Saturday, December 29, 2012

We Have Arrived

We landed in Chongqing (CQ) around 11:30am on Christmas Eve. After 42 hours of continuous travel we were exhausted, dirty, hungry and ready to get to our hotel. At the airport we were greeted by our new driver, Mr. Xiang (pronounced: Mr. Shiong). He was very welcoming with a big bright smile. He speaks very little English (basic words like: hello, goodbye, thank you, etc..). He's teaching us some Mandarin and we have been teaching him English. We use Google Translate app on our phones to try and communicate with him.

Mr. Xiang brought an additional driver and car with him to get our baggage to the hotel. It was a short 30 minute drive to the JW Marriott in the downtown of the city. This will be our temporary home for the next 10 days. We have 2 adjoining rooms and a lot of space to spread out. After our showers the plan was to take a 2 hour nap and then go out for Christmas Eve dinner with other Ford families, but our bodies were telling us it was time for a full night's sleep. Jake and Casey were not able to wake up from their slumber, we cancelled out plans for dinner out and instead changed plans and stayed at the hotel. Later in the evening we woke up the kids and we all went to the top floor of the hotel for a fancy Christmas Eve dinner. Ten minutes into our meal Jake and Casey were fast asleep at the table and missed Christmas Eve dinner. Chris and I enjoyed a quiet meal together and afterwards carried our sleeping lambs to our room and snuggled them into bed. 

The next morning was Christmas Day. Jake was wide awake at 3:45am. While Casey and Chris slept, Jake and I played cards in the bathroom. At 5am Casey and Chris were up and our day was started. Jake and Casey were thrilled to see that Santa found us at the hotel and left a small group of presents for them. We shared a cozy Christmas together playing with the kids new gadgets. For the rest of the day we relaxed in the hotel room and video chatted with family back in Wisconsin. Later in the day we met up with Paul & Alison Woytowich and their 6 yr old daughter Claire. They are another Ford family that arrived in CQ two days before us. We had lunch with them at a TexMex restaurant and walked around the city afterwards. We were all in bed before 8pm that night trying to catch up on our sleep. 

For the next couple of days we all struggled with jet lag by waking up at 3:30am and then crashing in the early afternoon. Casey had also been struggling with a cough and runny nose that kept waking her up at night. One morning while Chris was in a phone meeting, I took the kids swimming at the hotel pool on the 10th floor. The first 20 minutes were fun but soon after Casey got some water up her nose and that caused an instead headache. Combine that with the coughing she's been struggling with and it turned into a crying fit that she couldn't shake out of. This all resulted in her puking on the pool deck and me trying to wipe it up with the pool towels. I did the best I could to explain to the pool staff what had happened and that we were very sorry. We scooted out of there as quick as we could and back to our room for showers and rest. 


  1. Thanks for sharing your adventures Chanley. What a fun blog you've started! I can't wait to read future posts. I wish you all the best.

  2. It's like a great book that you can't put down! Thanks for detailing your life in China, Chanley. :-) Looking forward to keeping up with you guys this way!

  3. Thanks Jen and Naree for visiting. This is going to be a great way for me to document the next couple of years and also allow our friends and family stay connected all along the way.