It has been a bit of a whirlwind trip so far, with a 14 hour plane ride, and a 14 hour time difference (from Chicago). It was cramped in Economy Class and Jeff and I are seriously considering upgrading to business class if the price is not too steep. Jeff can barely fit into those seats with his 6' frame.
About hour 6 I started asking Jeff when we would get there :). It was nice that the plane had personal tvs in the headrests so we could watch movies, listen to music or track the plane as it moved across the globe. Flying over the mountains in Syberia was kind of cool. We had middle seats, and so only got to look out the window when going to the bathroom. I felt fine during the flight, thirsty and got a foot cramp, but other than that felt fine (Baby Ginkgo was moving a lot during the flight, maybe it was the engine noises).
After landing and going through customs, we met up with Jeff's boss who was on the same flight (but in Business Class) and had a hired driver take us an hour to the hotel through the outskirts and then the inner city of Beijing. It was pretty surreal while we were arriving, there was a dense fog (smog? it smelled like I was inhaling plastic fumes, thanks super sensitive pregnancy nose!) over the city, and the sever industrial architecture of some of the city made it feel dominating and opressive. But then we saw more structures that were clearly designed to awe and show what a powerhouse China is becoming.
Our hotel is, in short, Amazing! The Grand Hyatt Beijing http://www.beijing.grand.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp our room overlooks the water fountain that is in the main circular pull-around. The room, though small (Asian size!) is delux everything, I really REALLY wish I could have this bathroom... I will have to take photos for future renovations ;) HA!
We only had about 30min after arriving at the airport to quickly shower and change before we had to head out to go to dinner. Dinner ended up being VERY nice. With traditional Chinese food, Peking duck, vegetarian options and the best home made noodles I have ever tasted (seriously!). We had our own private room for the Bosch people, the professors and research people that are putting this thing on here (about 14 were there, including me). I had to wear jeans, because I didn't bring any other pants (can't fit in nice regular pants anymore, and pregnancy pants are too big for me yet, so I have this one pair of jeans that fit right now!) but it was alright, especially since I was a spouse, and sitting at dinner, you can't see my pants anyway! At least that is what I told myself! :)
I have not seen or heard or held by baby boy since Wednesday at 11am, and it is 9am here on Friday. I am missing his little noises and hugs. I miss his way of yelling 'Mama! Mama! Mama!' until I asking him what's up, and he just looks at me strangely, runs on his way and starts yelling 'Mama, Mama!' again :). I think it is just his catch all word for 'hey cool, look at this' and 'Yay, I am having fun' and 'Mama, look at me!'
Right now I am at the business center in the hotel and being charged by the minute, so I should wrap this up, but when I get some time on Jeff's computer where I can upload photos and put them up here I will.
Our tentative plan right now is to go to the Great Wall tomorrow (Saturday) and the Forbidden City on Sunday. Also a great thing about this hotel is that it is literally two or so blocks away from the Forbidden City, some great parks, a night market, a SUPER upscale mall (think Burbury and Rolex and a Astin Martin (sp?) dealership and more along with a McDonalds, HA!). There is an international bookstore somewhere around here that I might try to find this morning while Jeff is working... but we will see, it is cold outside, and I kind of want a nap ;)