With the assistance of Mom, the Super Travel Sleuth, we have aquired plane tickets to China! Mom found a great deal on EVA (the airline of Taiwan) and we decided to spring for business class since it's going to be 15 hrs in a plane, and eventually another 15 hrs with a squirmy 9 month old. The flight leaves out of LAX and goes to Taipei and then on to Hong Kong. Sadly, it's about 5x more expensive than Meg's Buddy Passes. Worse, the first flight we could get was on the 21st. This means that Beijing is pretty much a lost cause: a) we're in Hong Kong and getting to Beijing would require a 3 hr plane trip or a 24 hr train trip, and b) we'd only have 2 days in Beijing. I'm heartbroken.
The truth is that we should have had a back-up plan to begin with. Just like people who are shocked and feel a great sense of loss when the computer they thought was running just fine up and crashes taking all of their data with it; our trip up and crashed and took our plans to see Beijing with it.
I was so crushed over not being able to get to Beijing and see The Wall, the Square, the Forbidden City and the Summer Palace that Jeff threw himself into trying to find reasonable airfare to get us to Beijing even if only for 2 days. This has proved harder than it sounds. The great internet site I have for cheap flights within China only serves the mainland, so there are no flights to Hong Kong. We have found several internet sites that do have HK flights, but none with e-tickets, so we'd have to find a way to get the tickets. We tried calling the airlines directly (I shudder to see our phone bill) but they quoted us $750pp for a 1 way flight to Beijing! Ouch! We have one last line in the water, but if we don't have firm tickets by noon tomorrow, we'll be scrapping Beijing and making hotel reservations in Hong Kong.
It's not that Hong Kong is bad, on the contrary, it's an amazing city with it's own rich history... it's just that it isn't the China we wanted to see. And there really isn't anything of that China anywhere near HK. I can't believe we're going to go all the way to China and not see the Great Wall.... however I may have found a junk we can take a ride on! It's also more expensive than Beijing. Oh, well- we'll make the best of it and plan another trip to see all of the things we're going to miss!!! Kirsty, the really fabulous Canadian school teacher who lives in Beijing and found us an apartment to stay in has already graciously offered her apartment to us for a subsequent visit- and I will take her up on it!!
So the plan as it currently stands is:
EVA Airlines Flight BR0015 Departing LAX at 1:20 am on June 21
arriving Hong Kong at 11:30am June 22
Either hanging out in HK for 2 days and then taking the train to Guangzhou, or flying to Beijing for 2 days and then flying to Guangzhou.
June 26 (happy 37th birthday Jeff!), rendezvous with USAA and the rest of Groups 103,104, 106p at the China Hotel and begin the adoption!
July 8, complete the adoption process and take the train to Hong Kong.
EVA Airlines Flight Br0870 Departing HK for Taipei at 3:30pm
EVA Airlines Flight BR0012 Departing Taipei for LAX at 6:40pm
Arrive home in the USA with Tenley on July 9, 2005 at 3:50pm
Let's hope the 2nd time is the charm!!!!