A few weeks ago, Chris and I took a second trip to China. When going through the application process for visas we realized a few things: one, visas are very expensive and two, a double entry visa only costs about twenty dollars more than a single entry visa. With that information, we decided to make two trips to China. As I mentioned in my last post, on this trip we went to Guilin and Shanghai.
Guilin is the most popular city for domestic tourism in China. The floating mountains are one of the top sights to see while there, and they are amazing! On our first day, we took a river cruise down the Li River to get a closer look at the mountains. It rained for a majority of the trip, but we still got some fun pictures.
I was most surprised by how the mountains really just popped up out of nowhere. The land in Guilin is extremely flat, but then all of a sudden there would be a giant (skinny) mountain right in front of you. Absolutely amazing.
When I was younger I played soccer. It was my sport, and I loved it. We had a fantastic team that stayed together from about second grade until we aged out of the league. Freshman year of high school my doctors told me that if I wanted to be able to walk when I was older, I needed to stop playing. Both of my knees were severely overworked and causing me extreme pain. At the time I remember thinking, well, I guess I won’t ever play soccer again, yes I was dramatic. Always the rule follower, I really never played again, that is until Korea. My boot camp trainer is also a soccer coach, (or as he likes to call it, football coach) and recruited me and a friend of mine to assist with coaching the girls team at Busan International Foreign School. We assist with both the elementary school children as well as middle school, and in the spring we will start training high school students that are interested. The past few months have gone by really quickly with soccer in my life again. There are several tournaments all around Korea that we travel to, and we practice four days a week, splitting elementary and middle school. I have to admit that I really love it. Not only does it give me something to do here during the day, but it is so rewarding as well. Last week we had our last tournament with the middle school girls and my team won it all! It was a serious proud coach moment. Our Unicorns (as they have named themselves) worked hard for it and they definitely deserved the win.
In addition to assistant coaching, I’ve also joined a ladies foreigner team in Ulsan. Actually, I am the team captain! Several of my friends are on the team, some have played previously and some are new to the sport. It has been fun to get back into playing, I definitely work harder in soccer than I ever do in boot camp. Word has gotten out that there is a new women’s team in the area, and we have had a few games with Korean teams. Our first few games we lost, but I say that is because we were still working out how our group was going to mesh. By game three, we won (!!!) and to the best ladies team in Ulsan. I’m not one to brag…but, they even have three professional soccer players on their team, and we still beat them! It was definitely a hard game, but we played really well together. Before and after each game, the referee has everyone line up to shake hands and bow to each other, this was very new to our group and we had a good laugh about it. We also had to get used to posing for photos with the opposing team before each game. We added it into our warm-up schedule. 🙂
Things we are looking forward to this week:
Tuesday we leave for our second trip to China! We will be visiting Shanghai and Guilin. Avatar’s floating mountains are said to be inspired by the mountain range found in and around Guilin.
Here is to next week’s stories of our adventures in China!