What a trip. China was great. It was weird but great, I saw things I had never seen before, and then some.

Despite the spitting, chewing, slurping, burping, elbows in ribs, and general lack of personal space…. I still found the people very hospitable.

When I work with hotel’s or restaurants I usually am taken to my room and left alone. When at a restaurant, the staff may be told why I’m there made but that’s it. Maybe a handshake, and a follow-up email but other than that it’s like Ciao! Hasta Luego, bye bye…

Not in Shanghai. From Joel Robuchon to Pu Li Hotel and Spa I was overwhelmed by the kindness shown by the marketing managers. I met so many amazing women! Actually, all of the Marketing directors or PR people were women. Girl Power. They all insisted on joining me for lunch/dinner/tea it was soon nice to have people to talk with for once. #solotravelproblems

At first, I used to get hella nervous eating in front of these business people, worried I’d drop the food (oh my god chopstix), or that the language barrier might cause problems. Nope, it was wonderful. At my 3 hour Joel Robuchon meal I ate with the Marketing Director, and we had so much fun. She marveled at how much I could eat.

Luckily, she followed it up with “and still stay thin” 😉

I loved hearing about life in Shanghai, the locals tips and tricks, and of course talking about The Tongue In Chic and how much it has grown in the last year. Of course, hearing them sing my praises was also nice 😉 Nothing like compliments to make you fall even more in love with a place.

So thank you. Thank you to the amazing women in China who were gracious, hospitable, and really helpful.

I was busy in Shanghai, all these dinners and lunches are total – luxury, but they get tiring. Mostly due to the running around trying to find my way on basin Shanghai streets. As my trip came to a close, I started getting very anxious about my 14-hour flight to Vancouver.

I called to check for an upgrade, nothing. In fact, there were ZERO open seats on the plane ZERO. So not only was I going to be in economy, I was going to be squashed in it. Great.

Dragonfly Shanghai The best way to destress and relax is a spa. Duh. It’s one of my favorite travel luxuries and I had to have it. Luckily in China, The Dragonfly is a fantastic resort spa that won’t break the bank. There are many locations around the city, so no matter where you are staying there is sure to be one close by! The reviews are great and most expats love to go to The Dragonfly Retreat for the beautiful vibe and English speaking staff who really know how to treat customers.

I opted for a Shellac mani/Pedi followed up a Chinese Lymphatic Massage. My mani/pedi was amazing and took over an hour which means that the girls took their time and care making sure these ghastly nails turned all sorts of beautiful. The color selection is huge and includes OPI, ESSIE, CND etc. I relaxed drank my green tea and tried not to think about the flight that was about to follow.

Chinese Lymphatic Massage is a totally different type of relaxation massage. It has massive benefits. Huge. The lymphatic system can often get clogged, sluggish, and needs a literal push in the right direction. This 90-minute treatment combined different pressure that had me literally in the palm of my masseuse’s hand. I could feel my body responding and I was loving it.

What amazed me the most was how the masseuse was able to feel when things weren’t right. She knew how tight my hamstrings were and paid extra attention there. She started a belly massage which turned out to be quite painful, and said that I was um..errr… really “full”.

After my afternoon at the spa, I felt so relaxed and headed back to The Waterhouse to enjoy my room for one last night. The massage had left me totally zen and I had the deepest sleep. Oh and guess what? Whatever she did worked, because I went to the bathroom the next morning. 😉

What has been your most relaxing vacation experience?