Depart from the U.S.
Wow, what a long flight from Chicago to Beijing! No one prepared me for the discomfort of being in the same seat for 13 hours, but after flying north across the Arctic Circle, the North Pole and over Mongolia and Russia, we finally arrived at 2:50 pm. on Thursday. We waited in the airport for Ryan and Peiwui, then boarded another plane heading for Xian. We met Richard, our tour guide, at the airport. We have been told many good thing about him, and so we are all anxious to hear all about his hometown of Xian, the oldest capital of China. After figuring out how to use the lights in our hotel room, sink in our bathroom, and connections for our electronics (no wireless here), we fell into bed hoping to get a good, well-deserved night's rest.