So, I've sent off our tentative itinerary to Nina. Here 'tis:
Sept. 16-18: Shanghai
Sept. 19-20: Suzhou
Sept. 21-23: Xi'an
Sept. 24-26: Beijing (flying home on the 27th)
Man, it's a big country... Picture from here
I'm excited to hear back about hotels, guides, transportation, etc. I've printed this itinerary out on a calendar, and just having done that it feels more real. My Type-A side (which is threatening to take me over entirely) is very happy with the calendar, as it means we're no longer talking about this nebulous trip that seems only to exist in a vacuum.