This is me and my close friend Bill in front of the Bell and Drum Tower inside the city walls of Xian, China. Bill and I worked for the same company for over 35 years. We retired on the same day in 2004. My wife was still working and thought it was a great idea that Bill and I would begin an annual trip to some far flung place. Our trip to China in 2005 was the first. It's memorable, not just for the incredible sights and sounds of China, but the fact that this first trip was the biggest travel bargain of all time. We flew to Beijing from SFO and returned from Shanghai. In between we spent 5 days in Beijing, 3 in Xian, 2 in Hangzhou, 3 in Suzhou, and 3 in Shanghai. We thought we were part of a tour, but after arriving at the Beijing airport we found that it was just the two of us. We had a car, guide and driver in every city. It included lodging at 5 star hotels, all meals, all flights in China, and several theatrical performances in Beijing and Xian. All of this for $1500 TOTAL! Since this trip Bill and I have traveled to Peru, Thailand, Egypt, Central America, and Oktoberfest in Munich. Next year it may be India. But, none of these trips will come close to the bargain found with our first.