78. Beijing – China

78.  Beijing – China

When the Chinese government would not let Sunders come to the United States for the annual International convention, Oi Lin Chen said, “If they cannot come here, we will go to them.”

Betty and I did our rest stop in Hawaii again, where we connected with the Hawaii Sunriders.  Being part of the Hawaii group later proved to be a serendipitous bonus!  Then on to Beijing, a city of eleven million people and eight million bicycles!

We stayed at the CHINA WORLD HOTEL, a new luxury hotel with a touch of old world elegance.  The checkin desk in the lobby was up a flight a stairs, which I could not navigate with my walker.  So the porter led us through a service entrance and through a maze of storage areas and the kitchen to an elevator.

We arrived in the lobby while a full symphony orchestra was playing Viennese waltzes in the lounging area.  We discovered we could get to a balcony overlooking the lounging area to enjoy the string quintet that played in the lobby weekday afternoons before dinner.  The food at the hotel was fantastic!   The food was served family style on a turntable in seven courses.  I never knew there were so many different kinds of mushrooms!

Betty and I luxuriated in the huge spa, heated pool, and exercise room.  In the exercise room, an attendant came up and struck up a conversation in her limited English.  “You must be very wealthy,” she said. Hmmmm — I felt rich, but I told her I was just “average” in the United States.

Doing a bit of exploring, we found an escalator at the end of the lobby that gave access to a huge underground shopping mall.  I thought I’d give it a try, but at the top of the escalator, I let go of the walker, and it went bouncing down by itself. Fortunately, no one was on the escalator or at the bottom, so no one got hurt.  A passerby helped me down the stairs to reunite with my walker.

Traveling with Sunrider gave us the opportunity to experience a taste of luxury!