Guest blogger Tim Parenti reports for the Heinz Chapel Choir as they tour China...
I'm going to cut right to the chase and give you the good news. My roommate, Sam, has been gracious enough to lend me his camera for the last day-and-a-half. So, though I may still be getting a new one, it's slightly less urgent… and I can show you some photos in the meantime, but we've got an early morning, so it might not be so many, as I'm really tired and just figuring things out was hard enough.
Apologies for all this extra "drama" on my end of things, but I suppose it keeps you coming back, right? After all, you never know quite what you're going to get!
Day 11 – Friday 8 May 2009
It is fairly obvious that we have been "taking it easy" a bit more the last couple of days. We haven't had quite as much of the hustle and bustle of Beijing, which is refreshing, and also much-needed since it's so easy to get tired now.
We went to Yu Yuan Garden in Shanghai… we started in the actual garden, but then we made our way to the shops outside which bear the same name. Many people tried their hand at bargaining one more time, while others enjoyed the comforts of some familiar American brands.
After spending the morning there and eating lunch, we returned to the hotel for a free afternoon to prepare for our final concert at He Luting Music Hall at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
The concert was incredible, and though we were incredibly unprepared for an encore (we eventually settled on just doing the final number faster), it was probably one of our best performances of the year. It's good to go out on a high note, I think, and we did just that.
At dinner, we thanked our guides, who will be staying in mainland China, for their wonderful help over the last ten days and just generally unwound, since the tour is coming down the home stretch.
Some more pictures from Day 11 can be found here. Thanks again to Sam for the camera usage. You're a great guy.
Coming up: On Saturday, we wake up at 04:30 again, this time in preparation for our morning flight to Hong Kong (which is, for all intents and purposes, an international flight). Once there, we'll meet our new tour guides, who will take us on an orientation tour before lunch on our own. The rest of the day is free, and the weather promises to cooperate: Brilliant sunshine is forecasted, with a high of 28 °C (82 °F).