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Stateside
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As you might’ve guessed by now, I’m back in the States, and valiantly trying to get back into the swing of normal life. I slept for 14 hours after I got home, and that still didn’t feel like enough! I used to scoff a bit at people who whined about jet lag, but now it looks like I’m one of them. 😉 I’m still...

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Confucius Says
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Near Tai’an and Mt. Taishan is Qu’fu, where Confucius made his home. (“near” meaning about an hour’s drive away) We visited Confucius’ house and temple, and also visited the grounds where he and his family are all buried. Tai’an is smaller than Xi’an or Beijing, but it still feels like a city. Qu’fu is even smaller than Tai’an, however, and it definitely had a grungier,...

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Mountain Climber
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Today was our climb of Mount Taishan, and it was just… NUTS. I took more than a few photos, too, but they’ll come later. I’m pooped beyond all description right now, and video sums up this experience more quickly than my textual blathering. 🙂 These clips are thanks to my Dad, for giving me a super-easy-to-carry FlipVideo camera a few Christmases ago. I highly...

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Warrior Life
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Goodbye to Beijing meant Hello to Xi’an, a city to the southeast of Beijing. I begrudgingly roused myself at 5am to catch an early, early flight to Xi’an, and we spent a whirlwind 36 hours there before returning to Beijing and braving the dreaded train station. This was just the first part of our second day there. Our first stop was at a facility...

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Riding the Rails
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Imagine you are exhausted from a day of sightseeing in Xi’an, followed by a whirlwind run through the airport, with a ridiculously heavy bag of clothes and two other shoulder bags on your back, and a 2-hour flight back to Beijing. Then, imagine you are dropped off at the Beijing Railway Station, with all of the aforementioned gear on your bag, and a teeming...

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Gone Shopping
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Shopping on the streets is one of the signs that tradition is still alive and well in Beijing. Open air markets can be found next to high-rise hotels, and side streets and alleyways are littered with small shops selling crafts and antiques. And, of course, there’s the process of haggling that’s become tradition in street shops, and that also gets pretty entertaining. This is...

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