This weekend , we begin a month-long journey through China and Japan that will include two world capitals, eight separate flights, as much dim sum as possible, the Great Wall, rice paddies, the Forbidden City, street food, Japanese baseball and maybe our second international Disney visit.
- 5 nights in Beijing
- 3 nights in Guilin
- 3 nights in Hong Kong
- 11 nights in Shanghai
- 7 nights in Tokyo
We are a family of five from Edina, Minnesota. Brett is a stay-at-home father and writer, Betsy is a mother and businesswoman, Xander (10) is a fifth grader, Vaughn (9) is a fourth grader and Quinn (7) is a second-grader. All three kids have attended Xin Xing Academy, a Mandarin Chinese immersion program, at Eisenhower Elementary School in Hopkins, MN since preschool.
Betsy travels internationally several weeks a year as Director of Market Intelligence for St. Jude Medical. Her work has taken her to exciting locales such as Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Melbourne, and Sydney; the kids and I accompanied her to Brussels, Paris and London two years ago (see previous blog entries) and now we’re ready to join her in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Tokyo for our second Family-Trip-of-a-Lifetime.
We’ve been researching, packing and preparing for this trip for some time and will feature all the highs and lows with lots of photos and videos on this interactive blog throughout the trip. We’ll be checking the comments frequently for your questions and suggestions and make them a part of our explorations.
Share in the adventures and misadventures of family travel in a foreign land:
- Find out what it’s like for American kids who can speak and read Mandarin to visit China and speak the language in real-world opportunities.
- Learn along with us about the history and people of the places we explore. We are excited for two visits to “host families;” one coordinated by Xander’s fourth grade teacher, Lixia Shi, and another by Xin Xing second grade teacher, Yin Wang.
- I will attempt to incorporate my new Google Glass (sponsored by Armaverse Armatures) into our travels. If I can marry it to my iPhone and hack a couple of travel apps in time, the Glass could immensely augment our experience - or I could be arrested by the Chinese authorities for espionage.
- It’s a blog with suspense!...Will They Survive? After submitting a phonebook-thick stack of paperwork to our local Chinese consulate and securing our visas, we spent a morning as pincushions at our local Travel Clinic in an effort to ward off typhus, hepatitis A and B, avian flu, tetanus, and more! We also hope to avoid getting bitten by mosquitos and contracting malaria or dengue fever. We’re prepared for the crowds and shoving in elevators and lines; we have our respirator masks for the pollution; we’ve packed toilet paper to carry with us at all times and I’ve got my sneer ready to repel the tourist scammers.
Paper holders and toilet bowls not included.
- We will, however, eat as many delicacies and unusual foods as we can safely sample and share the results.
|We'll just save the fugu for the last night.|