing is Ikea. We did some Christmas shopping (and shopping for ourselves), then grabbed lunch at our favorite Italian place. After that we headed to the airport to pick up her brother. We dragged a very sleepy Aaron out for a perfect first meal in China--pizza. We went to a place that serves HUGE pizzas--so yummy!
Friday I went Christmas shopping while Lana and Aaron went to the Great Wall. Later on I met up with them for a much more traditional dinner, Beijing duck, before heading off to my train. This time there were no snoring men (an answer from the Father of a very specific request of mine!). However, the train was ROASTING. I would not be surprised if it was between 85-90 degrees. I peeled off all my layers, but was still sweating. One of the things I love about the Northeast is that they heat things well...but this was a little overdone! Now it's back to the grindstone of finals and grading here. Two weeks left! I picked up some kind of head cold on the train down to Beijing, so have been guzzling Wall-born in hopes of being healthy for the final push of the semester. Head cold, hot trains, and tiredness aside, the trip was well worth it!

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