Here I sit, midway between 8 and 9 weeks from China. As usually happens with me as I'm "just killing time" until I go, I start to think, dwell on and obsess about the most ridiculous things.
First, where to next. I don't mean next-next like next-big-trip-next, but rather some smaller, easy to accomplish and relatively affordable trip at the end of the year. I want to go to Philly sometime for the Rembrandt exhibit and to see the city I've never been to before. But I'm also thinking of a long weekend of the Christmas Market type, maybe Dresden, Strasbourg or Munich. Hell, maybe Oslo or Stockholm. Wherever IcelandAir can get me quickly and cheaply.
Second, have I mentioned lately how long these damn flights to and from China are? Going over, I fly Boston to Chicago, which is quick and easy. But then, Chicago to Beijing is 13 1/2 hours. Good glory. What on earth am I going to do for that long? As my China-phile friend Bev says "That's a work-day plus a short nap". Then I realized I sat on a beach for 5 1/2 hours yesterday and if that had been a flight to China, I'd still have 8 hours to go...argh! Coming back, the flight is "just" 10 hours from Shanghai to San Francisco, then 6 hours San Fran to Boston. Somehow breaking it up like this seems more palatable, and the second flight will be "overnight" to my body so hopefully I'll be sleeping that last leg. But ugh...time to start putting the fun bag together now!
Finally, I am getting excited. A couple days last week I could barely contain myself, wondering how I was going to make it through 9 more weeks without driving myself (and everyone around me who'll listen) crazy. That has tempered a bit this week, but I still can't believe that 5 months have passed already. Wow.