Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shenzhen, China

Fabio and I decided to have a tradition that whenever one of us hits a decade birthday, we treat ourselves to a vacation to wherever we want. Since one of Fabio's two conferences were actually on his  30th birthday, he picked China.

So Fabio turned 30 in Shenzhen, a random business-centered city in Southern China with absolutely no tourist attractions. His conference started at 8:00 in the morning and he didn't get back to hotel until late at night, so our official birthday celebration consisted of singing "Happy Birthday" in our pajamas under a pile of fluffy covers. While Fabio conferenced away the rest of his birthday, Jonathan and I wandered around the area by our hotel until we found ourselves getting a incredibly cheap (and yet, amazing) pedicure.

(please forgive the crooked and off-center family self-portrait  by remembering
it was taken at 6:30 in the morning, right after we sang to Fabio for his 3-0)

But don't worry. The day before we had a proper, un-official celebration wandering around the most amazing knock-off shopping wonderland either of us has ever seen, punctuated with the Shangri-La dessert buffet, ladened with "Converses," "Hermes scarves," "Longchamp clutches," "Burberry wraps," and huge, brightly-colored "original" paintings.

While Shenzhen wasn't as glamorous as the two previous legs of our trip, it was so nice to have access to facebook, blogs, church-websites, and all of back at the tip of our fingers. (Shenzhen is a special business district in China with different censorship standards.) Nothing to make you appreciate freedom of media like going without for a week and a half.

Shenzhen is less than an hour's drive from Hong Kong, so when Fabio's conference was all wrapped up how could we not accept a complimentary shuttle ride to the next (and sadly, final) stop in our China marathon?

Well, Happy Birthday, Fabio! Maybe it's just that gorgeous family of yours, but you look pretty good for an old guy.

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