Thursday, September 29, 2016

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The Great China Adventure, Or, How Jet-Lag is Evil

Hello Lovelies!

Abby here - sort of...

Jet lag is evil & mean.

But I'm here in body, even if that means my circadian rhythms are still totally bananas and I now like to stay up until 3 am watching "The Profit" & Iliza Shlesinger (umm..can we all say "girlcrush" together? Cause I love her.) with Lauren eating Oreos & drinking 'Green Juice' (cause we're healthy, ya'll.)


Anyways -

China was amazing! Though I've lived abroad & travel quite a bit (both in & out of the USA - fun fact: I have traveled to a different country or US state every month this year! - guess who's tired...) I have never been to any country in Asia...I've always wanted to go, but it just never was something that seemed to work out timing wise. With that in mind, when Lauren dropped the "Hey! Guess WHAT WE'RE GOING TO CHINA IN SEPTEMBER!" I kind of freaked out...what do I pack? What will we do? What are the toilets like? How long is the flight? What is happening? Who am I? Is this real life? Is this just fantasty? Caught in a landslide."

Leading up to China I was a bit nervous, but when the time came for us to board our flight and cross the ocean, I felt prepared. I packed tissues (cause allergy season& I also learned that you need them everywhere you go in China...), we got melatonin to help sleep on the flight (guess what didn't work for Lauren...womp womp), headphones, iPad, underpants & an open mind. I was ready. Prepped. Prepared!

Nah, just kidding, I totally forgot one very important item.

Hand-Sanitizer.

..oops.

Fun Fact - sometimes there are no sinks in the restrooms & sometimes the sinks seem nastier than the toilets. Let's just say I spent most of my time not touching my face - it was a good exercise in self-control.

So with that amateur mistake behind me (har!) China was great. It was 5 12- hour days back to back, but they were full of adventure, eduction, and interesting food! We went to Houije which is where almost all the shoes in the world are made, the shoe materials market, our factories, fabric shopping, the Silk Park museum, Starbucks (we needed caffeine something fierce.), the tea district in Shenzhen (my favorite!), and to countless restaurants. It was a blast!

Guys. We got travel swag bags! With tiny lip balms, lotions, ear plugs, eye masks, & slippers. I felt so classy. 
The view of our plane from the Taipei Airport. EVA air is the best.
Starbucks in Hong Kong was needed for it's medicinal caffeinated factors. Total travel time each was was about 24-30 hours. Things got weird folks. 
The juxtaposition from our window. 
Going over the samples for our new Fall products over pitchers of tea. (Who's got 2 thumbs and is excited for Londoner oxfords? This girl right here!)
BAOZI!!!!!!
Taiwanese style beef noodles with sausage & garlic & this magic herbal tea that we became obsessed with. Also, Lauren swears she's not flipping you off....really.....
One of us is from the desert & one of us is from a humid climate. Can you guess which one is which? 
Talk about a first! Never in my life would I have thought I would have been in a shoemaking factory in China! They were working on a different shoe brands products, but as you can see it's not crazy industrial, and it's not filled with children. I was actually pretty amazed by the whole thing..mostly by how much is still done entirely by hand. Those curved french heels of ours? Yeah. That leather is hand stretched over each heel. 
Looking over the Londoners at the factory talking about finishing details & heels. 
With everyone at the first factory (including the owners)
At the 2nd factory discussing & examining Pompadour fabric (that's what is in my hands)
Cantonese dinner of impossible prawns & fiery garlic.
Lauren doing her best pin up & I am doing my best photo bomb.
Getting interactive with the display in the Silk Museum
We're just a couple of nerds.
Bruce Lee all like, "LAUREN I NEED SOME SHOES!"
I think this is some sort of fable that may or may not be related to Buddha, but all I knew is that we got Prince Jingim riding a BMW, a pig who's obviously up to no good, and me just practicing my Kung Fu while blastin' some beats on my Beats.
The effect didn't quite work..did it...
Qipao museum
We had dinner at a special seafood restaurant where you go around and pick out live seafood and they cook & serve it fresh. We saw crabs, lobsters, prawns, sturgeon, clams, oysters, and things of nightmares. 
And bugs and grubs...yeah..no...just...no. 
We didn't know what this was at the time, other than it was a prawn with a 'harder shell' - turns out this hell beast from the ocean is a Mantis Shrimp and it's terrifying
Cause I'm mature. 
All the freshly deceased seafood. All the hunger. All the apprehension (for me).  Lauren, on the other hand .... zero apprehension there.
Despite my face, the Mantis Shrimp was freaking delicious!
Lauren on a mission
That claw though....
Lauren & I trying to figure out how to eat the biggest lobster of all time. 
A highlight of our trip - we went to the tea district & bought all the things! The owner of the shop made Gong Fu style tea for us, and asked to get our picture with him. It was awesome.
Lauren was trying to figure out if we could check them into our luggage. The answer was no.
Street lanterns in the dark, after a down pour at Splendid of China (If China, Colonial Williamsburg & Ziegfeld Follies had a baby it would be named Splendid of China)
After an intense negotiation, Lauren and I scored a fan each of these beauties & some other touristy stuff. #whenyougotoathemepark
That, ladies & gents, is the face of someone who really needed some of that yogurt. 
Welp, that's pretty much all the pictures we have from China! If you haven't seen our Facebook Livestreams about our trip (driving in China, bathrooms, fabric shopping, factories, etc) Check them out below! 

Royal Vintage Livestream:



American Duchess: 



Alright! That's it for now! <3 <3 
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10 comments:

  1. The fable in question is called "Into the West" and is a great story, although I've mostly been familiar with it through adaptations more than the story itself. I think it's about finding enlightenment. :P

    Well it looks like you had fun in China! The seafood looks scary, but the factory info is very cool to see!

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    1. Yes, it's Journey to the West (with some, uh, modifications), and the story is about a priest's journey west to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures. I imagine that this journey went a lot faster on a BMW motorcycle though. LOL Also... it DOES kinda look like Prince Jingim.

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  2. Oh my goodness! This is so neat, so much cool stuff! Thank you for sharing so much of your trip. Abby, you are such a fun writer!

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  3. What a great report and photos. Thanks.

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  4. i take energy bars too…it helps when the food gets weird and you politely pass on the entree.

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  5. Damn you guys were adventurous eating! I was terrified to eat most of the stuff when I was in China. =D That was fun to read! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Your trip looks so amazing! The closest I've made it to China is South Korea and Taiwan... I love that part of the world and can't wait to explore it more.

    I hear you about jet lag. And that flight is so unbearably long! o.O

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  7. Thank you for including the pictures of the factory. I feel like yours is an ethical product.

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  8. Travelling is so exciting! Looks like one helluva trip :) The seafood marked got me down a bit, but the rest was interesting.

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  9. This is such a fun post! Thanks for sharing your adventures-in-pursuit-of-the-best-shoe!

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