It just so happened that our second weekend in China fell on Mid-Autumn Festival, a nationwide holiday that most businesses shut down for. It worked out well for us since we went into this trip with the intent to make the most of our time in Asia, as best as we could.
There were a handful of spots we could fly direct to from Wuhan, and Kuala Lumpur was one of them. (Tokyo was also one, and as tempting as it was to go on a sushi-eating weekend bender, the flights were surprisingly pricey for such a short jaunt over the East China Sea). A few Pinterest searches confirmed it had seemed to have enough cool spots to keep us entertained for 3 days, so we booked a couple seats on the ol Airbus.
Today was bring your wife to work day! We’re on the outbound to shanghai by way of train – supplier visit – train – supplier visit- train. Since we checked out of the hotel room this morning I tagged along to LongChen and hid out in the corner of their conference room sucking up the free WiFi to push peanut butter whiskey on the masses while they plotted a world takeover one EGR valve at a time. Continue reading
China is a challenge.
That’s the best way I think I can sum it up. Some of you are probably sitting there going, ‘well, duh, Chelsea… what did you expect?’
Yesterday evening we decided to pay homage to Anthony Bourdain and venture over to Hubu Alley, a well known Mecca of street food here in Wuhan with over a hundred vendors hawking their fares.
We had been doing a little shopping beforehand so we hopped in a DiDi (China’s version of Uber) and got to Hubu right as the hustle and bustle was beginning. Vendors were all just starting to set up their carts and it was CRAZY the difference an hour made. It went from an open alley where we could walk pretty freely to being shoulder to shoulder packed, with a high chance of getting accidentally impaled by a haphazard bump into a skewer. Continue reading
I first heard of Tan Hua Lin in a blip of an article talking about cute, local coffee shops in Wuhan. If I remember correctly, the author described Tan Hua Lin as a “bohemian, artists’ street” and it was immediately clear I would be making my way there at some point during this trip.
After breakfast while lounging around the room, I realized this was our only true free weekend in Wuhan, so Tate and I decided it was time to head out of our little Hilton home-away-from-home and see the city.
Two weeks from today, at about this exact time, we will be touching down in Shanghai.
They say you learn the most about your partner when you’re abroad. Strange foods, foreign landscape, don’t speak the language…. really brings out the best in yah.
Tate often takes the lead as navigator, partly because he claims to find it “fun” to look at maps (freak), partly because he knows if he lets me lead we will inevitably wander along every which way, stopping to gander at anything and everything and that’s basically the antithesis of a good time in his eyes.
It’s not that I don’t know how to get from point A to point B without interruptions, it’s just that I enjoy a detour or two along the way. The scenic route, if you will.
Through some miracle, or the universe’s way of ‘saving the best for last’, Tate and I hadn’t crossed paths despite our ever-growing list of mutual acquaintances. It wasn’t that either of us was particularly looking for “THE ONE” but we both quickly realized on that first date that this one person was going to turn out to be just a little more special than any of the other ones.
Most of our first date conversation was consumed by planning hypothetical trips, and playful attempts at one-upping the other while recounting tales of past travels. We even walked out of dinner that night with a pact to make it to Spain together one day (completed August of 2017)
First dates turned into fourth dates, and those segued into eighth dates and after a while I started to realize it wasn’t the number that counted, but the way I always seemed to walk away with a grin after our ‘good nights’ and ‘goodbyes’.
They say you never really know someone until you’ve travelled with them, and it wasn’t long after meeting (3 months, if you’re counting) that we were jetting off to Cabo for a long weekend. When he, albeit hesitantly, offered to trade so I could have the window seat I sidled in with a sigh. Somewhere between take off and cruising altitude I knew I had landed a keeper.
We slowly began building a little life of adventure together, and becoming a regular staple at each other’s family gatherings. At one point, my late grandpa was even convincing everyone that we were going to come back from Fiji (our first New Year’s trip together) as a married couple.
We didn’t exchange any vows that trip, but we did come back with a few good stories of surviving a cyclone in the South Pacific, and a cemented love of wandering this world together.
Since vacation days unfortunately aren’t limitless, somewhere between Vietnam and Vancouver we’ve settled into an 1890’s home in downtown Indianapolis and fill our free time with Netflix binges, bike rides, breweries, Nintendo 64 battles and a steady rotation of our favorite restaurants.