Jul 10, 2019

Xi'an was the most touristy of our travel segments.  It is a big city with lots to see and by the time we arrived all the kids wanted to do was spend the day in our hotel room (which was admittedly fantastic).  This whole trip was one that was less about what we wanted to accomplish or places we needed to experience, and more about engaging in relationships of friends and family over seas.  We had just enough contacts to make a journey through Southern China accessible and surprisingly comfortable.  This leg of the trip we wanted to visit a good friend of Chris's from his first visit to China 20 years ago.  For the past 20 years Daniel has made an effort to visit Chris when he is in America and we simply couldn't go all the way to China without returning the favor.  His love of Xi'an was evident as we shopped through the Muslim quarters, and strolled around the city walls at twilight.  He introduced us to his friends both Chinese and expatriate and opened up his home as a place of refuge and relaxation.  

I will say this leg of the trip was a bit of a challenge as we were 9-10 days in and our kids were feeling new Chinese novelties wearing off. But we rallied, moved around the rough patches, and geared up for the sweet reunion with our long lost son during our next stop in Changsha.