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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Saturday: The Long Journey Home.

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As of a couple of hours ago, I realized that I had been going going going for something like 36 hours –a double Saturday of travel.

We left the hotel in Xi’an for our flight to Beijing at about 10:30 am.

Our 3 hour layover in Beijing was NOT NEARLY LONG ENOUGH for us to get from one terminal to the baggage claim, pick up luggage, take it back through customs and then to the ticket counter to get our tickets for our long flight to Seattle.

It didn’t help matters that they thought there was something suspicious in my bag – I assumed it was the power converter, but no – the guard lady kept insisting I had a lighter in my bag.  I don’t.  I don’t smoke.  I have never smoked, and I would not be dumb enough to try to fly with something combustible in the checked luggage.  Phone power banks were with me in my back pack.  I had been so careful.

Lines lines lines lines lines every which way you go.  And when it comes time to FINALLY going through security to run your carryon through the machine – be prepared for a rather lengthy inspection of your self.  EVERY INCH.  As my friend Jill said “Wow, they got really up into my girly parts!”

Now that is not such a problem for me.  Always better safer than not.  But by this measure, our own TSA security here in the USA looks to be a bit on the lazy side!




Click to play the panorama video from the Beijing airport!

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10 hours to Seattle.

We look and feel a bit worse for wear.

Jill transferred her luggage over to her San Diego flight and made it home long before dinner, but as for me – I still had 2 flights to go and it made no sense to hang around the airport for 6 or more hours so that I could catch another red-eye flight to Atlanta.  I needed a shower and a bed so it was arranged ahead of time that I would overnight in Seattle and travel fresh the next morning.

As it is my morning flight LEAVES at 6:15am Pacific Time.  But the body clock is likely to still be somewhere over Russia and I can sleep between Seattle and Atlanta.  The main objective is to get me home.

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A beautiful day in Seattle for taking the light rail downtown!

Traveling internationally always has me arriving back stateside with a heart full of gratitude.  Gladness for the things I’ve experienced with others. Total overwhelming knowledge of the things we have here that we tend to take so much for granted  like - clear and fresh blue skies and very breathable air.

While we were in Beijing and Xi’an we had days of smog and haze so bad that you couldn’t see the mountains in the not-so-far-away distance.

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A Typical afternoon in Beijing.

Day after day after day, Jill’s smartwatch kept letting us know that the air we were breathing was UNHEALTHY.

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Seattle through the train window – trees in glorious color!

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Downtown Seattle!

It’s a $6.00 round trip ticket from the airport station to the Westlake station downtown.  I needed some exercise and some fresh air after my 2 hour nap or I wouldn’t be able to sleep last night.

The downtown area was buzzing with residents and tourists alike – October doesn’t always come with a weather-gift like this.  EVERYONE was out in droves and I fell into step with the pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk.

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Oh beautiful!

You can hear the sounds of street musicians on every corner, playing to the rhythm of the city. How different from Beijing or Xi’an this felt.  All wonderful in their own way, but I felt so much closer to home.

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I was heading here – to the marketplace!



Such a lively, vibrant and colorful place!

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Crowded as always -

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Oh, I love the fresh flowers!

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Fruits & Veggies!

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Fresh sea food!

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Colorful tree lined streets -

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Yellows & golds, reds and browns.

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And even a quilt shop!

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Some neutrals for the stash!

There really are NOT quilt shops in China.  Quilting is not popular there.  Cotton is grown outside of Xi’an, but we didn’t find a fabric store or a quilt shop anywhere near where our itinerary lead us.  I asked our guide, Linda if she knew where we would get quilting cotton and though she grew up in the area and cotton was one of the crops her parents grew on their farm while she was growing up, she had no idea where we would go for quilting cotton.

And that is just fine with me because there is plenty of it here where I live, and what I DON’T have at home is what I was wanting to see and experience while in China.  I can always find a quilt shop, but I can’t always find Great Walls, Temples, Terracotta Warriors and cultural events.  Why would we travel around the world to do the same things we’ve always done?

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The golden hour of the day!

Check out the gull on the lamp post.




Capturing the last of the day.  See if you can spot Mt Rainier and the moon in the video above by clicking it to play.

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Look beyond the 2nd bridge arch to the left of the pole!

The mountain was OUT!

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And my indulgent meal wish was granted!

For the last 2 days after eating Chinese meals 3 times a day, every day for the past week – I promised myself a guilt-free bacon cheeseburger upon my arrival in Seattle.  There is a Denny’s down the street from the hotel.  They served this to me on a toasted gluten-free English muffin and every bite was beyond delicious.  I’ll get back to my regular diet tomorrow.

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Quiltville Quote of the Day!

Wall detail from the inside courtyard around the Great Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an, China.

I’m heading toward my happiness – Home!

I’ll catch you back from North Carolina.

Have a wonderful Sunday, everyone!



25 comments:

  1. Traveling to different countries opens our eyes and heart to learn how other live. Being immersed in another culture can be life changing. It's always good to come back to the familiar. How lucky are we to have that option.

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  2. There’s no place like HOME!

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  3. I have really enjoyed traveling with you from my recliner...I don't think I will ever have the stamina to keep up with your busy schedule. It will be wonderful for you to be back home. I do not know how you can cram so many experiences into your life and I am very thankful that you choose to share it with us!

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  4. nothing feels better than home. welcome back and rest for awhile.

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  5. When I saw that you went to the Market I HOPED you would find "Undercover Quilts!" I found that store the Summer of 2016 in our travels while escaping the Arizona heat! It's where I discovered Sue Coccia's artwork/greeting cards/FABRIC!!! And, the ladies working there were so nice!

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  6. Welcome back, thanks for the great pictures. Did Thailand get cancelled?

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  7. Fabulous Seattle! What a great city to transition home in... China looked fabulous and I know what you mean about the burger... I did the same after 3 weeks in Morocco where it was couscous and tagines everyday. It was a very expensive but delicious burger at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris!

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  8. As Americans, we need to value our blues skies more and make sure our congressmen know it, or we will go the way of China...

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  9. Welcome home! Glad you got to stop and partake in Seattle a little. I live close, but have only been there once! I'm sure you are grateful to have gone and seen so much, but happy, happy, happy to be back in the states!

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  10. I'm glad you're home safe and sound. I live vicariously through you and your travels, but at 71 and traveled and moved around most of my life, I don't have the desire to do it any more, so reading about it is way better :) Hope you get some much needed sleep.

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  11. I love Seattle. I lived there twice, for a year each time, and have spent many shorter visits rhere. Glad you are back on US soil, and hopefully home by now.

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  12. Last year we visit China. I’ve found a little quiltshop on th third Floor of building in Shanghai.
    Groetjes Frea from the Netherlands.

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  13. So funny about the fabric - I asked my niece who was going to Japan to bring me something and I had to laugh when I got a not very good knockoff of a Jenny Breyer print! So best to buy fabric near home.

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  14. I am glad you made it back stateside safe and sound! I just love Seattle, was one of my stomping grounds for more than 30 years until I made it to Alaska, have family there. In all the years going to Pikes Market Place, I have never been to the Quilt Store, didn't even know it was there! I will have to check it out my next trip south!

    Donna
    Kasilof, AK

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  15. Was so great reading all about your trip to China..and reading about the "time" difference in Asia is so familiar. My son & his wife live in South Korea, and every trip back & forth is a huge adjustment..Jet lag doesn't quite explain it. It takes them at least 2 days to adjust on both sides of the world..I know that you will need a few days at least to get back to your normal sleep pattern. In any cas, very glad that you got there & back safe & sound.
    maggie

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  16. Anonymous9:12 PM EDT

    It is a well know fact that bacon goes with everything. Nothing beats Denny's.

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  17. Thank you for sharing. The pics were wonderful. I go on trips with you wherever you go when ever But I’m glad you’re home.
    I felt like you on the Alaska trip - just let me get home. Thanks Bonnie. How’s your brother and your Mom?

    Ann from PA




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  18. Welcome home Bonnie.
    I know you had a terrific time and thank you for showing and sharing your pictures. I know you are happy to be home. Take it easy the next couple days it takes time before everything is in place again. Enjoy the fall weather and I hope the jet lag will pass by soon!
    Am glad you are home!
    Happy quilting,
    Yoka Bazilewich

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  19. Although I loved going with you on your travels through your blog, your pictures from the USA made me smile. You see so much beauty in the world, things I will never see close up and personal, but it makes me look at my world in a different light and helps me appreciate the beauty even more. We are blessed!!!

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  20. Wow how did you do all of that!!! I got to my hotel stood in a hot shower for 15 minutes and slept.......and slept.
    Got home Sunday night @ 12:30am
    Thanks for the great trip.
    My prayers are with you and your family at this time of a journeys end
    for your father in law.

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  22. Yellows, Reds, Golds and Browns! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ The sign of beauty and Fall! We are overwhelmed with beauty here and oh the time to just stop and express our gratitude! WELCOME HOME!!

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