Our last day in Zhangjiajie was hot and busy. After an exhausting day of walking and waiting in lines (some of which were literally thousands of people long), we arrived at the airport for a late evening flight back to Beijing. As fortune would have it our flight was delayed, and we did not arrive in Beijing until after 1:30 in the morning. We had reservations at a hotel near the airport and were expecting the hotel staff to meet us as we emerged from getting our luggage. Alas, there was no one there to greet us. A telephone call to the hotel finally found a staff member who spoke English, and she told us where we could find the shuttle bus. It wasn’t quite there, but nearby, and fortunately we had the name of the hotel in Chinese characters so we knew we had the right one when we found it. It was almost 3:00 AM when we got to our rooms.
The next morning we were up early in order to re-pack our luggage for the long flight home. Scott and Hope met us at the hotel, and we went to the airport together for a quick lunch and to say goodbye. The flight to Chicago was almost 13 hours long after a one-hour delay while a blown tire was changed on the plane. It is now early afternoon on Monday, and we are still on Beijing time, which means that it is 2:00 AM on Tuesday morning by our biological clock. It will take a few days to re-adjust again. If this doesn’t make a lot of sense, that is our excuse, and we are sticking to it.