May 30, 2011
We took advantage of the Sports Day class cancellations and went to Shenyang for a weekend away. I’ve never planned such a last minute trip! It was 6:30 pm when we decided to get train tickets to leave the NEXT MORNING. I zipped out of the house, jumped in a cab, stood in a crazy, China line at the train station, used my survival Chinese to buy round trip tickets to Shenyang, jumped in another cab and got back home by 8:00 pm. I have no idea how it was so quick! I must have found a worm hole or something. Then it was time to start research on where to stay and what to see and do, pack our bags and the train snacks and get to sleep.
The next morning we were on the train by 9 am (after a stressful bit of rush-hour taxi-hailing) and on our way to Shenyang! By 2 pm we had checked into a really cheap and really awesome hotel room, and deciding to forgo naps for food, we set out to get lunch at IKEA (which just so happens to be the largest one in Asia…) 40 Swiss meatballs and quite a few endless soft drink refills later, Jeremy and I strolled through the store with only one kid while the other kid played in the supervised play area! What a treat! Since our tiny apartment (tiny by our standards, but not by IKEA standards as seen by their 30-50 square meter display apartments!) is pretty full, we didn’t buy anything big. It was really fun to just look, though. After picking up Kanyon we headed back to the cafeteria for a coffee and dessert break which I lived to regret later that night as I stared at the ceiling at 12:30 am wired and unable to sleep due to my splurging indulgence of all-you-want coffee. IKEA was definitely the highlight of the trip! Sometimes to keep my sanity in a foreign land, I need to be in a familiar place. Inside the huge store I felt like I had time-warped back to America for a few refreshing and relaxing hours!
The rest of the trip was spent exploring Shenyang and braving the ever-blowing wind! We really enjoyed riding the super modern metro and eating Western food.
Guest Blogger: M'Lynn