With so much going on in my life over the past 4 weeks I essentially just put this trip to Beijing on the shelf. I didn’t have the time or the energy to focus anything on it. But on Friday (just 2 days before we left) I finally had to get serious about it. First I had Trent print off the schedule of events with all the dress codes. I realized I had some shopping to be done. I don’t typically wear business casual clothing, I rarely wear formal wear, and I don’t particularly enjoy shopping – at least not if I have to bring kids with me. But by Friday morning I had no other choice but to go get it done.
Thankfully Trent’s mom is here in town so once we got the older 4 kids to school she, Owen, and I headed to the store. We lucked out and in under 2 hours found 3 business casual outfits and one formal evening dress. It was noon and I decided that I wanted to see about getting a haircut as well so I walked into the closest salon and they had an opening in their schedule right then. Unfortunately they did not allow children into the spa so Sandi pushed Owen in the stroller while I got my hair cut. I love my new look but it took forever. I only got a cut, but the the stylist was the slowest most precise hair cutter I have ever seen. It took an hour and a half to cut and blow dry my hair. I just kept hoping that Sandi was OK with Owen and that perhaps they were sitting in a cool toy store or restaurant.
When I came out of the salon, I called her and she said she and Owen had just gone on a walk. It was 1:30 and it was blazing hot. We headed to the car and as it turned on, it stated that the outdoor temperature was 111 degrees. Sandi and Owen had walked all over outside in that kind of heat. So we headed to Café Express where I think Sandi guzzled 2 x-Large Diet cokes!!!! Owen had been napping in the stroller and he too was pretty thirsty.
On Saturday, we continued with all the preparations that we had to do before we could leave – like picking up Melissa (Trent’s sister) from the airport, measuring out the deck pour to make sure we have it right for the pool and blue taping the walls at the house since the painter is coming while we will be gone. We also had calendars to print, maps to make, children to reassure, powers of attorney to sign, and so much more.
Saturday night after getting the kids to bed Trent and I started to pack. I don’t think I have ever packed so many clothes for so short of a trip in my life. Based on the itinerary it seems I will be changing clothes multiple times a day. The fun part was that Sandi has just started watching Downton Abbey and so while I packed I got to rewatch the first 2 episodes of the first season. By about 11:30 Sandi and Melissa headed to bed. I started episode 3 and started to do my nails. I had bought Julianne a shellac manicure set and so I took the time to do a manicure and pedicure on myself so that my nails would look nice. (this shellac stuff is amazing – my nails don’t chip and they look awesome for 2 weeks!!!) By 1:30 am I had watched episodes 3 and 4, was completely packed, nails done, and ready to go.
We got up on Sunday around 7 am and started the get to church scramble. Our ward congregations meets from 8:30 – 11:30 in the morning. This meant that Trent and I would be able to attend with all our kids and then as soon as church was over we would race back to the house, change clothes and get in the car service at noon. Let’s just say it was a busy morning.
We arrived at the airport and for the first chance had a moment to think about our upcoming flight. We had a nearly five hour layover in Seattle. While boarding the airplane I quickly called my Aunt Peggy (who lives in the Seattle area) I asked her if she and my Uncle Mike had any plans that afternoon an if they might be able to pick up my grandmother, Baba and bring her up to the airport to have dinner with us. She said there calendar was open and so we would meet out front at ticketing at 4:10.
While on the flight I had access to wifi and checked facebook. It was fun to see my aunt’s post about planning to surprise Baba. My cousin’s wife Wendy messaged me putting the pieces together – she wondered if I was on a plane and Baba was being surprised if the 2 were related.
In the end, we surprised Baba entirely and had a wonderful lunch at the Spaghetti Factory. I am so grateful to Mike and Peggy for helping to make this happen. It was so fun to see Chris and Wendy as well who were able to join us for dinner too!