Today was our last full day in China. We arrived back in Beijing from Xian about an hour ago and made it to our hotel about 5 minutes ago (Chong Wen Men Hotel again!). In Xian this morning we visited the Muslim Quarter before making our way to the airport for our flight to Beijing. There, we visited 'The Great Xian Mosque' and it was absolutely gorgeous! Outside was a bazaar that covered a complex of alleyways but inside was a peacefull garden and beautifully adorned and carved buildings. In a way, I felt that the complex of and the structures inside the Mosque were more beautiful and breathtaking than all of the other temples and architecturally amazing places we've visted earlier in the trip. I, who takes alot of pictures anyway and loved the Forbidden City and the Yonge Lama Temple and etc., took over 100 photos today of the Mosque, a place that probably encompasses less space than one of the courtyards in the gigantic Forbidden City. I loved it there; I'm waxing lyrical about it!
Anyways, as I said, we just got back to Beijing, our flight from Xian leaving at about 4:15. We LEAVE FOR L.A. AND HOME TOMORROW (SORRY ABOUT THE CAPSLOCK I'M OUT OF TIME AND THE COMPUTER'S ACTING UP). I SUPPORSE I HAVE MIXED FEELINGS ABOUT GOING HOME. I KNOW SOME PEOPLE HAVE BEEN MAKING LISTS ABOUT WHAT THEY'RE GOING TO DO IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING LANDING :) BUT I THINK EVERYBODY'S REALLY ENJOYED THE EXPERIENCE HER E IN CHINA. FOR MYSELF, I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING HOME IN MY OWN (SOFT!) BED AND LIVING AGAIN IN A FAMILIAR WORLD. HOWEVER, I'VE HAD A REALLY REALLY REALLY AMAZING TIME IN CHINA. HERE, I REALIZED THAT I TAKE A LOT OF THINGS FOR GRANTED AT HOME. FOR EXAMPLE, AN ENTIRE STYLE OF TOILET AS WELL AS THE "SAFETY" OF TAP WATER :) FOR ALL THAT, THIS HAS BEEN A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE AND I'VE REALLY ENJOYED 'BREATHING' THIS ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CULTURE. :)