May 18: Shanghai

As the tour draws to its conclusion we need to thank Rex Barrington for bringing this tour to fruition at long last, and for his and Dixie’s cheerful shepherding and managing while we’ve been in China. Thanks also to Kirk Larsen who taught the China culture class, and for his efforts to keep us culturally correct and informed while we’ve been here. A big thanks to Sheldon Poon, who helped so much to help set up the tour, and who took personal vacation time to travel with us and help in every way to make the tour run smoothly. It has been wonderful to have Sister Staheli with us through the tour; there is no one who has sacrificed more for BYU Singers than she. Her beautiful smile lights up the room as she interacts with the choir or listens to them sing. Read more

May 17: Shanghai

We rose early-ish this morning, checked out of our hotel, and loaded the buses once again for the return trip to Shanghai. Our destination this time was the Sacrament Meeting of the Shanghai LDS Branch, in a very nice office building. We at least quadrupled the size of the congregation, and the speaking and music was turned over to the choir. It was good to hear our 4 choir members speak, and it’s always a joy to hear them sing. Read more

May 16: Wuxi

We checked out of our hotel early today for our 3-hour drive to Wuxi. Read more

May 15: Shanghai

If you would like to really experience our day as we did, turn your shower on full blast, block the drain, and stand under the water fully dressed. Today’s weather: monsoon. This was the day we had two hours to walk around the shopping area of Shanghai. The shopping was great; the weather dampened us a bit if not our spirits. It was a fun area, though all of the shopkeepers and “personal shoppers” who kept trying to get us into their stores were a little intense. Those who enjoy bargaining had a lot of fun. I would be inserting lots of photos at this point, but having read the forecast, I chose not to sacrifice another camera to rain. As the heavens opened up, my decision was ratified. Read more

May 14: Shanghai

The last train to Shanghai—someone really ought to use that as a title of a book. We boarded the train with alacrity, and also with all of our luggage, which is no small accomplishment. Two hours later we were in Shanghai, ready to begin the last leg of our tour. We were met by our new local guide, and were soon checked into the Vienna International Hotel, which doesn’t have a thing to do with Vienna that any of us can see. Not a wiener schnitzel in sight. But nice rooms, and a two-night stay! Read more

May 13: Jinhua

You might be surprised at how quickly 55 people and their suitcases, garment bags, carry-ons, instruments and other stage equipment can get on and off trains! Read more

May 12: Hangzhou

There are a few established truths on tours: the best hotels are the shortest stays; Read more

May 11: Xi’an

Today has been a great day! I have wanted to see the Xi’an terracotta warriors for years, and this was finally the day! They did not disappoint, and were well worth the fight through rush hour traffic to reach them this morning. On top of that, it was a perfect sunny, 70-ish degree day. Because tomorrow is an early flight and we must meet in the lobby at 6 am, I will let the photos and their captions mostly tell our day’s adventures. Read more

May 10: Xi’an

It was a beautiful Sabbath morning, and we all thought of our mothers from our 1/2 day head-start. Read more

May 9: Xi’an

Train ride #2 today. We’re getting to be quite good at this, though we were momentarily disconcerted Read more