We made it! We are finally here, and TOTALLY exhausted!
Arriving in Beijing was so exciting! The first thing we noticed upon arrival was the humidity. Drew and I are odd, and like humidity, so it was a comforting feeling. We gathered our bags, and looked for a place to exchange money. Since we came over as a group of about 30 people, all with the same company, we were able to use each other as guides to navigate around the airport and find ATMs. Once everyone had everything they needed, we headed out. The moment I had been waiting for. I had looked at pictures of China, but it's different to experience it yourself. The smells, the sounds, the wind. I was excited for each new sense.
We walked out of the airport and I was immediately overwhelmed by all of my senses. I didn't know how to process any of it! The sights, overwhelming. Luscious trees, tall buildings, SO many people! The sounds, overwhelming. People yelling, cars honking (turns out they don't stop for pedestrians). The smells, DEFINITLEY overwhelming. A rush of energy overcame both Drew and I as we took in the new experience, while doing our best to cross lanes of hectic traffic with all our bags and two stunned children.
We made it to our bus, packed in and just sat there, absorbing all the new sights. Now, Beijing traffic, is an intense thing, so it took us awhile to get to the hotel. I was so excited to use that time to look out the window, and capture every moment, but quickly fell asleep on the ride home. We made it to the hotel and got in to our room. I was SO tired, and experiencing a little bit of culture shock, so I did my best to ignore the state of the room (dingy motel at best), and just go to sleep, but Ellie wasn't having it. She couldn't stand the smell of the room (later we pin pointed the smell to the drain in our bathroom...ew) and she was hard to console. I did my best to comfort her, and she eventually fell asleep. Although it was fairly early, we wanted to get a good night sleep for the activities we had planned early the next day, so we turned in.
The next thing we knew, it was 11 o'clock! We couldn't believe we slept through all the activities! We were suppose to meet our group at 8 in the lobby! Then we noticed it was dark outside. It was only 11 pm. We were experiencing some SERIOUS jet lag. We kept trying to go back to sleep, and finally, around 4 am gave up. I know now, that jet lag is a real thing. I had no clue how serious it was!
We got ready for the day and Drew and I discussed our initial feelings. We agreed that we were both feeling stressed out. We wanted to know if we made the right decision for our family. We both felt that it was going to be very different, and very hard, but good for our family. The only thing we can do now is have faith, and trust our desicion, and see how things pan out from here.