In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
It has been a long while since I shared an official, on time, weekly update and I actually am enjoying writing these blog posts so much more since I began this change. It is lovely to maintain energy and interest in what I’m sharing. Thank you to everyone for keeping up on our posts during the “Make Lemonade” eight part series. I had no idea life would take that turn when I sat back and reflected on my weekly blog posts last year. I was in debate about sharing weekly updates, feeling forced to write posts, etc. It helps to relax and enjoy where life takes us with these adventures!
So, I plan to post a few times next about our newest adventure into China! We had a week off for Chinese New Year. It took a little time to get our passports renewed and then additionally get our China visas renewed, so we thought returning to a place we enjoyed before was in order. We returned to Guangzhou which was wonderful. This time we decided to stay a little more local, in the business district and teach ourselves how to navigate the subways and adventure to a few new places outside of Chimelong. (We stayed at the Chimelong resort last time with friends, although it was a fantastic location, the cost is tough to pay each time we go.)
We took a train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, less than two hours and you’re there! We ignored the worrisome people pushing their independent taxis, went to the local taxi cue close to the trains, hopped in a taxi, and got to our destination from our apartment in under three hours. Riding on trains is becoming a welcome opportunity because there is less worry over what we’re bringing weight-wise, liquid-wise, etc. We plan out some breakfasts, pack juice, etc. Sometimes even with pre-booked tickets, the numbers on the train don’t match the seats so we’re spread out a little. It all seems to work out each time smoothly. When you’re travelling into China, the visa/passport checkpoint could be a worry for some, but for us, we already had visas and got through the wait quickly. Just remember to fill out the travel forms! Our only slight disappointment on the train was that we got seats that were a little upgrade but were surprised to not have power outlets at our seats. These were available the last time we travelled, this time, not available either way. Easy to adapt to overall!
We stayed at Sofitel– luxurious and peaceful with good food selection, excellent service, and patient people. Excellent place to stay, we were thrilled it worked out so well since they had a special on room rates and a lovely atmosphere! We hoped to get a second small bed or cot added to our room for our son. This was not available but luckily our son is used to random sleeping situations and made a cozy nest on the large chair that was in the room. The staff provided us with extra pillows and blankets which was perfect. It is all about adapting to what you have!
Once we settled at the hotel, we decided to wander around the local area, hop on a subway and get to a new area… my husband found a few local restaurants that were highly recommended, so we visited one for lunch.
After lunch, we decided to go to a bookstore! – Always top choice for traveling destinations for me. We went to: Tianhe Book Center – It was ENORMOUS! We wandered up to the English bookstore area and wandered around for a while. I loved exploring all the books and noted what were bestsellers, local favorites, and more.
Walking back towards our hotel, we jumped out of the subway and walked over to a local area that had a wild array of meat selections for sale. Almost all of the meat was sold on kebab sticks. It was smokey and there were many booths who were in competition for who had the loudest music on. We walked around, absorbed, blinked the smoky haze out of our eyes, and left.
The hotel had a lovely swimming pool and we thought it would be smart to relax there in the afternoon before dinner. So, I read a book while my guys had a fun time in the pool.
It was nice to wrap up the day with dinner in the hotel and an early night. I appreciated wandering around a local area and experiencing life away from an insular resort. Sometimes when we’re on our travels, we purposefully plan at least one day of wandering around the area, often this turns out to be our favorite choice. This trip we made sure to have two days of local wandering and two days of child entertainment. We still felt relaxed, happy and had plenty of family fun times.
We had many places to explore in the morning! Stay tuned for that adventure in another week!
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