Sandy and our driver picked us up at 8:30 for a full day of touring. We began the day at the Shanghai Museum, which had artifacts from 4000 years ago! It was amazing to see brass pots and wine urns as well as ceramics made in the years between 1600 and 2100 B.C. There were 4 floors with several exhibits on each floor; brass, ceramics, calligraphy, furniture, currency, and stamps.
After the museum, we went to the Yu Gardens, built in the 1600s and containing houses with traditional Chinese furniture of the era, gardens, and ponds. Next we went to lunch and had 10 courses of dim sum, including pork dumplings with soup inside (a traditional Shanghai dish), tomato soup, beef and vegetables, and chow mein.
Sandy then took us to a silk factory, where they showed us the fascinating process of spinning silk, starting with the life cycle of the silkworm, where we saw the different stages), and continuing with the spinning of the silk threads and finally the making of the silk material. What an interesting process! We ended up purchasing a pure silk duvet, duvet cover, pillows, and pillow cases.
Next we visited the French Concession, originally a French neighborhood, looking very European. It is now home to some trendy restaurants, bars, and shops. We also visited the M 50 art region where many art students work and create their masterpieces.
Dinner tonight was at Pasta, where Paul, Judy, Mike and I split a margherita pizza, which was very thin and quite good.
On Saturday morning, we slept in and ate a late breakfast, hailed a cab and went to Nanjing Street where there is a market where locals sell their wares. I found some nice silk pajamas, a small Coco Chanel purse, and a passport cover, while Mike got himself a leather Prada wallet. Their knock-offs here looked very real! Judy found 2 purses and a clutch as well as a cashmere sweater.
We met Paul and Judy for a drink at the bar, and they headed out for an evening tour of the food market. Early to bed as Sandy and our driver will be picking us up at 5:30 a.m. for our 7:55 a.m. flight to Beijing. From Beijing, we’ll fly to LAX and then home to Phoenix.
Up at 4:30 for our 5:30 a.m. pick up. We got to the airport in plenty of time and flew to Beijing, where it was a zoo! there were long lines to go through customs and we barely made it to our flight. 14 hour flight to LAX but fortunately no one in the middle seat so we had a bit of extra room. Once in LA, we got through customs quickly with our Global Entry but had to wait a long time for our luggage. Then it was a race to get to Terminal 1 from Terminal 3 to catch our SW flight to Phoenix. We had to check our bags as "late check in" and were advised they may not make the flight. We made it to the gate as the B Group was starting to board. Bumpy flight and then rain storm in Phoenix so we had to circle for 25 minutes. We just wanted to get home! Our luggage made it (yay!), we picked up the car and drove home. Arrived at 2:30 and had to force ourselves to stay awake until 6:30 when we both fell asleep. I woke up at 11:30 p.m., got up and worked for two hours and back to bed. I got up with my alarm at 7:30 to go to kettle bell class and Mike headed to the pickleball courts. Back to reality!,