First off, my husband is putting me to shame in terms of blogging. Check out his multiple posts from our trip here.
And now for the updates –
We’re in Beijing! This whole journey still feels incredibly surreal. We are actually in the country about which we’ve been learning and talking and working toward journeying to for months. We’re closer to our second daughter than we’ve ever been before, and in a few short days, we’ll actually be with her.
However, the trip to get here was LONG. We got all set up with our house-sitters, and our friend picked us up at our house yesterday – wait, no, two days ago, on Tuesday night, around 6:30 p.m. and was kind enough to drive us the 2 hours to St. Louis. We spent (most of) the night at a hotel near the airport and woke up at 4:00 a.m. in order to leave the hotel around 4:40 a.m. to be at the airport by 5:00 in order to check in for our 6:40 a.m. flight.
Here’s a picture of Miranda buckled in, ready to take off on the first leg of our journey, from St. Louis to Detroit.
That plane ride went smoothly, and we arrived in Detroit ahead of schedule and met up with my mom (whose flight from Milwaukee arrived just a few minutes after our plane landed), as well as some people we’d connected with online that we’ll be traveling with over these next couple weeks.
The agents at the Delta desk were able to assign us seats all together (and even in economy plus!) on the flight, which was a huge blessing – and my mother even passed up an upgrade to luxurious first class in order to sit with us.
The flight from Detroit to Beijing is incredibly long – between 13 and 14 hours.
It’s been a while since Miranda has flown, but she’s usually a pretty easy-going kid, so we expected things to go pretty well, and for the most part they did…
…up until the very end. We did have a minor hiccup in that she was terrified of the loud, tiny airplane bathroom, but some friends gave us some pull-ups to use for the flights, so I told her to just pee in those, and after 5 or 6 hours, she finally gave in, and we were set for the rest of the flight.
That is, until the very end. I can’t remember if I’ve blogged about this before, but Miranda and sleep and travel don’t exactly mix well. She is not that child who gets in the car at 8:00 p.m. and sleeps for the duration of any drive you may take. For instance, if you were to attempt a drive from Bloomington, IN back to Columbia, MO during which you’d arrive around 2:00 a.m., she might or might not wake up after an hour or so of sleep, work herself up into throwing up twice, and then stay up the rest of the drive home.
She did sleep for a while on the plane…
….as did the rest of us. Some of us were cuter than others.
Well, I thought I’d have her sleep for a “nap” around noon Beijing time (around 10:00 p.m. our time), she’d wake up right at the end of our flight in time for the last in-flight meal, and we’d be good to go – two-year-old transitioned to Beijing time in the course of one 14-hour flight. Not so much. She napped…and woke up…and was not happy and threw up (well, let’s be honest, it was mostly just spit, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but still, not ideal) about 5 times through the rest of our flight, disembarking from the plane, collecting our luggage, meeting up with the rest of our group and our guide, and getting to our hotel.
Therefore I’ve already used one of my wash-in-sink laundry packets, doing my first wash-in-sink load of laundry.
Anyway, we are settling in at our Beijing hotel. Matt ventured out to get us some bottled water and gave Miranda a bath, we ordered room service for dinner, and we’re probably all going to go to bed pretty soon.
Please pray that we all adjust to the time change well. We’re all ready for some sleep – and our hope is that we will get a good, full night of sleep, even though, as I write this, my computer tells me that it is around 5:30 in the morning in Missouri. Tomorrow, assuming Miranda is doing well and we feel up for it, our guide is going to take us and the rest of our group out to see some more of Beijing. We’re very much looking forward to it – getting to experience an ancient culture, learn about other places and people around the world, and most poignant, gain knowledge and insight into our daughter’s birthplace.
There are fireworks going on outside right now for Chinese New Year – I just thought you’d like to know. Our guide, George, has already – just on the drive from the airport to our hotel – been telling us about Beijing and Chinese culture. So valuable.
And for now – given that my coherence is questionable and waning – I will sign off, hopefully with more updates soon! Off to attempt some sleep!
As an aside, internet here is pay-as-you-go, so we may not be on much until we get to our next city (on Sunday). Goodnight!