Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Real Olympics

And let the Games begin! After a marathon shopping expedition at Ikea in Shanghai where we picked up sheets and towels and rubbish bins and candles (what can I say? I need my candles), we powered through the traffic to the airport.

Beijing bound, baby! Here's my hubby and I with my daughter's obsession (and reason why she was excited to move to China: the Friendlies, mascot of the Beijing Olympics!).

We arrived at the Olympics Sporting Green to a deluge of Ark-ian proportions. The gray skies didn't put a damper on our excitement. What did was my husband "forgetting" to pack the brand-new, ultra-cool man purse that I had purchased for him back in Seattle. Oh, don't even get me started on my own travel bag angst. After years (years!) of searchng, I have yet to find the perfect handbag for traveling, one that is chic yet can hold a car's worth of just-in-case supplies. (Don't scoff: look who has a raincoat...and who doesn't.)

Anyhow, let me return to the Man Bag offense. So I found the perfect bag for my husband fitting all my requirements: hip enough for the coolest guy, able to hold a ton of stuff. Translation: I would not have to be the sole family sherpa of all things. Someone--who shall remain nameless--conveniently forgot to pack the man bag. So I spent the day participating in the first of the Headley Olympics events: Man Bag Spotting. (Note the guy standing behind us. What is he carrying over his shoulder? Oh, that's right. A Man Bag. )

And the winner of the Man Bag Spotting event?

Providentially, our first tickets were for the two events that our kids competed in this last Track season: racewalking and turbo javelin! Here's the remote control car the Olympians got to use to transport their thrown javelin back to the pit. How cool is that?

Even so, jetlag set in after the first two hours...

Then, on to our Marathon Subway Expedition to the women's soccer. As a rule when we travel, we try to stay away from taxis (expensive, traffic, etc.) and travel by public transport. The Beijing subways are awesome! Clean! Well-signed! Now, the toilets... Yes, you got it: in my ginormous travel bag, I had (thankfully) tucked in our own toilet paper. Thank goodness.

By weird happenstance, my former yoga teacher's little sister is the goalie of the U.S. Women's soccer team. Hope did an amazing job defending our goal. Woo hoo! The U.S. team won the gold in overtime! And my kids take the gold in Power Sleeping on the go.


  1. Don't worry, there are PLENTY of man-bags available in Shanghai. And they don't even have to be the least bit fashionable for the men to carry it.

    Even laowai guys are getting into it.

  2. It's so fun to read the blog and travel with you (without having to experience the jet-lag)

    Fantastic pictures and trip details. I way understand about the need of a man bag as I'm also the family Sherpa!

    travel on, Justina

    Still stuck in Seattle,


  3. Oh! Thanks for sharing all these great pictures and amazing that you got to be at the Olympics... :)

  4. Regarding the man bag.....I finally got my husband to start carrying his own bag by handing my bag to him once he put his stuff in it. I hope you find a tactic that works!