Life Returns to a Dead Horse – and Beer in the Morning

Just as we were getting into a squabble over who would get Phil’s camera and who would get his GPS, Phil actually returned from the dead. At 8 a.m. he was sitting in the hotel lobby with pink cheeks and the twinkle in his eyes that we all so love. The Australian doctor in Beijing with whom we consulted by phone clearly gave good advice. He traveled well and even began munching light snacks in mid afternoon. We set off at 8 a.m. for our 1 hour 45 minute bus ride from Zhucheng to Qingdao airport under bright blue skies. You Hailu was waiting for us at the airport when we arrived, having flown in from Nanjing this morning. You Hailu (Ph.D., geology, U Penn 2002) is the reason for my frequent trips to China. Once my student and now my colleague and friend, Hailu is one of the top dinosaur scientists in the world; I am proud to be his doctor vater. Hailu will be with us in Liaoning and Gansu. After passing through security, we sought out an establishment and ordered a beer. It was 11 a.m., and I do not generally consider consuming a beer at that hour. However, it was not just any beer that I ordered by a Tsingtao! And what could possibly be more appropriate than drinking a Tsingtao in Qingdao, the home of its eponymous brew?! It was too good an occasion to pass up. Actually three or four of us actually sampled the brew, so it was somewhat less hedonistic than it sounds!

map of Liaoning province

Map of Liaoning province

The rest of the day’s travel was outstandingly uneventful. We flew 900 km north across the Bohai Sea to Shenyang, the capitol city of Liaoning Province. We arrived about 12:45 p.m., and by 1 p.m. we had collected our luggage and had boarded our bus for another three hours drive to Jinzhou, our base for the next three nights. The Jinzhou Mansion Hotel is downtown directly opposite the train station. This hotel features large rooms and lightning-fast internet, among the best I have encountered in China. Dinner in the hotel was quite excellent, the first one with all of us together at a big round table with the proverbial lazy Susan in the middle.

Tomorrow we film.

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1 Comment

  1. Hillary I. said,

    October 17, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    So glad to hear that your friend has recovered from his illness. It must be scary to be sick so far from home. We are all living vicariously through your travelogue so please continue to update as frequently as time allows! All the kids loving hearing about China and the dinosaurs.


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