Ann’s 3 Travel Essentials

From little trips here and there to flights half way around the world there are always a few things I take with me. While many of the items in my bag are altered based on the season and where I’m headed the three items below are my must-haves.

essentials

Wash cloth: I can use this when I wash my face, brush my teeth or need a towel to wipe up a spill. It’s small but powerful! Plus I don’t feel too bad if I loose it or leave it. Trust me, just throw it in your carry-on next time and you’ll thank me.

Eye mask: want to catch some Z’s? Then an eye mask is a necessity. From train or plane travel to bad hotel rooms, eye mask on and headphones in and you won’t have a clue what’s going on around you allowing for a some nice snooze time.

Scarf: I’m eternally cold. It doesn’t matter where I’m going a scarf is a necessity. There is bound to be somewhere that is either over air conditioned or just plain cold! Plus, a lightweight one will be easy to roll up and stash away once you’ve arrived at the beach.

P.S. I’m a roller (clothes roller that is) when it comes to packing and am now becoming obsessed with travel cubes. I wanted to share this genius way of deciding what to bring – makes packing SO much easier!

 

 

Ann’s 3 Travel Essentials

Qingdao: China’s Beer City

At the end of June – it seems like ages ago – my company took a team trip to Qingdao. Qingdao is China’s original beer city as it was occupied by Germans who imparted their beer wisdom on the Chinese. The famous China brewery Qingdao or Tsingtao is a main attraction as is the water front. Qingdao is located in Northern China on the coast.

While in Qingdao we stayed in an old German house, ate amazing seafood and drank fresh Qingdao out of bags. Below are a few pics – enjoy!

Ann-with-shirt

Don’t ask about the shirt. Let’s just say I was the loser in one game we played in the car ride to Qingdao…

Qingdao boardwalk.

Qingdao-boardwalk

Qingdao-Coast

Tsingtao Brewery!

Qingdao-breery

QD-Brewery

Ann-Bier!

A ‘chateau’ near Qingdao with some of the worst wine I’ve ever had.

Winery-in-Qingdao

 

Qingdao: China’s Beer City

Hangzhou Weekend

Hangzhou, a city of 6.5 million and just an hour train ride south of Shanghai, is historically known as Shanghai’s garden. It’s a rather condescending nickname for such a great place! Kyle and I have taken advantage of China’s convenient train lines and our free weekends to explore a few towns not too far from Shanghai.

Since Hangzhou is only an hour away, we took our time at home and arrived to our hotel in the late afternoon. Since our hotel was rather cozy we decided to try out the Indian restaurant next door and cozy up to the hotel bar. It wasn’t a bad idea as it snowed, and actually stuck! It rarely snows in this part of China, so this was a real treat and coupled with the hotel holiday decorations made it feel festive.

Hangzhou’s main attraction is  West Lake or Xi Hu in Chinese. West Lake has inspired poets and the like throughout China’s long history and it is easy to see why. The lake is beautiful complete with nice walking paths to explore the attractions around the lake.

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The next day we bundled up and headed out to the famous West Lake. There are ten famous sites around the lake as well as a nice walking path. 2015-12-06 10.53.212015-12-06 11.28.41 HDR

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Hangzhou Weekend

Morning Commute

Sometimes on my way to work I get a bit of road rage. Something comes over me. A driver cuts me off. Someone won’t let me merge onto the interstate. I hit every stop light possible on Federal. The list of minor infractions could go on. I am reminded that Denver average commute time is 26 minute, slightly higher than America’s national average of 25.8 minutes. I even get a bit jealous of Ann’s fabulous walking commute. I used to walk or ride my bike to work. It was amazing and I was always caught up on family gossip or my latest Spanish podcast.

But then I look up and see this incredible view. While I may have to drive to work (swear to goodness, I’ve tried to figure out how to take public transport, it would take me 2 1/2 hours!), at least I get this phenomenal view!

morning commute

Morning Commute

Talk a Walk: Huangcun Village

On a recent work trip to the beautiful Huangshan mountain my coworkers and I were able to make a stop at one of the local villages in the area, Huangcun Village. It consisted of well kept, old buildings surrounded by lush green fields and mountains. Living in busy Shanghai, it is too easy to forget how big and majestic China can be. This village and hiking made me appreciate China on a new level.

Huangcun

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Huangcun Village

IMG_3781Street snacks: biscuits, tea eggs, boiled corn and chicken.

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Chillin’ in the village.

IMG_3766Bamboo rice.

IMG_3758There were stores selling trinkets and touristy gifts.

HuangcunMany people sit in their doorways and sell their foods – here is a fried bread.

Huangcun

Huangcun Village

Huangcun Village

Huangcun Village

Huangcun Village

Huangcun Village

Huangcun Village

Huangcun Village

Huangcun Village

Huangcun VillageShirts up, tum out – a common look for old men when it gets hot.

Huangcun Village

Talk a Walk: Huangcun Village