Today, we had our last breakfast in Beijing at the hotel, which, again, was delicious.
Then, we rode the van to the Pearl Market, which, like its name suggests, has SO many variations of pearls. It also has embroidery, fabric, tech accessories, and more. Elizabeth, Marti, and I found an amazing and kind pearl vendor who offered extremely cheap prices (especially with the conversion) for real pearls. I picked up several pairs of pearl studs, pearl dangle earrings, and a jade necklace. From the other vendors, I practiced my bargaining skills and bought two cashmere scarves (as gifts for family).
Then, it was time to go to the airport. We quickly went through customs and security and had time to grab food and talk and rest at the gate. We boarded the flight, and we officially departed from China (until August, when I visit again with my family). The flight took-off around 5:30 PM, and we landed in Detroit around 5:30 PM on the same day (hence, explaining why today is the never-ending Friday).
After indulging in American fried food (Chick Fila), we soon boarded our short flight back to RDU.
It’s been a whirlwind of a week, and I have learned so much more about Chinese culture and Beijing than I thought was possible. Again, I am grateful for this experience and the opportunity to compete in China, and I couldn’t have chosen a better group to do this with.