Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Summer Plans

They tell you not to post about upcoming travel because thieves will target your home while you're away. Well, the joke's on you, sucker; I don't even have a home! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha. Ha. Oh, wait.

Anyway, here's our plan for the next while.

This week we're going to the Great Wall, camping at the Ming Tombs, and I'm taking the HSK-1 exam. I'll probably figure out a way to get a trip to my favorite Indian restaurant, Ganges, in there, too.

Over the next few weeks, we're going to visit the Forbidden City, Dingdu Pavilion, and Ganges (several more times). Later in June, we're having another Birthday Extravaganza for my wife. Then my family returns to America on June 29th.

I, however, have to stay until July 8th. Even though students stop attending school July 1st. Our school very much believes that, if they're paying you, you better not be doing anything else. Sit at your desk and stare at your hands? Fine. Leave early? NEVER.

Last year, many of the non-returning staff stopped attending after they were paid on July 1st. To "solve" that "problem," they now have this check-out procedure non-returning staff must complete between July 1st and July 8th. So my original plan to spend the week traveling around China has been replaced with a plan to sit at my desk and do nothing. Somehow this is seen as a "win" for China.

Anyway, July 8th I fly to Vancouver and have a seven-hour layover. I intentionally picked a very long layover so I can see some things in Vancouver. That night I fly to Los Angeles and join my family.

The next week we will be at my in-laws' cabin in the mountains above Cedar City, Utah. This week will probably involve a day trip to Provo and Salt Lake, and maybe a day trip to Great Basin National Park in Nevada.

The next weekend is our high school's 20-year reunion. The closer we get to this thing, the worse of an idea it becomes. We're paying $60 each for an open bar that we won't use. This feels like a high school group project all over again: the responsible kids are picking up the slack for the kids with substance abuse problems. And for what? So I can see who got fat? (Spoiler alert: the answer is "me.")

The next week, we drive across the country again. This time, we'll be taking the southern route, through Phoenix, El Paso, Oklahoma City, and Little Rock. I will visit the last six counties of New Mexico.

We'll spend the next two weeks at my parents' house in western Ohio. This will involve sorting through the things we left there, preparing to move them to...we don't know where. It will also involve day trips to Findlay, Ohio (to see a library book there I need for family history purposes), and probably to Pittsburgh, too.

Then we're into August, when my family is having a get-together at a lake in Tennessee. (This is another event that looks less-enjoyable the closer it draws.) On the way there, we will go camping in North Carolina and Georgia, visiting five more state high points (Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee).

When the family reunion ends in the middle of August, we return to my parents' house to get our things and move. We have no idea where we'll be going, though. Lately I've been on Zillow saving homes in Columbus, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Troy, Ohio; Emporia, Kansas; Topeka, Kansas; Coolidge, Arizona; Coos Bay, Oregon; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Like I said, we have no idea.

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