After an amazing week in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl, I hopped on a plane and headed to Beijing, China. Thanks to the incredible NFL China and E2K, me and three of my fellow Pro Bowl Cheerleaders were able to take this exciting trip.
On our first day in Beijing our plans to do some touring were trumped by an opportunity that presented itself at breakfast. It turned out better than we could ever possibly have planned. Jack Brewer, a retired NFL player, invited us to a luncheon and summit meeting between a few organizations with similar goals and interests. Little did we know we were participating in a meeting that’s number one topic on the agenda was to expand American football and cheerleading into China. “Lunch” doesn’t start to describe the event. The gathering took place at a compound called the Peace Garden owned by a remarkable man named Dr. Li. We were honored guests at his one of his homes in the Peace Garden, along with Jack Brewer, several gentlemen representing other foundations, plus NFL players Reggie Bush and Akin Ayodele. We toured the garden and two of his homes which displayed many artifacts and memories.
The next day I was surprised to find out we were traveling to see the Great Wall of China! The portion we visited was in the Mutianyu mountain range, about an hour and a half outside of Beijing. Mutianyu translates to “green screen valley” because the valley below is very lush and beautiful in the springtime. That, of course, we didn’t witness, however we did have yet another unseasonably clear and sunny day—neither cloud nor smog ruined the views. After we ventured up and down the Great Wall we stopped at a local restaurant for lunch before heading home. We enjoyed classic cuisine such as fresh-caught rainbow trout, awesome vegetables, the best sweet-and-sour chicken, kale, and donkey. Um, yes, donkey! The Chinese consider donkey meat of higher quality than beef, though I would dare say you couldn’t tell the difference if they were prepared the same way.
After an amazing few days of media interviews and sightseeing adventures it was time to get down to business. The day we’d all been waiting for, Super Bowl Sunday! Celebrating the Super Bowl in Beijing was just as exciting as back home. The only difference is that we celebrated at 6:30 a.m. Monday morning. The over the top event was hosted by the Kerry Hotel who put on an incredible showing of food, drinks, football players and hundreds of NFL fans from around the world. During the party we had the chance to perform, sign autographs and get to know the most amazing people.
During our last few hours in Beijing we had the opportunity to do a little more sightseeing and shopping. We toured through Tiananmen Square and the Temple of Heaven, learning about the history of China. It was incredible to say the least. Our final stop was the Silk Market, I was in awe of the beautiful handmade products and goods that were for sale.
To sum it up this was a trip of a life time that I will never forget. Thank you to all who made this possible!