Jill and I finished up saying goodbye to our friends and did the last bit of packing up.
We ended up giving away a lot of stuff and have decided to be as minimalist as possible.
We never really had much so it was a pretty easy decision.
We both came here with 2 check ins and our 2 carry on.
We are leaving with 1 check in and our 2 carry on.
Yep, after 1.5 years we only have 1 check in bag (less than 50 lbs) and one carry on.
I’m actually writing an ebook on how to minimize what you own and maximize your life and it should be out within the next two months.
It will be self-published and our the new site we are working on currently.
However, at this moment, we were focusing on getting to the airport, checking in, flying home, and starting our new life.
Our friend, Sarah Ting Ting Hou, set up a driver for us and it cost about $32 USD to drive us to the airport in a van door to door. It takes about 45 minutes to get there so it was a great deal.
We then checked our bags, went through customs, and immigration and had our bags searched at three different locations (hey, I guess it is a good way to keep employment high in China if you have 10 people to do one person’s job).
After all that, we went to the vending machines and bought a few semi-cold beers.
We brought along our new gift from Peter and Gabrielle. He is a statue that they bought us and we decided he would be out “gnome” that we’d go everywhere with and photograph him as if he is a real person. We decided to name him “Niubi Geme’r” (which means “Awesome Homey” in Chinese), and our two teddy bears, who were a wonderful surprise gift that the administrative assistant at my company, Emily, gave to us when we flew to Singapore. We’ve named them “Pijiu” (which means “beer”) and “Bing” (which means “cold”) so we always have a “Cold beer” with us when we travel!
As you can see, Niubi Geme’r also likes cold beer so it is a perfect fit.
The flight took about 11 hours and it was a short lay over in Seattle.
Well, it was supposed to be a short lay over in Seattle.
However, the storms that have been pounding the West Coast made sure that our lay over was longer than anticipated.
It ended up being a 4.5 hour lay over and we had time to grab some nachos and beer. It was perfect actually.
Our flight was then diverted into Oakland, into of San Francisco, because of the storms.
Our friend, Alethea, said she didn’t mind and would pick us up there instead of SFO and we just relaxed and flew on down. We happened to sit by a very nice young man named Rafael who had just spent 6 months in China and had flown on the same flight as we did from Beijing. We had a bit of conversation and then we all passed out for a a bit.
We landed without event and grabbed our baggage. Alethea picked us up and we bought some wine, and a fantastic carnitas burrito at El Pueblo in Petaluma (where they live) and celebrated with her, her husband and my dear friend, Randy and their son, Cyrus.
It was, in my humble opinion, a perfect way to end our time in China and start our new lives here in SF.
Soon we are onto the rest of the USA, and after that, the rest of the world.