Steve's China Blog

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

A quick trip

A few weeks ago I got an email from my office that I had a bunch of deferred vacation that I needed to use up. At about the same time I was telling some friends in Phoenix that I was a little homesick for the US sometimes and they said I should come visit, so I quickly put together a trip to Arizona. I got my plane tickets, hotel reservations, and car rental all done online.

The desert near Apache Junction south of Phoenix

The flights to and from Phoenix were a bit long (over 20 hours each) for just five or six days, but it was a fantastic trip. I took off from ChengDu last Wednesday and then headed back on Monday morning. The weather in Arizona was hot and dry, and it felt really nice compared to the wet cool weather we had been having in ChengDu.

Driving along in my Mustang convertible

While I was in Phoenix I got to eat a bunch of great food; visit the Arizona Renaissance Festival; and hang out with my friends Mike and Jean, and their daughters Angela and Alexandra. My first night there we went to a steak house and I had a really good thick ribeye steak and a salad with bleu cheese dressing. I really needed that!

All of my meals were really good and I ate a lot of things that I really missed from home; like breakfasts with eggs, hash browns, chorizo sausage, etc... We also had some really good pork loin that Mike cooked on the grill one night. Of course, I had to go to Hooters for some spicy wings one day.

A few Hooters Girls wish me a nice trip back to China

One day we went to the Arizona Renaissance Festival. It was a lot of fun, but I got way too much sun and I was really dragging the next day. That was ok since it was Sunday and it was a nice relaxing day hanging out with Mike and Jean and playing Everquest II. A big thanks to Mike, Jean, Angela, and Alexandra for a wonderful time!

A pretty musician at the Arizona Renaissance Festival

Angela and Alexandra posing by a dragon statue

A harp player at the faire plays for people in the shade

Since the weather in Arizona is so warm there are no shortage of belly dancers at the faire

The flight back to China was kind of weird since all of the problems were at the airports in the US and I had no problems in China. At the airport in Phoenix they put in these e-ticket scanners that actually took much longer to use than how things were done before. It took almost an hour just to check into my flight, and some people actually missed the flight since the new system was so slow.

Then there was a problem with the PA system on the airplane, so we ended up leaving late and I almost missed my flight from San Francisco to Beijing. When we got to Beijing we arrived at one of the new terminals, and it was really nice.

Came back to work today. So far my jet lag isn't too bad. Luckily Friday is a holiday (Qingming Festival), so I have a three day weekend to recover if my jet lag gets worse.


  • Hello! You have an interesting blog! I am happy to visit here.

    By Anonymous Wangbu, at 10:03 PM  

  • It's too bad Hooter's Airline didn't last long. The 20 hour flight might not have been so bad.

    By Anonymous Les, at 10:58 AM  

  • I want to a Hooters in Hangzhou when I was living in China. That was rather interesting. They had Americans and some other foreigners there to train them to be proper Hooter girls. I thought it was funny.

    By Blogger Gabby Girl, at 2:11 AM  

  • @Wangbu - Glad you like it! :)

    @Les - Yeah, that would be interesting.

    @Gabby - I've always wanted to visit that Hooters. They opened a new one in Biejing. Hope I will get to visit them.

    By Blogger Steve Harms, at 10:24 AM  

  • Nice time to visit AZ. Next time call us--- Amy has clients there and so do I. Glad you have fun.


    By Anonymous Greg, at 10:01 PM  

  • Hey Steve! Sorry it took us so long to post, busy as heck since you left.

    We are really glad you got to come visit, it had been so long since Angela had seen you. We also had a blast!

    Sunday night when you left Angela was in tears and really wanted you to come back and visit. She wanted to go to Chine to visit. heh.

    Maybe one of these days Jean and I can spring for a trip over there. I would LOVE to see China.

    You left just in time. It ended up getting pretty hot here. Today (April 14th) it got up to 99.

    Anyways, again, glad you could visit! Send some pics of China, would love to see some more!

    By Blogger Noonga, at 12:31 PM  

  • @Greg - It was very short notice. Very spur of the moment. Hehe

    @Mike - My pleasure! I had a great time visiting. I hope you all can come visit. I think after the Olympics are over with it would be a good time to come.

    By Blogger Steve Harms, at 2:50 PM  

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