What a Day!

29Nov06

Well folks, it was all that we were told about and more. So much that we want to share, but we don’t want to bore anyone, so we’ll share highlights.

This morning started with a meal here at the the Holiday Inn – it was a breakfast buffet, Beijing Style – a few ‘normal’ western items to choose from, but lots of local favorites – fried noodles and vegetables, dumplings (made to order!) and lots of fresh fruit. Tami gives thumbs up to the cabbage and spinach.

Zhou met us for a quick bite and we were off with our driver, who we’ve named ‘Mia’ – very nice girl, and she’s as aggressive a driver as they come here in China. We have come close to hitting walkers and people on bikes everywhere we go. It’s every man for himself getting around here.

We started the day at Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. Zhou said that it was the perfect time to visit – light crowds, and the temperatures here were in the 40s, so with a warm jacket, hiking around was great. The Forbidden City was awesomely huge – it kept going and going.

It was amazing to be in what was the center of an ancient society – the buildings were phenomenal. Our history fans (Pappy and Scott Niedzwiecki) would have spent days here. And Pappy, we’ve got some pictures of the Royal Gardens for you :^)

We then took off to the Cloisonne Factory and Friendship Store, where Zhou had already arranged a meal for us to enjoy before shopping. With more than enough food for 2, a couple bottles of water, HUGE bottle of beer for Andy, our bill came to $10 U.S. for both of us – sweet! Uncle Tim, they had something called garlic sprouts with pork. The sprouts had the texture of asparagus, but tasted like garlic – good eats.

After lunch and shopping, we took off for the Great Wall. Zhou told us that we were going to the best part of the Wall here in the Beijing area, which was in Badaling. As expected, the morning crowds had thinned out, and with the haze burned off, it was PERFECT viewing. Alexa and Abby – it was so STEEP. We were blown away how huge and sprawling the Wall is, and to imagine that it goes on for hundreds and hundreds of miles!

On our way back to the car, we were gang-tackled by vendors looking to make their end of the day sales. While Tami and Zhou got some killer deals, Andy was raked over the coals by a woman who grabbed me by the coat and wouldn’t let him leave until a sale was made. Zhou made fun of the poor bargaining skills.

It’s 6:00pm here at the hotel and we’re going to check in with the kids on Skype before a dinner downstairs. We need a good night’s sleep before Lydia Day tomorrow – we have to leave the hotel by 7:15am in order to pick Lydia up at New Day and then make our flight to Zhengzhou.

We’ll check in tomorrow night (our time) with lots of pictures!

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7 Responses to “What a Day!”

  1. 1 The Hedden Family

    WOW! What an exciting day! I woke up this morning and came straight into the computer before the kids went to school because I just knew you had a new post. The pictures are awesome! It is morning here but evening in China which means you are just hours away from meeting your sweet Lydia. Sweet Dreams!

    Julie

  2. 2 Linda Bonaquist

    It’s great checking in and following your site. It seems like you guys had a very full day if sightseeing. Can’t wait to see your next post of you getting Lydia. I hope all goes well and that you guys all fall in love the instant you meet her. Great pictures from today. Can’t wait to be there ourselves. Congratulations on this exciting time!

    Linda

  3. 3 Jeff

    Friends, I am so happy for you and your family. I got SO excited to see pictures of you two actually in China! How crazy is that?! It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we met up in Chicago and Cleveland. I can’t even image what you two are feeling right now. Have a happy day and thanks for keeping us posted with your trip.

    Jeff

  4. 4 Cheri & Shane Hyland

    Thanks for posting so many photos for us to see. Looks like you guys are having the time of your lives!! Only hours until you are with Lydia…..we are SOOO excited to see those pictures, too. Have fun and enjoy every minute!! Love, Cheri & Shane

  5. 5 Marilou

    Wow! This is great. I come home looking forward to your updates!

    Marilou

  6. 6 Aimee

    This is awesome, I am thinking of the wonderful feeling you must have picking up that little cutie!! I hope the traveling goes well! 🙂

  7. 7 Abby

    Hi Mom,Dad, and Lydia!!!
    I can’t wait for you guy’s
    to come home today!!!
    I really,really,really missed
    you(I mean really missed you)!!
    I think Lydia is a great additon to are
    family!!! See you to night!Love you

    Love,
    Abby


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