We made it to China!
How was the flight? Well, for fifteen hours, the occupants of seats 32 D, E, F, and G cried, kicked the seats in front, screamed, turned the lights on and off and called the stewardess (using the armrests of the row in front) and generally made nuisances of themselves.
We were in row 31. The kids were fine; the parents could not sleep a wink.
Once we got to Shanghai PuDong airport, we took the Mag Lev train -- 431 km/hr top speed -- to the Pudong neighborhood of Shanghai. Then we put our stuff down at a friend's apartment and went out to dinner. At this point we were up 24 hours straight (the last time I pulled an all-nighter was February 8, 2003, in anticipation of Austin's birth).
But we soldiered on! At 7pm our mini-bus was zooming out of a traffic jam toward the docks. A guy tried to wave us off but our tour guide shouted, "It's the family with a reservation!" We jumped on the boat and took off.
From the boat we saw the modern skyscrapers of Pudong on one side, lit up like a gigantic Times Square and on the other, the floodlit exteriors of the grand Bund -- hundred year old institutions that greeted visitors to the city for a century.