Friday, February 25, 2011

Beijing:  Day 1
OK, I’ll admit when we FINALLY got to our hotel last night at about 10:00 pm the very last place I wanted to be was in Beijing.  It was a long time getting here with little sleep.  I was tired, cranky, homesick, and most of all I missed my boys.  I really just wanted to fast forward the next few days and finally get Amelia.   Then fast forward the next two weeks so we could be at home as a family again. But, I woke up this morning and we were able to Skype the boys which made me feel MUCH better about life.  Then when we met our guide and went on our way to do our touring for the day I got really excited about being here.  Today we saw Tienamen Square, the Forbidden City, and a Hutong village.  Unfortunately my camera ran out of batteries right at the end of the tour.  But, it was good timing because I still got pictures of some really neat stuff. After that Aaron and I ate at a really amazing restaurant.  Let me tell you, I will never be able to feed the ducks at Laing Lake again without remembering how tasty they could be if prepared at the right restaurant in China!  We did just a bit of shopping while walking back from the restaurant.  Aaron’s decided he needs fine some bartering skills after paying probably twice as much for a stocking cap as he would have at Walmart back home :0)  He didn't quite realize how things worked around here until I told him he SHOULD try to get a price down and never accept what they're asking for merchandise.  Oh well, it’s all an adventure and a learning experience.  I got to experience the joys of being a blond surrounded by dark haired people.  I finally got used to it, but I was feeling a bit like a freak show.  Many people (mostly older men and women) had no problem standing less than 2 feet away from me and proceeding to stare for several minutes at a time.  Usually I would begin to feel uncomfortable and just kind of walk away.  It’s actually quite funny.  So, now we’re back at the hotel and even though we feel fairly well rested up I think we’re just going to hang out the rest of the day.  We’re planning on just relaxing and possibly eating in our room tonight.  I want to save up my energy for the Great Wall and Summer Palace tomorrow and rest up to prepare for the little ball of cuteness that will soon be consuming most of our time!
Here's my little stinkers Skypeing with Aaron.  This is what I got when I told them make sure and look into the camera for a picture.  BTW, that's Oreo chocolate around their mouths apparently.
In front of General Mao's picture and the Forbidden City.  That picture is actually a painting and it's HUGE.  I guess they put up a new picture every year that has been painted by the same artist for several consecutive years.  Once that artist feels they can't do the job anymore they appoint a successor.  Our guide, Sylvia, is a wealth of knowledge.  I can't believe the dates she can pop out of her head.  I asked her if she has a love of history but she told me EVERYBODY in China knows this information as part of their extensive education.  

Map of the Forbidden City

The rooms that are available for rent at a Hutong

Men playing Chinese Chess at the Hutong house.

Hutong House

This Hutong house is an original structure from 1620 and has been in this family's possession for about 7 generations now.  It's pretty amazing.

The courtyard of the Hutong house.

You ride a rickshaw through the Hutong, which means Alley Street.  It was quite the experience!

I know Mom wants to see pictures of our hotel.  These are not the best shots and I'll try to get some of our room before we leave.

 BTW, I wanted to let anybody that may be traveling soon that ExpressVPN is working much better than GoTrusted :0)


Tina said...

Wow! It looks amazing and your hotel looks beautiful!!! What an amazing adventure!