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Last Day in China

I fly out tomorrow and it was a great trip but I am ready to be back in the good ol’ USofA. We kept pretty busy for most of the trip except for the last day or so; which was a good for winding down.

It was pretty hot and humid every day I was here so it will be nice to be back in Cali where there is no humidity and nights are cool and refreshing. If you have had the luxury of living or camping in Illinois without AC, you know why night in Cali are awesome.

The play-by-play of the trip is below the fold.

I attended five Olympic events. Basketball, Volleyball, Wrestling, Table Tennis, and Baseball.

We started the trip in Shanghai and planned to spend more time there, but had to get to Beijing to see Yisong’s mom and sister before they flew home. We spent a few days in Beijing and then we flew to Huangshan to do a 3 day trip there hiking the mountains.

After touring Huangshan with Yisong’s cousins we took a night train and another train to their hometown, which is Yisong’s Dad’s hometown. We visited with them and had several good meals and did some shopping and took a night train back to Beijing.

As soon as we got back to Beijing at 8am on the night train, we headed to the Great Wall to do some sightseeing. That night we went to see women’s volleyball and it was an awesome quarter-final match with USA playing Italia.

I woke up the next day early went to the Wrestling venue and tried to see some freestyle wrestling. I figured that I really should watch some wrestling if I came all this way to see the olympics. It turned out that I accidentally went to see the weight classes that I am interested in, 66kg and 74kg (They have a 55kg and a 60kg, which would have also been cool). Even better, it was the 1/8 1/4 and semi-finals. So I basically got to watch the whole bracket for 2 weight classes in 3 hours. Some of these guys wrestled 3 times in under 3 hours, which is pretty tough.

After that success, we went to the 798 art district, which was pretty awesome. If you know me, you know that I’m not that into art, but I could have hung out there all day. There are like 400 galleries with all kinds of crazy art. We then went to see Ari’s friends’ Terra Cotta warrior marionette show, but they changed the times around, so we were late to the last show and they didn’t let us in. We then came back the next day, and it was rained out, so sad times on boats with respect to the show Ari suggested we see.

But all was well because that night we hit up the Peking duck and then did some serious clubbing. Yisong did not join us because he had a talk to give at Microsoft Research Asia in the morning. I however rolled in from partying at like 3:30am and had to wake up at like 7:30 to get ready to go to MSRA. After the talk we went out to a really nice lunch with the Microsoft people and then Yisong had meetings all day. I didn’t want to hang out in his research meetings for the rest of the day, so I met up with Lisa and we tried to go to the Terra Cotta thing (which was rained out), and after that didn’t pan out, we went to the Beijing Zoo and saw some Pandas.

I caught up on sleep that night and we went to see Table Tennis the next afternoon. We decided that partying was in order this Friday night so we started at karaoke and at about 1:30 moved to the clubs. We didn’t get home until like 4:30 and Yisong’s grandparents were just getting up. I thought we were busted for sure because it seemed like they had been waiting for us all night, but they had just gotten up and Yisong smoothed it over like a champ.

We got like 3 hours of sleep and were up for the 10:30am USA bronze metal baseball game. Baseball will not be an Olympic sport next year, so it is pretty awesome that we saw the last USA game of this era. It was a slug-fest with homers and was high scoring and back and forth and was a great game against Japan. We took the bronze and much sun (and beer) was had by all.

That pretty much wraps things up. We walked around the main Olympic area Saturday night; caught up on sleep. Sunday we watched Basketball and the closing ceremony on TV. Monday we went out shopping and hit up the local bars at night. And right now it is Monday night and Yisong and I are working through the last of the 24 pack of beer we bought 2 weeks ago and are being nerds writing our blog posts. yay!

It was a most excellent trip but I miss my life back home and am ready to be back! Now I just have that pesky 16 hours of travel tomorrow.

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