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Chengdu :: arrival

Our train arrived at 5:30 this morning. Of course, the train woke everyone up with lights and music at 4:30am – just to be sure we were ready to get off the train at 5:30am.

It was pitch black outside. On the east coast, we don’t really notice the “one country, one time zone” difference so much, but in the west, we’ve already noticed that the sun rises and sets much later.

After getting off the train, we went into the train station and bought our return tickets back to Wuhan. After calculating door to door travel, we realized that flying to Nanchang and then taking the bus to JiuJiang was about the same as training to Wuhan and then taking the bus to JiuJiang. We weren’t counting the sleep time on the train because we have to sleep no matter which way we go. Taking the train saved us about $400 USD. Nice.

Then, we grabbed a taxi and headed to Home Inn. At 6:30am they had no available rooms for check-in, but they did recommend a baozi stand just around the corner.

They have been making and selling baozi there since 1914.

While we sat and ate our baozi outside, I immediately noticed that I was not sweating and there was a nice, cool breeze in the air. Hello ChengDu!

When we thought about where we wanted to go on family vacation, my one request was to go somewhere cooler. Currently, in JiuJiang, the sizzle starts by 10am and lasts until 6:30pm. Sizzle that’s over 100 degrees at 6pm! It’s almost impossible to go outside. When we do go outside, the first thing we do when we come home is take a shower – kids included. We’re all completely drenched with sweat. We’ve been on “two a day” showers for almost a month now.

But not in ChengDu.

After breakfast, we decided to press on and check out a local attraction: Ji Lin street.

The hotel gave us directions for walking.  Unfortunately, we walked through the Wu Huo Temple Street. Hubs and I gave up on visiting idols in temples long ago. I’m also very sensitive about exposing the kids to idols so I got my armor on and talked outloud as we walked through that dark street.

We finally made it to Ji Lin street. This reminded us a lot of XinTianDi in Shanghai. They had a Starbucks. I, who never drinks coffee, requested a tall latte. After all, I’d been up since 4:30am.

The street was nice, but we were ready to leave by 11am. The tour buses were dropping off crowds by then.

We walked back to the Home Inn and everybody crashed for a much needed nap.

After naptime, we took a taxi to a renovated houtong area. It was mostly made up of restaurants that spilled out into sidewalk cafes.  ChengDu has a “sit and drink tea” culture. We could see the “sit and drink” aspect here.

Birdcage
My favorite part were these photos brought to life.

Since we slept through lunch, Hubs decided we were hungry enough to go to the original Peter’s Tex Mex. YUM.

Dr. Pepper. Hamburgers. Mac and Cheese. Let us give thanks.

We got back to the Home Inn and let the kids play in the shower for a long time. We’re all sleeping in one room. Home Inn does not have rooms with an adjoining door and we don’t feel comfortable having the kids away from us.

Sianna and Schäfer share a twin bed. They sleep horizontally. It works. Sianna wants to do whatever Schäfer is doing so this is her dream come true. We borrowed a blanket and made Selah a pallet on the floor. Hubs and I share the other bed.

Goodnight Chengdu. We’re so thankful for your cooler temperatures.

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