Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Oops, typo. I meant Shanghai!

We just traveled halfway across China for our second vacation. And it was awesome! We traveled by train and had seats on the way there and beds on the way back. Seats on the 15 hour (although it ended up being longer than that because of delays) train ride weren't our first choice, but it was the only thing available since we booked last minute. It definitely is an adventure and it means being cramped and getting little sleep. To try and make the situation better, we rotated taking turns sleeping on the hard and dirty train floor. It seems disgusting but desperate times call for desperate measures (and besides, other people were doing it.) I actually got an hour or two of decent sleep crammed in between that isle. And something else funny happened...

As I was sleeping I guess I looked cold, and someone grabbed the head seat-cover and tossed it on me as a little blanket. I thought it was just one of the girls tossing me something to put between my face and the carpet, so when I woke I grabbed it and put it under my head. Come to find out it was a young Chinese guy who tossed it, just trying to be nice to his fellow train passenger. I didn't know this though, and when I was done with my nap on the floor I found him looking at me. Asians have a tendency to stare at Caucasians, and they also tend to take as many pictures possible of or with us white folk. Some people try to discreetly take a snapshot, and some (as was this guys case) just out in the open have no shame. I even heard the little camera "click" as his phone was pointed my way. So I, in response, whip out my Ipad and so obviously point it in his direction and take a picture (we've done this before with other people, just as a prank:) He looked a little confused, and I was amused that some of their own medicine was dished out. But this guy continued to look back at me ever so often, and some of the girls think that he may have thought I was cute. So the seat-switching and avoiding commenced!

Getting out and traveling makes you feel so alive. You feel the extremes of tiredness from over 20 hours of traveling; and you feel excitement as you set out giddy as a child on Christmas morning.

That is how I felt when I feasted my eyes upon this beautiful scene in Shanghai.

Our first day in Shanghai consisted of walking around The Bund (pictured above), taking the ferry across the Huangpu river, and going to the top of the Shanghai World Financial Center. It was the coolest, most modern building ever, that had an elevator get us up 100 floors in 60 seconds. The view from the top was incredible.

This area, The Bund, was my favorite part of Shanghai. But we saw other really cool places: Buddhist temples, the Yuyuan Gardens, Nanjing Road, markets, and the Shanghai Aquarium. Here are some pictures from our sightseeing :)

The market area

Yuyuan Gardens

Jade Buddhist Temple

Standing outside the temple

The Oriental Pearl Tower
(We never went inside, but it was my favorite building there)

The giant eels at the aquarium

Beautiful jelly fish at the aquarium
Nanjing Road
Shanghai is big, and beautiful, and dirty all at the same time. I miss it already! And I'm still processing that I actually went there.
Getting back to Zhongshan was smooth sailing, but it definitely is a process since we have to take the long distance train from Shanghai to Guangzhou, then take the metro from the Guangzhou East Railway to the Guangzhou South Railway Station, then a 30 minute fast train to Zhongshan, then bus 13 and bus 003 to get home. :)
Amazingly enough, before all of this happened, I got food poisoning. A day before we were supposed to leave I had an upset stomach, and I felt sick, and I actually passed out, so my coordinators ended up taking me to the hospital. They wanted to make sure it wasn't anything serious so there I stayed for four hours, getting a blood test done and hooked up to an IV. My coordinators left for a few hours, and I was just hanging out by myself until an old Chinese lady was brought into the same room. We were just chillin' for a while until my IVs were done, and my coordinators came back, and I paid for some medication, and took a taxi home. I debated whether or not I should go on our vacation, as I didn't want to push my body past its limit. But I rested and even though I still felt a little abnormal, we set out and I ended up being fine. And I'm so glad I was able to go!
Now we will get back to regular life. That is, until October, when we make the jump all the way across China to Beijing. :) I hope everyone is doing good at home! I definitely will miss the changing of the weather and experiencing Autumn!
Ta-ta for now,


  1. WHAT?!?!?!?! No picture of the train guy??? LOL That's too funny that they are so obvious with their picture taking. I'm so glad that you got feeling well enough to make this trip! What an adventure! Looks like a beautiful city!! :)

  2. Wow Maegan "Beautiful"I soo admire you and the great young woman you are! Getting to see the world is an education in itself! You are in our prayers to be safe and have fun! We love you Papa and Gma Leanne

  3. Dear Maegan: What memories you will have when you are older. Great pictures, I love them. Are you a little more cautious eating out now or not? You seem to catch on so easily with language and money exchange in a foreign country. Was the hospital you were taken to an American Hospital or a Chinese hospital? (I remember you said there was an American Hospital in Russia). You did a lot of walking in Russia to get around. In China, are you riding in a vehicle to get you and your girls to the school? Love Grandma Nancy