DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3 | DAY 4 | DAY 5

Well this trip to China started off no different than any of the other ones and I can say we were all very thankful. And please let me note that we are all so excited and feel so honored to be making this trip representing our Atlanta Hawks.

We all arrived at the airport very early Thursday morning and as per usual someone spotted us and the royal treatment began. First this really nice man from Delta, Mr. Brett Henry, took care of checking all of us into the flight, taking care of our bags and thankfully was able to talk Donni into getting a wheel chair; which not only was hilarious to see, but made getting through security SO quick and easy. For those of you that don’t know, Donni hurt her foot during audition week and had to wear a boot to China. We finally made it on the plane and again were spoiled by Theresa and Doreen, two flight attendants on board who loved the Hawks and also had daughters of their own. They made sure we had whatever we needed and were kind enough to give us some do’s and don’ts while in China.

The flight to Beijing was of course long, but we had a plethora of movies, TV shows and music to keep us occupied throughout the journey. I think most of us split the time evenly between catching up on lost sleep as well as our movies and TV shows. Some of us decided to start the series called The Following, and oh my gosh everyone should start watching it! It was awesome, just a little side note! =)

When we finally arrived in Beijing we were greeted by our guide Ana and driver Mr. Wang. They were just as sweet as could be and lots of snacks waiting for us in the bus (Snickers, Oreos, Pringles, and bananas) that made us feel right at home. Oh and of course lots of bottled water because we can’t drink the water here in China.

It was really smoggy today when we arrived and Ana was telling us that that was kind of normal for this time of year. As per usual we go outside and the first thing we hear is honking and all we see are cars everywhere fighting about who was going to give in and move so that others could pass. It’s exactly what I remember from all my previous trips! Ana was telling us some history of Beijing and how there are six rings that divide Beijing and most of the people here in Beijing are from the Han dynasty. Beijing has absolutely beautiful countryside’s that hold many orchards where people drive too to spend the weekends to visit and pick their fruit for the upcoming week.

We arrived at the JW Marriott Hotel in Beijing and were in awe of how beautiful this hotel was. The rooms were spacious and luxurious and the breakfast area was very nice as well. Everyone at this hotel was nice and helpful but there were only a few who could actually speak English but thankfully we had Howard there, which made everything a breeze! Howard, the Manager of Events and Attractions for NBA China, stayed with us a good amount of the time.

After we got checked in and settled we decided to walk across the street to the underground mall area and got a quick dinner (some had Pizza Hut and some had Thai food) so that we could get back to get some much needed rest after the long travel day.

That wraps my first entry from China! I’ll catch back up with you as soon as I can =)