Jennifer arrived on Sunday, September 11 around midnight. I greeted her at the airport and we enjoyed a Beijing Taxi ride the thirty minutes back to my apartment in Shuangjing. The taxi ride included the most important Mandarin Chinese lesson. After a 20 hour adventure from Dallas I forced Jennifer to memorize my subway stop before she even landed at her temporary residence. Success! We unloaded the carry on luggage and the large suitcase and attempted to sleep. I believe Jen slept for 2 hours. The thirteen hour time difference challenges all of us.
Monday, a holiday in China, included an early (before 8:15am) bus ride for 10 minutes or so to a drop off point near the silk market. We enjoyed McDonalds coffee and called Nela to see if she would trek out to the Summer Palace with us. We allowed her to sleep some more and proceeded to eat the first Beijing breakfast consisting of porridge and wonton soup. We then subway’d north to meet Edmond at Dongzhimen. The three of us journey again by subway to Llama temple. The relatively quick walkthrough of the temple preceded another coffee stop. Nela joined us at coffee and the four of us subway’d again north to the Summer Palace. We have photographic proof. After the Summer Palace tour we dined on very local food in a very local restaurant. It included beer, green beans, eggplant, noodles, and chicken.
Monday dinner (like always) included burgers at the Blue Frog with Nancy, Edmond, Gui, and Karen.
Tuesday morning we walked to Guomao and ate baozi on the way- STREET FOOD – check- We subway’d on line 1 to Tien’anmen Square and walked around. We also enjoyed a walk through the Railway museum. I dropped Jennifer off at the Forbidden city while I took my computer to Starbucks by Julie H.’s Starbucks and waited. Jen Called Julie after a marathon through the Forbidden City and they both came down and met me. I then walked Jen through Wangfujing before taking her via taxi to Liangma bridge Starbucks to meet Ariane and Joe from Seattle. She and I then met Julie H and Edmond for Duck at an Ariane recommended Duck restaurant a walk away from Liangma bridge. You and I then experienced KTV with Anthony for a short time before returning to my apartment for sleepy time.
Wednesday morning I showed Jen a Home Depot like hardware store then to Sharon’s home for some home cooked breakfast tomato egg soup that was out of this world good. Jen delivered goods to Sharon and we then ventured back north by subway to Liangma bridge to meet Alex for a dumpling lunch at a great local spot. After lunch we both enjoyed naps and then a local and low key dinner downstairs from my apartment. We then slept early as Jen’s jet lag officially kicked in.
Thursday notes are slim. I do recall that she may have got a little shopping in. That night she met many many people at my once a month Internations networking event at the Beach. It’s my favorite networking event in Beijing. You slept out.
Friday has very little in the way of notes. We ventured up to north Beijing and ate lunch with a hiking friend in her home. Jen rested after lunch for a short while before we headed back into town. We got our teeth cleaned that evening at 5:30pm by Swallow. I then went to Wudaokou to see Melody and a movie. Jen stayed home.
Saturday Jen attended a music festival with David, Julie H, Edmond, and others and then slept at Julie’s. I ate lunch in Shuangjing with Chloe, Corey, Alana, and others before resting then going to my hiking party in a suit.
Sunday I believe Jen shopped as I studied Mandarin from 10am til 1pm. We then subway’d to the Temple of Heaven in the late afternoon before enjoying Alana and Corey’s company over dinner in Shunagjing.
Monday, the 19th I went to Liangmaqiao Starbucks and Jen shopped. We met at the subway around Blue Frog time and we walked with Alex to Blue Frog for a lovely Monday burger night with Ian, Julie, H, Alex, you, me, and 3 others.
Tuesday, Jen did her own thing while I went way north to drop my laptop off at Shang Di and I then saw Sheila at Starbucks. Jen and I met at the apartment after she returned from the Silk Market. We subway’d to the Beijing Xi (West) railway station and met Edmond (barely) and took the train to Xi’an. We drank wine with Louise from Canada and had a merry time. The train landed at noon – 4 hours late- so we spent a quick 7.5 hours in Xi’an before coming back to Beijing. We missed our Ariane Thursday morning leather/ fur shop trip and instead biked to Jing Shan park. Jen and I took some wonderful photos from up above the Forbidden city. We then biked to Ariane’s home for a lovely wine event. Afterwards I biked home and you taxi’d to Edmond’s for the night.
Friday morning you and I met Ariane for the leather store and then did a bit of walking . Friday night we met Edgar, Julie, and others near Dongzhimen for Lamb night before Saturday morning Great wall hiking. Saturday’s hike included Corey, Lisa, Alana, and many others. It was a steep and unkept part of the wall that we hiked on. Dinner afterwards was wonderful too. We ate at a place that had live entertainment.
Jennifer left early the next morning.