Page 2 of Greenwoods Travel Blog Posts


North America » Mexico » Morelos » Cuernavaca January 25th 2010

Hola! I am switching gears and have moved from China to Mexico, a place I feel much more comfortable with since I speak some Spanish. I have always wanted to attend a Spanish language immersion program but have never had the opportunity. Usually the programs are multiple weeks in length and that just didn’t fit into my home or work schedule. Fortunately for me a group of California Diabetes Educators put together this language school trip, specifically to improve medical Spanish skills. I am departing Phoenix in just a little while on my way to Mexico City, then Cuernavaca, a city with several language schools. Our program consists of six hours a day of Spanish, three that are conversational Spanish and three that are diabetes specific. They are breaking us down into small groups so we ... read more
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Asia » China January 4th 2010

We are home and trying to wade through mail and laundry. Before we forget, thought we would list some random thoughts about our trip and things that might be helpful to know if you are traveling to China for the first time. 1. Look for a handicapped sign and you can often find a western toilet! If not, walk to the end of the line of stalls and you might find the last one is western. This theory worked well for me in many locations. It is a bonus if you also find toilet tissue :)! 2. Hotel concierge's are not all created equal, even at western hotel chains. Do your homework before you go for restaurant ideas etc, the web is a much better resource! We found great suggestions from http://www.cityweekend.com.cn website and also http://www.timeout.com/cn/en/beijing/ ... read more

Asia » China January 2nd 2010

We are getting ready to fly home! Here are our top picks for the trip! Deb 1. West Lake, Hangzhou 2. Summer Palace, Beijing 3. Fireworks on the 60th floor skydeck at hotel 4. Dinner on Christmas Eve at Red Capitol Club Mark 1. Great Wall 2. West Lake, Hangzhou 3. Summer Palace 4. Dinner at Red Capital Club Diana 1. Acrobat show 2. Hot Pot dinner 3. Executive lounge Mike 1. Summer Palace 2. Dragonwell Tea Plantation landscape 3. New Year's Eve in Shanghai Steve 1. Acrobat show 2. Summer Palace 3. Executive lounge Will 1. Executive lounge 2. Acrobat show 3. Great Wall We all had a wonderful trip. Definitely a once in a lifetime experience for the family! ... read more

Asia » China » Shanghai January 1st 2010

We have celebrated New Years Eve in France, Spain and other US destinations, but last night really was one of the greatest evenings we have had! We had the most amazing view from the skydeck! We will always remember celebrating the arrival of 2010 and Mike's early 21st birthday! The boys were going to wake up early at 3:00 am,to watch the Stanford game but no one could actually do it! We all slept late and enjoyed a leisurely day. We took a quick dip in the pool, packed most of our suitcases to go home and played on the internet. Mark and I made appointments for massages at the Spa but did not realize they had given us a couples room, so it was quite an unexpected surprise to have our two massage tables in ... read more
New Years eve from skydeck
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Asia » China » Hangzhou December 31st 2009

I have wanted to visit Hangzhou since we first went to China 12.5 years ago! Today we finally went and it was worth all of the effort. The West Lake of Hangzhou was the best place I have visited in the past 2 weeks! There are beautiful mountains surrounding three sides of the lake, while a modern city of skyscapers lines the other side of the lake. It sort of reminded me of Seattle! We hired a driver for the day and spent about 2.5 hours in the car from Shanghai until we reached West Lake. We took a walk through the northern edge of the park along the Bai causeway and then purchcased tickets for a boat ride to an island in the middle of the lake. We really enjoyed the boat trip and the ... read more
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Asia » China » Shanghai December 30th 2009

We got a slightly later start today so the boys could get up early and watch the UCLA football game on the internet! After breakfast we hopped in two taxi's again and headed to the French Concession area to talk a walking tour. Along the way we walked through the former residence of both Chou En Lai and Sun Yat Sen, now museums. We then hopped on the subway back over to Pudong to meet Patti, Grace and Lucy at the Aquarium. (Of course, we had lunch first, which consisted of a "like it" size Cold Stone Creamery treat!!) Diana and I met Patti and the girls last March on our trip to Yangzhou. Patti is a journalist for the Financial Times and has lived here for about a year and a half, having lived in ... read more
In the French Concession
KFC delivers
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Asia » China » Shanghai December 29th 2009

Today we started off at the Shanghai Museum, just a short walk from our hotel. We viewed some coins from Genghis Kahn era and some jade that was 5000 years old! Then we toured the Shanghai planning museum where they had a model of the city that you could view from the floor above. It was interesting to see the location of our hotel and the areas we walked through. After a quick lunch at the underground mall we took the subway over to Pudong and went to the observation tower at the Jin Mao building, on the 88th floor! Although hazy we had some great views over the city. We enjoyed a nice walk along the river to view the Bund and take photos. Since the Bund is under construction we are not able to ... read more
Executive club
Skyline
Our hotel

Asia » China » Shanghai December 28th 2009

Yesterday we had a relaxing slow morning so we could sleep in and pack up. We had a driver take us to the Beijing International School to see a play called “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge” with our new friend Yuanyuan as one of the cast members. Kirsty, her mom, gave us free tickets to attend and it sounded like a fun way to spend our last afternoon. The play was a comedy and we enjoyed seeing “Broadway in Beijing.” Then we headed for an Italian dinner at Annie’s nearby at Chaoyang Park, before heading to the train. The driver dropped us off and pointed for us to go inside. The signage was all in Chinese characters but at least the numbers were recognizable. We found the waiting lounge for our train and crossed our fingers ... read more
Waiting to find our waiting hall at the train station
Train Station
Departure Info

Asia » China » Beijing December 27th 2009

For our last full day in Beijing we decided on "comfort" and low stress! We hired a van and driver for the day. We started out going to the Olympic area. It was a very cold morning as we visited the Bird's Nest and Water Cube. Inside the Bird's Nest, there was a snowpark where you could pay to play in the snow. We didn't partake in that, we were cold enough already. It was a little strange seeing the inside of the Bird's Nest as a winter playground instead of the Track and Field center for the Olympics, but it is still certainly an impressive structure. Unfortunately, the Water Cube was not open for tours. We did buy a couple of souvenirs from the gift shop that was open. Next, we went to the 798 ... read more
At the Bird's Nest
Snowpark inside the Bird's Nest
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Asia » China » Beijing December 26th 2009

The headlines of the China Daily today, "Cold wave numbs North China" and we would agree. It turns out yesterday was a very good day to sleep in and take it easy as it was record cold in Beijing. The high yesterday was about 25 and while we were walking to the subway last night it was about 15! Thankgoodness for long underwear and Lands End insulated boots! We enjoyed having the executive cllub yesterday as we all hung out watching Chinese tv and using laptops. We skyped with my parents in Georgia as they were driving down to Florida! Mom escaped for an hour long foot massage and could not believe how fast an hour could fly by! After "High Tea" we headed to see The Legend of Kung Fu show. The acrobats were enjoyable ... read more
Skyping home
Relaxing in the club
Legend of Kung Fu




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