by Rick McDonnell
Tuesday, April 10 was an early morning as I got up to head up to Atlanta for the flight to Chicago, and from there to Beijing, China. I said goodbye to Bethany as we parted ways for the longest time thus far in our married life.
I got to eat my first "airplane meal" on the international flight.
Upon arrival at the Beijing airport, we began to see signs that we were "not in Kansas anymore."
In Beijing, we were greatly blessed to stay in the Langham Place, a beautiful hotel.
left - the teapot artwork in the lobby / right - an example of the modern hotel design
We ate most of our meals at the airport terminal, about a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
Ironically enough, while in Beijing a group of 6 of us went down a little side street and ate...Korean food in China! The meat dish is bulgogi, and we got to cook it ourselves in the middle of our table.
During the first two days in China, we prepared for our trip into the DPRK with briefings and music rehearsals.
One evening in Beijing, we were able to explore the Pedestrian Street, the modern shopping district.
That evening, my group had a culinary adventure and tried a traditional Mongolian hot pot dinner. (see menu at right)
This was an interesting sight...a Catholic church in downtown Beijing.
After two short days in Beijing, we would continue our trip with our passage into North Korea to take part in the International Spring Friendship Arts Festival. (next post)