A Travellerspoint blog

June 2014

TRAVEL ALERT!!!!! We're on the Road Again!

sunny 100 °F

29 June 2014

One lesson I've learned about traveling is to "never say never". When we returned this past October, we said that we probably would not go back to China in 2014. When the email came, this past February, from last year's group leader we decided we had to reconsider, and yes, we're heading back to China on July 1st.

This year we'll be on very familiar ground. Both Jim and I contacted our teaching partners from 2013 and with a little persuasion, they too, decided to return. We also talked with an old friend of Jim's (Linda L'ai from Peace Corp days) who luckily had just retired from teaching and will be along for the ride.

If you've read my previous blogs, you'll recognize my teaching partner, Brenda, as "one of the usual suspects". The three of us traveled together after class last summer and will do the same this year. Our tentative travel schedule after classes end on July 23rd is: Vietnam, possibly Borneo (to see Orangutans in the jungle), Bali and then "who knows where" are on the menu. Brenda heads home the end of August and Jim and I will make it back to the US early September. The final leg of that trip is still up for discussion - we've got to have some surprises :-).

Life takes us on many different journeys. Some we plan, so we don't. This year has been a journey of the later. I started writing this blog posting on May 5th. On May 6th, my Mom's husband, Bob Huttlinger, passed away, after a long illness. Jim always called him the Timex, which made him smile. We would leave on a trip not knowing what the future would hold. He would decline and then bounce back again and again. This trip leaves Bob in the hands of a higher power enjoying a heavenly round of golf and a glass of really good Scotch. God speed Bob!!

With Bob's passing, life changed, as life has a way of doing. Knowing that we would be traveling again this summer, we wanted to get my Mom settled and comfortable here in Arizona before we left. This was a decision that was not made lightly and had been discussed in length over the past year or so. On May 18th , Jim and I headed south from Redwood City with a small truck carrying most of Mom's possessions which had made the trip from Rochester a short thirteen years earlier. She followed the next week and is currently settling in nicely at an assisted living facility here in Tucson. Though she misses Bob very much, she has made some very nice friends and has rediscovered her love of Bingo.

As we head out in a few days, our first stop will be Shanghai. Hopefully we'll make it to Suzhou on a day trip. Back in 2012, after making it to the train station, I discovered that ID was needed to buy a train ticket - even if it was just a short, one hour, trip - my bad. This year, I won't make the same mistake. On Saturday the 5th, we're taking a train to Wuhan. Weather in Shanghai in July is measured in varying inches of rain. After a five hour delay last year, with rain so hard you could barely see past the glass doors at the airport, we decided to try the train - another adventure.

Thanks to all who have encouraged me to continue with blogging for this trip - hope you enjoy the ride wherever it takes us all!!!

Posted by pjburke 10:14 Archived in USA Comments (7)

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