Sunday, July 27, 2008

Safe Landing

Margot arrived safely and sent an email before heading for bed, about 8 PM her time. She is 12 hours ahead of Cleveland.

She said she had lots to tell me and also expressed some disorientation and homesickness. Her initial impression of the hotel was that it was quite nice. I added a link to this blog so you could take a look. So, I'm waiting to hear more and hoping that everyone has a good night's rest.

Nathan and I have been coordinating our shopping tasks. I updated the "List" and sent it back to him and we've talked a few times today. Nathan reminds me of my dad when it comes to determination about getting things done. He is one person who doesn't need to read The Purpose-Driven Life. John contributed some face masks in case the anti-pollution efforts in Beijing are ineffective. I hope nobody has to wear them. I imagine the Chinese people are very proud of this opportunity to host such an event. I would hate to offend them. I taught a class for E&Y in Mexico City last Spring and our hosts were so excited to show us around and treat us. Mexico City is also very polluted and there's a lot of crime there. It was a real treat for those lovely people to be able to show off and a great pleasure to them to hear our delight and thanks. So I hope the same will be true for China.

Spent some time today creating a watercolor travel kit so I can try to capture a bit of China using something other than my camera. I am imagining how few opportunities there may be to find a place to paint that won't impose on someone's else's space. At the same time, I'm pretty sure I'll have a few leisure minutes at the hotel, or opportunities during a sightseeing trip to at least pull out the sketch book and look like a total geek. I ended up using something I bought for travel pre-911 when you could carry your cosmetics, etc. on board rather than having to pack them. So I have this nice over-the-shoulder bag with zippered compartments and a side-pocket for a water bottle that I have never been able to use. I was able to stash everything in there and even have a little pocket on the outside for cash, the camera, and the BB.

Between that and the blog, I may sandwich in a few Olympic events (kidding... )

Good news in an email today. We are members of the Hometown Hopefuls club (I guess this is for Olympic parents and I remember Margot telling me about it). There is a Bank One, I think, in Beijing where we can go from 11 Am to 11 PM, borrow laptops (which we won't need to do), hang out with other families, and they will provide lunch and dinner daily for those who would like to eat meals there. All this is free, so it's a nice oasis and one that we can use when we're sightseeing in Beijing on Margot's off days.

Her first race will be on Sunday, August 10 (now that I have the tickets, I found that out), so we will have Saturday free to sleep and wander around and hopefully we can plan some time in Beijing that day. I don't know whether you know this or not, but we won't be able to "see" Margot other than waving at her during races and maybe a hug afterwards, until after her boat qualifies for the finals, probably Weds. or Thu (must check those tickets again). So, we'll be Skyping and texting and calling when she is available and that will also be the time for us to tour around.

I ordered Chinese food last night, out of laziness and stuffed-onion leftover avoidance, and John said "Why are we eating Chinese food? We'll be eating it for two weeks," and made me laugh. So, tonight I'll grill some salmon when I get my second wind. By that time, Margot may be awake and able to text or email.

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