Chapter 2.14

Just flying into China was a treat!

The Forbidden City was beautiful even from the airplane!

I was so floored by the The Great Wall that I was unable to center my camera.  I was too awestruck!

Soon after landing however, I did realize that the “easy ” trip was too good to be true.  I met with my liaison in China and discovered that the photos needed were from tombs…meaning they were hidden in the tombs.

I stocked up on supplies and then I headed to Dragon’s Cave.  I wasn’t going to back down now.  I’d spent all of my family’s money to come here and make them proud.

After a long hike up the mountain, I found the hidden door leading deep into the earth.  If only I knew what I was getting myself into before I went in there!

Getting the photos was some of the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life!  I had to push and pull statues!

After moving the statues I had to disarm electricity traps.

I had to search out hidden doors.

I fought off bugs and terrible creepy crawlies.  It was awful.

I sat on the edge of a dive well and sobbed.


I spent all of our money…for this…torture?!

Finally I came to the door with the panel I was looking to find.  The keystone I was given fit.  I had made it.

I got the photo they wanted.  That was it.  The fire traps, the statues, and the end of the tomb.  It was worth it.

After spending two and a half days in the tombs I was able to spend my last few hours in China shopping for souvenirs for my family.

It was wonderful getting home.  That is the last crazy photo excursion I take.

Chapter 2.13

Garrett and I had been trying for baby #3 for months with no luck.  We were coming up on a year and I was still not pregnant.  I couldn’t figure it out.  The girls were our Honeymoon babies.  They were so easy…what is the problem now?

It’s another month of bad luck it seems.  The sink broke this morning.  It’s almost like an omen.

I can’t help but feel like I’m broken, too.  Garrett already left for work so I will have to break the news to him when he gets home.  He’s going to be so disappointed again.  We thought for sure this would be our month.

Well, I can’t spend too much time moping.  The girls will be up within the hour and they are going to be hungry.  I didn’t realize how hungry I was until I started cooking.

Halfway through making breakfast and feeling sorry for myself my phone started ringing.  It was an odd number that I didn’t recognize.


“Greetings!  Is this Mollie Hanks the photographer?”

“This is she.  Who is this?”

“I’m the head of Get Up and Go Travel Co and I need a photographer ASAP.  Can you be in China by Wednesday?”

“You do know today is Monday, don’t you?”

“Well, I said is was ASAP.  We will pay you $10,000 plus whatever you feel photos of China are worth.  We need these like…YESTERDAY!”

“I’ll take it.  I’ll leave as soon as my husband gets home.”

“Great!  We’re counting on you!”

I finished my pancakes thinking that was the weirdest phone call ever.  What had I just gotten myself into?  It couldn’t  be legit…it was too good to be true.

I didn’t have much time to dwell on the call.  As I finished up my breakfast I had more pressing matters.

Ever the sweetheart, Livvy was hungry but calm about it.

“Mommy?  I Hungy.  Can I has pancakes now?  Pwease?”

Penny is more to the point.


How am I going to get by without them for two weeks?

I wanted to be able to present all the information to Garrett when he got home that afternoon.  I got the girls settled and then went to work.  After gathering all the dollars and cents, I sat on the couch to wait for my man.

I wasn’t sure how he would take the news.  It wasn’t great news by any means.  No baby and now I’m taking off for two weeks…tomorrow.

Ever the busy man, his phone was ringing when he walked in the door.  When he saw me on the couch, however, he clicked silence.

“Hey, have a seat, babe.”

“I’m not pregnant…again.  Also, I got a phone call today.  I’ve been hired to go to China for two weeks to photograph the sites for a travel agency.”

The silence was palpable.  It almost hurt.

“When do you leave?”

“Tomorrow.  I need to be there by Wednesday.  It’s going to cost me $1,300 to get there.  Which means that there isn’t enough money for you or the girls to come with me.

“That’s WONDERFUL, Baby!  I’m so proud of you!  You are going to do an amazing job.”


“Yes.  The girls and I will miss you but we’ll be ok.  You need to do this.  For you, for us, and for the girls.  Let’s get you packed.”

And just like that I was off to China.