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Bye-Bye Beijing

24 Jan

I am very aware that my last post has left me in a frozen state of 29 weeks of pregnancy – and well, that is obviously not my reality.  I am happy to announce that we have a beautiful and healthy baby girl (but more about that later).  For now, I would like to focus on why I was not around to finish my “Bump in Beijing” posts…or any other posts for that matter.  You see – the very day after I posted the Bump in Beijing Weeks 25-29, my darling husband came home after work with big news.  He announced that the company had sold, and we now had to make a decision…stay in Beijing or head to the mother land.

Honestly, it was a no brainer.  While we loved our time in China’s capital city – it was time to move back, be closer to family, and share our bundle of joy with her grandmothers!  (Not to mention saving her precious little lungs from Beijing’s off-the-charts pollution.)  The preparations began immediately.  Movers were hired and goodbye parties were planned.  We were on a very strict 3-week time table before I would be on the NO-FLY list – so we couldn’t waste a single second.

Very grateful for the adrenaline rush created by the thought of an international move at 32-weeks preggers, my energy level soared to new heights, and I was able to cram in lunches, dinners, and shopping excursions with all of my favorite ladies.  I finalized projects and Brett and I checked off some “Beijing must-sees” that had been overlooked during our 3 1/2 year stay.  We even squeezed in one more visit from my parents.  It was a jam packed 3-weeks – to say the least, but we survived!

A couple of days before the movers came to pack us up, I took several photos of our apartment.  I realized that I had never posted images of it before.  I will always think back with fond memories of this apartment…the first place Brett and I lived together, the countless dinners, the get-togethers with friends, the 3 Thanksgivings and Christmases, the many Saturday mornings we woke at dawn to watch Alabama football and drink pink champagne, and finally the place where our sweet baby Olive was made.

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Our apartment, Dong Dai MOMA – a collection of seven towers linked together by skyways and centered around ponds, outdoor cafes, and an artsy movie theater (inside the gray structure).  This view is from our apartment.

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VIew from the ground

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One of our little “duckie” friends!

Inside our living room.  I had the "Ni Hao" artwork made here at a local sign shop.  One of my favorite creations.  My version of a welcome sign…it means, "HELLO!"

Inside our living room. I had the “Ni Hao” artwork made here at a local sign shop. One of my favorite creations. My version of a welcome sign…it means, “HELLO!”

The Living Room

The Living Room

Chinese dragon - these things are a dime a dozen over there.  Always amazing to see what they sell for in the States.

A Chinese dragon – these things are a dime a dozen over in Beijing. Always amazing to see what they sell for in the States.

custom china place setting

Custom china we had made in honor of our little Olive “Bee” Hutchinson.

Feathered Headdress purchased on our honeymoon in South Africa.

Feathered Headdress purchased on our honeymoon in South Africa.

Vintage Gucci and Pucci scarves made into throw pillows.  Precious Chinese baby face art in the background.

Vintage Gucci and Pucci scarves made into throw pillows. Precious Chinese baby face art in the background.

Entry Way/Bar Area

Entry Way & Small Bar Area

The Study

The Study

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom and inspiration for A Blonde in Beijing artwork.

Master Bedroom and inspiration for A Blonde in Beijing artwork.

Kitchen

Kitchen

Guest Bath

Guest Bath

Guest Bedroom (i.e. Morgan's closet).  Complete with Barbie American Flag.  Why use stars when you can use Barbie Heads?

Guest Bedroom (i.e. Morgan’s closet). Complete with Barbie American Flag. Why use stars when you can use Barbie Heads?

Carnage from the Barbie American Flag...

Carnage from the Barbie American Flag…

Our last week was packed with activities…we squeezed in one last trip to the Great Wall, finally visited the Summer Palace, and had a “yard sale”.

With Mom and Joe on the Great Wall.  My last visit to this wonder of the world.

With Mom and Joe on the Great Wall. My last visit to this wonder of the world.

With mom on the Great Wall

With mom on the Great Wall

We finally made it to the Summer Palace.  Probably would have enjoyed it more when I wasn't almost 8 months pregnant.  LOTS of hills!

We finally made it to the Summer Palace. Probably would have enjoyed it more when I wasn’t almost 8-months pregnant. LOTS of hills!

Lotus flowers are the Summer Palace.

Lotus flowers at the Summer Palace.

With Mom and Joe at the Summer Palace

With Mom and Joe at the Summer Palace

All the last minute sight seeing and visiting with friends was great – but honestly, the highlight of our last week was hosting a Chinese style yard sale.  After cleaning out and organizing the apartment so the movers could come to pack everything, we needed a fast way to get rid of all the junk we had accumulated.  For months we had been fighting the traffic outside our building due to a make shift Saturday morning market that brought the locals out in droves.  Now it was our turn to get in on the action.  I had to do some convincing to get Brett on board.  He feared that we (okay he) would have to haul whatever items didn’t sell back up to the apartment.  So naturally  – his idea was to just trash everything.  I, on the other hand, was confident in my understanding of the local Chinese.  If we were selling Western goods (and I don’t mean cowboy boots) – they were buying.  My hunch proved to be more than right.  We couldn’t even make it to the sidewalk before a swarm of 75+ Chinese people started pawing and grabbing everything in our hands.  It was mayhem…bedlam…anarchy – I honestly don’t know how to put it into words (nor does the thesaurus).  And sadly, it happened so fast that my pictures do not even do it justice.  FYI – Beijing might be the only place in the world where you can practically get dollar for dollar (or RMB for RMB) back for the crap you bought at Ikea.

Amazingly - Brett is somewhere in the middle of this crowd

Amazingly – Brett is somewhere in the middle of this crowd

The carnage.  Apparently, pink Easter grass and Easter eggs are lost on the Chinesel.

The carnage. Apparently, pink Easter grass and Easter eggs are lost on the Chinese.

As well as Santa Advent Calendars….

And so are Santa Advent Calendars….

Our bounty!

Our bounty!

After a busy week of goodbyes, it was finally time to head to the Beijing International Airport one last time.  Somehow – although we came to Beijing with only 5 suitcases each, it took a shuttle bus to take us in order to hold all of our bags (not to mention the 76 boxes on the way to America via slow boat).

van with luggage

And just like that, after 3 1/2 wonderful years – full of once in a lifetime experiences, we said, “Bye Bye Beijing.”

Please stayed tuned for A Blonde in Beijing’s big blog move…coming soon!

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4 Responses to “Bye-Bye Beijing”

  1. KC Vienna Connolly January 25, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    Beijing misses you Blondie! xxx

  2. Moyali January 25, 2013 at 4:02 am #

    So many things happened I did not know before your move. I could not see any photos, but I can image it was really colorful weeks. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Rain January 25, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    Congratulations on the move! Beijing is a neat place, but its so far away from family! I remember how wonderful it felt to move home after living in Sicily! There’s no place like home…don’t you wish you could have clicked your heels to move all that stuff, lol!

  4. Ginny January 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    Wow, Morgan! Congrats on Baby Olive and the big move. Welcome back to the States!

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