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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Jul 25, 2010

China Beach trip

Nathan's co-workers invited us along on what was supposed to be an overnight trip in a town just outside of Shenzhen. After about an hour ride we arrived at a beach. We first were checking out where we would stay. The first place was a village house right by the beach. It was clear to see that this wasn't a hotel but someone's house that was renting out the rooms. We decided to look for a place after the beach.

It was hot so the kids were ready to get in the water. The "changing" rooms was a stall with a squatty potty inside it. I was trying to hold my breath and not let our clothes touch anything ( since there were no hooks) it took me and Jane a few minutes.
Once the kids got in the water they had fun. It was a beach with big waves which is always fun for the kids. The grown ups hanging on to their tubes for dear life as the waves came in was quite entertaining. Nathan pointed out that many didn't know how to swim. Some were swimming in street clothes, we saw one girl still had her belt on. A lot of little kids half naked wearing underwear or some nothing at all. It was clear everyone was having a good time laughing or screaming making it very fun to be a part of it.

We didn't go inside this place although the kids asked. I am not sure if it was an arcade or a bar but the odd assortment of characters dancing to loud music outside seemed random. Pleasant goat and Mickey (unsanctioned look a like no doubt) were dancing to attract (lure?) you in.

We staked out our spots and had a BBQ. This is very popular here and most beaches will have a designated BBQ pit spot - just like the states.
I have been in Asia long enough not to expect hot dogs, hamburgers and Smores. Especially at the invitation of a Chinese person. We grilled chicken, eggplant, hot peppers, bread ( looked like a giant marshmallow) corn, and some lamb kabobs. The kids tried a good amount of it without complaint.

After we left the beach we soon discovered that many hotels were already booked even in different towns. I have to say I was up for staying in a Chinese hotel. Nathan normally stays at 5 star hotels that are very western, since he is on business. This trip was during his extended stay in Shenzhen and we were at the Marco Polo. When we went to Harbin my first trip inside "real" China we stayed at an IBIS. I was excited to be hanging out with local Chinese and doing what they would do, so I was trying to put my expectations aside.
The first hotel we looked at from the outside didn't seem all that nice and I started to worry. It was full anyway. The next one Nathan commented that sleeping outside of Parc Versailles ( our apartment complex) would have been cleaner. I soon realized that our first choice, from the outside anyway looked liked it was the "nice" hotel.
Michael and his wife with their little one were driving us around following another van full of work people and their families all trying to find a place to stay. We did not end up finding a vacancy or a suitable place to stay. So we all headed back to Shenzhen very tired. I thought it was kind of them to invite us and the kids loved the beach.

China Beach from outypants on Vimeo.

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