First stop will be three days in Hangzhou, where we will visit the famous West Lake, and Esther, who was born and raised in Hongzhou. We met this year in Shanghai at the Prom. We kept in touch and she even came up to Beijing to visit. Twice. In those visits, we took many walks, circumvented hou hai, toured hutongs, hammocked in the park, attended live Loveseat concerts (my new band, more on that later), ate good food, and i also got sick at Happy Valley, the amusement park. We waited for an hour to get on one awesome roller coaster, and it was truly awesome. Then we went on a second ride, one of those pirate ship things that swing upside down like a pendulum. My day ended with some projectile vomiting, only a half-second after i got out of the cab in front of my apartment. Somehow i made it the whole 45 minute cabride before losing it. People probably thought i was just really drunk on bai jiu.
Anyway, so, Esther. She's pretty awesome, and her English is great. She's learning Spanish too, so when we talk, it's often a weird mix of English, Chinese, and Spanish. Chinglanish? A few photos...
After Hangzhou, the rents and i are flying to Kunming, then travelling to Li Jiang, Dali, and Tiger Leaping Gorge. We toyed with the idea of Tibet/Lhasa, but you need guides and travel permits and special tourism tickets and a tour package and it's, like, a billion feet high... i decided to keep it simple this time.
Wish us all good travels. You'll read more about these adventures in a few weeks.