Sunday, September 23, 2012

Beijing or Bust Part 1

The Randall's went to Beijing!

This trip has been in the works for almost 3 years (really?..yes!).
From the beginning of our time in Asia I have said that I want to see the Great Wall. When we signed our second contract we started making plans to go to China for our summer vacation of 2012. The best part being that M and D would be joining us on the trip.

We talked and emailed for months! We all made lists of things we wanted to see. Each of us had a "Bucket List" for China. Joe and I wanted to see the Great Wall. Dad found a street market with weird foods that he wanted to taste, I mean see. Mom just wanted to be with us. (Isn't she cute?!) By the end of our trip we all got to check boxes off on our bucket lists. It was a great trip.

I have to admit that,  China was not wonderful. Beijing and the people are do you say....worth a second trip. BUT we had a great time. It was fun to be together, we laughed A LOT, we saw some amazing things. Both historical and circus worthy.

That being said I wouldn't take it back either. Beijing is an amazing city. The people, culture, sights, sounds and smells are all worth experiencing.

M and D flew to Korea on July 26th, we spent a few days in Korea bumming around and having a good time, then we all hopped on a plane to China together.

Flight was uneventful for the most part. (in the last years we have flown a ton, flying has lost its thrill for me, but the people watching is some of the best)

Have you ever been on a plane where it seems like your flying with a plane full of first time fliers? These people were acting like coordinating your seat aisle number and seat letter was a nearly impossible task. Not to mention the pushing and shoving. I stopped counting how many times someone pushed me in line to nudge me forward. It's a freaking airplane aisle! I can only go as fast as the person in front of me.
Oh and then there was the task of finding a place for the 1000000000000 carry on bags they brought. These people shoved their crap in ever bin they could get their hands on. The man in the seat across the aisle, I swear, put one of his bags in the seat next to him and was dumbfounded when the flight attendant told him that wouldn't work out. Oh and that seat was assigned to a person! He wanted to take someones seat for his bag! Oh here's another good one; I kid you not, a man got out of his seat and into the overhead bin MID TAKE OFF! We were wheels up and this man decides he can't live another minute without digging into his bag. 

We should have known that this flight was some kind of twisted foreshortening of our trip.

 We stayed at a "4 star" hotel. I am sure it was 4 stars in 1980.
The Capital Hotel's website boasted about their 7 different restaurants, bowling ally, indoor swimming pool, hotel spa and sauna, fitness center, 4 tennis courts and a slew of other perks.

For a few extra dollar a night we payed to have breakfast, a non-smoking room and access to a special VIP lounge room. Where you could have tea, drinks and stuffs. This is such a luxurious service we had to check in on the 15th floor. No plain ol' lobby for these VIPs !
I wish I had more pictures of the "lounge". Most days the Randall's were the only ones there. We all got a free drink at happy hour and snacks. Weird snacks. Mostly mystery meat, veggies with mayonase smeard all over them and bread.

Well, first thing we learned, yes they have 7 different locations within the hotel that serve food. But they all serve the same menu. With the exception of a few desserts and one restaurant had a buffet.
Secondly, no bowling ally. :(
Third, spa and sauna = out of order
Fourth, fitness center = 3 broken treadmills, 2 broken stationary bikes. Morning workout = bust
Tennis courts were on the roof, we never explored them.
Pool was nice, we swam in the morning a few times.

Another interesting observation, the maintenance man was using a hot glue gun to re-seal the restroom in the lobby. Hum, creative?

I will say, the rooms were clean, the staff was as helpful as they could be with the limited English. We booked all of our trips thought our hotel and they were good.

Stay tuned, more to come.

ps we leave for PARIS in 6 days! ahhhh


  1. The memories come flowing back! Thanks for the new blog.

  2. You did a great job of putting those experiences in to words. I had forgotten about some of them. Thanks for the reminder. Looking forward to the next entry.