fbpx

travel with kids

How it all works

By KJ / Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I’ve realized that it’s not really all that clear to everyone exactly how we got here, so I’ll try to explain. The people seated behind Rob and the boys on the plane did NOT have a fever when we got off the flight. But once they felt sick, they called the authorities (and we don’t know how sick they are, so we will forgive them for that), and two of them tested positive for H1n1. So they came for us, […]

Read More

Cicadas, lessons, card-playing

By KJ / Thursday, June 25, 2009

We woke up frustrated today. as a group. Last night was hot, hot, hot–it’s cooled off every other night, but not last night. There was tossing, there was turning, and two of the three of us in my room fell out of bed at least once. We woke up itchy and ready to crawl out of our skins, and with no appetite for another huge Guo-men breakfast. The troops were rebelling. And, of course, there was nothing my mom and […]

Read More

The Pringle Fairy

By KJ / Friday, June 26, 2009

If asked, I can state with confidence that the maximum number of days one family should spend pretty much cooped up a room together is…6. Not seven. Seven seems to be just that much too much. But we are getting there. They just took our temperature for the last time. We just had our temperatures taken for the last time. We ate our last lunch. We filled out a form that even had a box for “comments about our stay”. […]

Read More

A Quarantine Gallery

By KJ / Saturday, June 27, 2009

We did, indeed, get out of quarantine today. Fancy certificates, flowers and everything. TIme has nearly healed the wounds already (that and a couple of really, really good meals). Looking these over, it’s clear that once we were out of the hospital and that first awful couple of rooms, China did well by us. Considering. And the people we talked to in Q seemed to feel that the government was “doing the responsible thing” and that cooperating was a civic […]

Read More

So. Tired.

By KJ / Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The real trouble with the whole quarantine thing is that it sucked a lot of the adventure right out of us. We’re tired. We’ve eaten a lot of things we might not otherwise have eaten. We’ve hung out together. We’ve talked to people. We’ve been stared at. And now we are ready to resume our normally scheduled programming, but we still have a week of travel to go. Rory is adjusting well. She kind of collapsed today and took an […]

Read More

A Day in Fuzhou

By KJ / Wednesday, July 1, 2009

So we’ve agreed: Fuzhou, not set up for tourists. On the other hand, we are seeing a real China city, and not just one like Beijing that’s sort of set up to show itself off in the same way that Manhattan is–there are clearly tons of Chinese tourists–although once we let the guide start taking us places, we saw Western tourists too. I can tell you that Fuzhou-ers, rightly, do NOT go out between noon and three. I don’t know […]

Read More

Shamian Island: The Home Stretch

By KJ / Saturday, July 4, 2009

Shamian Island is best described as the place the British took over, back when tea and opium were in constant traffic across the sea, and although I am sure there was razing and looting involved in its creation, the result is extraordinarily pleasant. Shady verandas. Palm trees. Wide park-like walkways. Few cars. We are staying at the White Swan. It used to be right next to the consulate, so everyone stayed here. Now it’s right next to an entire cottage […]

Read More

The Red Couch

By KJ / Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What is wrong with that child, you ask? What are you people doing to her? Well, it’s like this. If Rory has one single, stand-out, non-endearing trait, it is (and this is SO PETTY) that she pretty much has to go potty every single solitary second of every day. Is she nervous? Unable to complete, shall we say, with relative strangers? Does she have a UTI? Dunno. Doesn’t, in the context of getting out of China, matter. But there it […]

Read More

Re-entry: Not Pretty

By KJ / Friday, July 10, 2009

Some of my publishable thoughts on arriving home: Whoa. We got in at 11:00 night before last and the kids were up until 3. We hauled them through yesterday, even taking Sam and Lily to a tennis lesson and getting the boys a haircut–and put them to bed at a relatively normal time (when Rob and I were nearly asleep standing) but at 1:30 the first of them–Rory–appeared. And this is where the fact that they all sleep in the […]

Read More

Best Pool in Beijing

By KJ / Wednesday, June 17, 2009

We’re here, at the Grand Hyatt in Beijing. The pool, I’m told, looks “just like Ariel’s castle” and was a huge hit. We only managed a few hours of sleep on the plane, and tried to do a little too much when we got here (even though it wasn’t much at all). We thought a swim would tire them out, and it did–so much so that they all fell asleep at dinner, which we tried to do right around the […]

Read More

Mob Scene in the Forbidden City

By KJ / Thursday, June 18, 2009

Here’s a phrase you may want to learn if you’re going to bring a lot of small, blonde children to China: Ta-men pu yao. That’s “They don’t want it.” Ta pu yao is “He doesn’t want it.” The smog today was palpable, settling down in the Forbidden City to the point where you felt like you needed to clean your glasses, even though you weren’t wearing any. It was muggy, cloudy and oppressive. While we walked to the Forbidden City […]

Read More

Quarantine Fun, Day One, and a Panic

By KJ / Saturday, June 20, 2009

Duplicates, I know–I had some trouble uploading. Ok, if all those swabs come back negative, I’ll be the best quarantine mother ever. I will make paper dolls, I will build card houses, I will teach sam to play chess. I will be 100% present, I swear. We will know in an hour. If anyone is positive, it’s more quarantine for everyone, and the hospital for the positive person. The embassy has said they will intervene to make sure an adult […]

Read More

Things Get Much Better

By KJ / Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Today, we got an upgrade. No more tiny room. No more holey sheets. No more stained wallpaper. I could go on, but I won’t. We’re movin’ on up, and now we have a sitting room, a fridge, a balcony and all the amenities. We also have a date of release: Saturday, at 5:30 am. Why 5:30? Not gonna ask. Just gonna be there. So we’re bouncing along. At dinner, they had eggplant with pork–my favorite Chinese dish. And as we […]

Read More

Recommending books is my superpower.

Need a thriller for mom?

Sci-fi for sis? 

A gift for your fave Austen fan? 

Your next read?

You need my 2020 Guide to Books to Give

(and Get). Let me pop it into your in-box!