We apologize for not sending you this thank you email sooner. We had jet lag for almost a week after we returned home and are just now getting all of our daily affairs back in order.
We had a wonderful time in Beijing, Xian and Guilin. It was all because of the very high quality of the guides that you arranged for us. Each of them had their own styles, which we enjoyed very much. As different as they were, however, they were all very knowledgeable and best of all, they were all flexible when it came to their local itineraries. They changed the order of seeing things to make sure that the weather and the traffic would be best for us.
Even though we did not have the best of weather (it snowed when we were in Tiananmen Square, and of course there was the sand storm in Beijing, and it rained in Guilin--for which all the farmers were very happy)--the guides adapted very well and made the trip very enjoyable.
Tony in Beijing was very professional, and we very much enjoyed his side trip to see the HuaiRou Cloisonné factory on the way to the Great Wall. Cheryl in Xian was young and full of energy. She seemed as interested in the USA as we were with China, and we exchanged many comparisons of our countries, cultures and lives with each other during our driving trips. It made the trip very personal for us and gave us insight into the people that seeing the sites alone would not provide. Tony in Guilin was also very good. He too gave us a look at family life in China, and he took us to see a farm couple in the country, which really made us feel like we were connecting with the country.
After we completed our tours with you, we took a cruise from Tianjin to Seoul to Shanghais to Kyoto to Hiroshima to Okinawa to Taiwan to Hong Kong. We took full day tours (through the ship) at each city. There were usually about 30 people on the bus and it was hard to hear the guides or ask questions. Because of all the people, it was hard to get around at each of the stops and we weren't able to see as many things because it took so long to transport all the people. We learned a good lesson. From now on, we are going to go on personally guided tours like you provide. It is not much more expensive and you get ten times more out of the tours. Thank you for providing us with such a good experience. We didn't realize how good it was until we went on the ship tours.
We have email addresses for the two Tony's, but can't find the one for Cheryl in Xian. Could you send it to us, so we can thank her appropriately. Thank you for all your help and we look forward to working with you again when we return to China. While we enjoyed the cities, we really liked the countryside and the small towns like we saw around Guilin. So when we come back we will be looking in that direction. Thank you again, Barry and Laura