Booked our tickets on Friday for 4 days in Beijing, the first weekend in September.
For whatever reason, I've never had any interest in visiting China, at all, ever. It's just never interested me, and I've got a miles-long list of other Asian countries I must visit before we leave Japan, so I had no plans of ever going. Honestly, when I thought of China the only things that came to mind are Communism, pollution and a massively huge population. Then one day, Gabrielle mentioned she'd always wanted to visit the Great Wall. Since she's shown absolutely ZERO interest in visiting or seeing anything at all the entire 4 years we've been here (sadly, she did not inherit my incurable wanderlust) I pounced like rabid cheetah. WE ARE GOING TO CHINA!
Usually, I'm obsessive about trip planning, spending months and months in advance scouring the internet for any and every scrap of information about our destination, picking the perfect hotel, planning itineraries down to the minute, mapping out routes, deciding restaurants and meal plans for every single meal of every single day. I'm always so worried that we'll miss something awesome if the trip isn't meticulously planned in extensive detail (it sounds tedious, I know, but I absolutely love it, it's nearly as fun as the actual trip itself!).
Seeing as China's never been on my travel list and I couldn't think of a single thing we absolutely had to see, I figured this would be an easy trip to plan. Great Wall, check. How will we ever spend the other 3 1/2 days??? After a little Googling to figure out how to entertain three bored kids in a completely foreign country for 3 1/2 days.........holy shit. There is NO WAY we'll see even half the stuff I want to see in just 4 days!!!! I honestly had no idea. How could I not have known how awesome China is? I feel like a stupid shmuck who's been left out of some kind of global secret.
I'm so freakin' excited about this trip!!!!! I think we're going to need to extend it at least one more day. The only thing is, I booked for the weekend right after school starts, as it's a 4-day weekend for me, and a 3-day weekend for the kids, so they'd only miss 1 day of school and I wouldn't need to use any vacation days. But it's China. IT'S CHINA! Surely they can miss two days of school to visit CHINA?!?!?! Even if it's literally at the beginning of the school year, right? GAAAHHH!!!!
Anybody ever been to Beijing? Any tips, advice, "must see" spots?
China, I'm so very sorry I underestimated you all these years and I can't wait to meet you!