My month in the US ended with an evening flight on Christmas Day. My family were all catching up after Christmas anyway, so I got to celebrate Christmas TWICE – on two different continents.
I saw quite a few friends in San Diego, mostly people I had known in Beijing, but also an Australian friend who lives in Mexico. I especially enjoyed the view from Fletcher Cove Park – the Pacific Ocean, albeit the wrong side.
I had only one day in San Francisco, but my friends helped me pack a lot in! Particularly special was a visit to the Napa Valley and the winery my friend works at. It is a beautiful area, and the wines we tasted were lovely, too. The most special thing of all, though, was spending time with great friends I hadn’t seen in so long.
I had a lovely time in Seattle, Washington. It was an amazing whirlwind of visiting with friends from all my years in Beijing. I also saw Gas Works Park, seaplanes, the Space Needle and deer casually sauntering around a suburban neighbourhood.
A good month before leaving Australia for my US trip I was dreaming of Orlando. I knew that this place would be the rest my soul desperately needed. I spent a week of unhurried days with people who were key figures of my daily life in Beijing. I also spent time birdwatching the wetland wildlife, marvelled at Spanish moss covered trees, and enjoyed a bit of warm weather.
I really enjoyed my time in Minneapolis. It was lovely to relax with wonderful friends. Minnesota is known as the land of 10,000 lakes; after driving around Minneapolis I believe it! Minneapolis has 20 lakes, plus other waterways and waterfalls and wetlands, and sits across both banks of the Mississippi River. One interesting sight during my trip was a bunch of turkeys roaming a suburban street!
Throughout this trip I’ve had reunions with people I haven’t seen in years, but my New York reunions were the most impressive. I also did some touristing, seeing the New York Highline, Chelsea Markets, Times Square and the Rockefeller Centre Christmas tree.