Leaving on a trip is always stressful. In fact, this round of gearing up to travel reached the 3 on the canker soar stress level. Why is it always a mad dash to the airport?? #wellneverchange
We were packing some seriously fragile cargo. It was funny how “not normal” it was for China Eastern Air for us to bring our own carseats. I think it may have been the fact that our stroller collapses down into a car seat that threw off the system, but we had to get a few levels of management approval to bring this thing on.
When we first had the idea of this trip, it was really only that – an idea. We were chatting with Jace and Giddi (from Our Home On Wheels) about going somewhere. All kinds of destinations were thrown out – Norway, Russia, Thailand, and Bali. Then the next day, Jace called us in a state of panic. “BALI TICKETS ARE ON FLASH SALE!” So, we pulled the trigger and booked 7-weeks abroad!
The tickets were on a flash sale, due to a super long layover in Shanghai. This didn’t deter us at all! In fact, we kind of saw it as a bonus. We figured we would sleep on the plane, get out and explore a bit, and then sleep on the next plane to Bali! How is this a bad plan?
Aside from slightly puffy feet, the flight to Shanghai was pretty uneventful. This probably has to do with the fact that Madison, Theo and I all slept for about 9 of the 14 hours. The 5 other hours were spent watching the Lego Batman Movie and playing Tetris for way too long.
The real party began when we landed in China. We landed smack dab in the middle of prime morning rush hour. The metro was PACKED. Literally. Trying to navigate two strollers through sardine-style train cars was next to impossible. I’m pretty sure that when we pushed our way onto the train, 5 other people were displaced out a different door, down-train. That’s how tight it was. And that was the easy part! Once we arrived at our stop, we had to try to get to the escalator – and timing that between the frequent arrivals on both sides of the platform was VERY tricky. It was quite the experience.
Surfacing was a joy. Being squished in public places is Madison’s nightmare. So it didn’t even matter when we got to the street only to see that it was raining, and we were the only ones without umbrellas. #YOLO
For the 10 hours that we were in Shanghai, it was full-time the Theo And Juniper Show! Everyone was obsessed with the babies! If we stopped moving for more than 30 seconds, there was a crowd of Chinese ladies all hoping to coax a smile out of one of them. It was hilarious until we literally couldn’t move down the street.
We still have zero idea what this drink was. The mystery fruit juice was cooled by dry ice and looked really magical. We think it was something akin to apple juice, but still not sure.
We were on a quest to find a good fried dumpling shop. The funny part is, we found it, but ate the dumplings so fast, we forgot to take a picture of them. Oh well.
As we moved through the city, we couldn’t help but notice the funny English on all the clothing. Some of the translations were funny, because we could see the intended meaning, but the REALLY good ones, were the ones that made absolutely no sense.
We spent most of our time on Nanjing Road. We had hear that this was the place to go for the most Shanghai-y experience. It didn’t disappoint. There was tons to do and a million people to meet (literally).
As our time ticked away in China, we found ourselves in a mad frenzy to find some ice cream (why does it always revolve around food for us??). We were guided by a very kind man (with some serious language help from Google Translate) to an epic little stand. The ice cream was ok, but the bubble waffle is what made this creation worth the caloric intake. Delish.
While googling things to do and see we discovered that one of Shanghai’s claim to fame is the fastest passenger train in the world! AND, the best part is – it runs to the airport! The only kicker was that it only runs during high traffic time, so after 3 o’clock. We were getting ready for our ride back around 2:30 – so IF we wanted to ride the speed train, we would have to wait. After some serious math, figuring in the added speed of our bullet Maglev train, we decided we had just enough time to ride and make our flight. SO, we waited. And OH MAN, it was the best decision of our time there! We got up over 400 km/h! (that is over 260 mph!) Giddi doesn’t look too impressed, but I was freaking out behind the camera.
We arrived in Denpasar, Bali at about midnight, two days after we left Oakland. It was a long, but fun-filled path. Get ready for some epic beach time!