In July of 2007 my twin sister and I graduated from a community college in Florida. To celebrate this achievement (and because we were craving an adventure) we booked a 15 day Best of China tour through Although our parents were at first wary of our rather impromptu booking we set off with our best friend to conquer the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guilin, Xian & Hong Kong!

This was our first big trip overseas so I don't know what we expected to find when we landed in Beijing. Looking back I am incredibly glad we had booked a tour rather than attempting to navigate through the streets ourselves. The cities were extremely overcrowded, dirty and with the language barrier it would have been difficult to get around. This was the year before the Beijing Olympics and the pollution was at its worst, very foggy and grey. Our tour guide was a gem of a girl. She was friendly and witty and went out of her way to make us all feel at ease.

Highlights of this trip included riding in rickshaws, climbing the Great Wall, viewing the pits where the Terra Cotta warriors were housed, the boat ride down the Guilin river with the limestone mountains (see middle picture at top), the performances at the Beijing Opera, the tram ride up to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, and the shopping. :)

But sorry! back to why this trip holds a special meaning for me. It is where I met John, my boyfriend of two years. He with his parents and sister had come to China to reconnect on a family holiday and spent two weeks there as a family before joining on to the tour. We immediately had a special connection & spent many conversations sitting in the lobby of whichever hotel we were staying at the time :) At the end of the 15 days we exchanged e-mails and bid goodbye.. he flying back to Australia & I flying home to the States. Not really knowing what the future held for us but knowing that we had each found something special.

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Marcy said...

Wow! I love it!! So fun to be able to keep up with you this way! You Go Girl! XXX Mom

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