The Hawks Cheerleaders are headed East again... Far East. This time Andi, Alexandra, Emily, Juliana and Nikki are headed to China, led by Donni, the Hawks' Cheerleader and Talent Manager. Keep up with all of their adventures with the latest journal entries and photo galleries here at Hawks.com.
So, after traveling for over 24hrs. we all finally checked into Guangzhou and found out the next day we had four performances and an autograph signing. Even though we were extremely tired from the trip we had so much to get ready for the next day. Andi my roomie for the trip and I didn’t go to sleep until 4:30am and had to wake up at 6:45am for breakfast. So, we got another quick nap before our first official full day. I had to leave breakfast early because my poor tummy felt so horrible! Luckily, I listened to my mother before the trip and bought some amazing tummy medicine with me that came in handy today for sure!
After breakfast, we headed to our practice to get ready for our first performance of the day. We were excited to be in China and when we got on our tour bus we found out that at each session today we were going to perform two dances instead of one. All together, we were going to have to perform 8 dances at the 4 different shows for the day! WOW!!!! Oh boy, as if my whole body and tummy didn’t feel good it definitely was not feeling any better especially after hearing that news. Oh well, I am still having a blast even with my tummy situation!
As we head back to the hotel to pack our bags and practice, my excitement of the city was turning into a whirlwind of extreme jet lag, exhaustion, and illness but, after walking into our beautiful hotel we ran into a man named Michael from Utah! He was so excited to see Hawks Cheerleaders and his little light of joy brought my sprits back up. He helped us with our Chinese and the whole new money situation. We signed a poster for him and took pictures. It was nice to see a little bit of home in such a large foreign country.
After our encounter with Michael, the girls and I had a quick pow wow about of our first performance and enjoyed a little free time to rest and get some food! We went to Subway and adventured into the Chinese version of CVS. I loved looking at all of the cute little Hello Kitty tissues and cute candy.
Then, it was time to practice again! We had to practice more dances and assemble extra dances for the rest of the day. Thank goodness for our coach Donni because she makes sure our dances look amazing before we perform. Then we checked out of the hotel and it was time to head over to our 5:00, 5:30, and 6:15 performances.
After dancing we had a quick autograph signing which made my heart smile. Besides having the chance to dance in a different country, it was amazing to be able to connect with the people of China. Even though I can ‘t understand their language, the fact that we both understand the NBA is enough for me. My favorite was seeing the little girls wanting our autographs! They truly appreciate us and giving a smile to a little kid is something I love to do!
Finally, it was dinner time! We went to McDonalds in this fancy mall that we all fell in love with. The style and living here in China is so different than the States. I am really loving all of the trendy styles!
Now, we have officially boarded another plane headed to Kunming for another busy day tomorrow! We won’t arrive until 12:00am so it is time for a quick little plane nap! yay!!!!
So grateful to be able to represent the NBA while in China and I am also extremely grateful to the NBA for making my dream of dancing and traveling come true!
xie xie (thank you) - Emily
>> PHOTO GALLERY 2 <<
Today is the day we are headed to China. I'm meeting the cheerleaders (Nikki, Juliana, Andi, Emily, and Alexandra) at 6:30am and I've been up since 4am. I was really excited about the trip until I zipped my luggage and the zipper popped. Hmmm…maybe I packed too much? But hey, you never know what to expect when you are in another country for 12 days. So right before I leave I have to repack my whole bag in another suitcase. So now, I'm a little anxious because of course my ride, Lauren, friend and co-worker, is already here to pick me up. I somehow manage to get it all together.
I finally make it to the airport and am greeted by the ladies all anxious and excited about the trip. We all head over to the Delta check-in when a nice man with a big personality, comes up to help us and takes over. He introduces himself as "Donald Shockley" and I immediately put two and two together and ask (as you Georgia fans have already guessed) "are you DJ's dad?" Yes! I was right. (PS…DJ actually judged our cheer auditions a couple of years ago). Small world. Anyway, Mr. Shockley gets us all checked in and we all say our goodbyes and we begin our trek to the terminal. Of course though, with it being approximately 7:30am at this point we decide we are hungry and make a quick stop at terminal A for Chick-fil-a. Our last Chick-fil-a for 12 days. Once we all have our goodies we head to terminal E where…guess what…they have already boarded and we are the last few to board. Whew!
Our first stop was LAX. The flight was great however when we got to LAX
We didn't think our 14 hour flight would be so bad. But here's the catch. We soon discovered that the plane didn't have individual TVs for us to watch movies. Instead it had three SMALL central displays and what we watched was out of our control. We all came to terms and made the best of it. Emily, Nikki, Juliana and I watched a few movies (until they switched to foreign movies) and then played UNO for a while and read. We finally gave up and went to sleep. Andi and Alexandra slept for 14 hours. Ok, maybe not 14 but at least 13. I'll put it this way…we had four meals on that flight and Andi and Alexandra only had one of those. The one right before we landed. Wow, wish I could sleep like that!
Anyway, we make it to Shanghai and make the best of our four hour layover by taking silly pictures, reading, eating and eventually sleeping. Then an hour before our flight, something happened. Everyone is fascinated with us and wants a million pictures. That definitely made the time go faster. Before we knew it, it was time to board the plane for Guangzhou. Our final destination!
Three hours later we make it to Guangzhou!! We meet our NBA rep Allen and Mr. Tan our guide for this city and we head to our hotel. Our hotel that's about 45 minutes away. Whew!! As we are driving and getting closer to the hotel I notice that things start to look familiar to me…then it hits me! We are staying at the SAME hotel I stayed at with the 2006 team that went to China. Shout out to Vera, Desiree, Jennifer, Ginger, Denisse and Zakiya!! Ahh the memories! So needless to say, I felt right at home.
By the time we arrive to the hotel, its 2am on Oct. 22nd (and don't forget it's a 12-hour time difference, which means it's really 2pm on the 21 st for us)! We'd been traveling about 28 hours at this point. Our rep helps us check in and he asks if we need anything else. Of course we did…we needed to make a McDonalds run! We were starving!! We all walked to McDonalds which was a block from our hotel, grabbed some food and headed back.
Finally, settled in the room. So exhausted. We have to be up early to head to our first performance. What a day! But this is only the beginning Hawks fans. Let the adventure begin! - - - Donni
>> PHOTO GALLERY 1 <<
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