Saturday, February 26, 2011

Since my pictures weren't the greatest here's a link to the hotel we're staying at in Beijing. Click here.  Last night after my last post we decided to set out down the street towards the “walking district.”  We were continually amazed at the variety of the stores there.  A little “mom and pop” type candy stores where you can buy candy for the equivalence of a 10th of an American cent would be right next to a Gucci, Armani, or Prada store.  Aaron was intrigued by the athletic store.  They had many of the same designers that we are used to (Nike, New Balance etc.) and there were some other brands we had never heard of.  Aaron enjoyed pointing out the posters on the wall where they would have some random athlete next to the logo of a sports team that had nothing to do with that particular athlete.   The walking district is pretty neat.  There are lots of lights and bright billboards.  A few Chinese students that were on vacation from other provinces stopped us and struck up a conversation.  They compared it to Times Square in New York.  Of course it’s been a while since I was in Times Square, but I’m not sure it’s quite THAT elaborate and amazing, however it’s something they were quite proud of.  We continue to get asked to have our picture taken with random people.  It’s pretty funny, but the people here are so nice. 

Today was the perfect example of a blessing in disguise.  We woke up to cold weather and wet snow.  I was instantly bummed because we’ve been looking forward to going to the Great Wall for months now.  In fact it was probably the main reason we added this little leg onto our trip.  I couldn’t imagine coming to China and not seeing the Great Wall.  But, the weather wasn’t going to deter us; we were still planning on going even with snow and slush.  The temperature wasn’t outrageously cold, so nothing iced over.  We put on our long underwear and set out.  As it turns out the snow made for the most gorgeous scenery and pictures.  Yes, it was cold and wet, but who cares!  The weather actually added so much more to our experience today. On our way to the Great Wall we stopped at a jade museum where we were able to witness how jade is sculpted.  It’s actually quite interesting and some of the pieces that were for sale were absolutely amazing.  

The Great Wall met every expectation I ever had.  We made it to the 3rd tier, which is fairly high up.  But, it was quite comical as we had to hold on to the rickety railings for dear life due to the compact snow and VERY slippery steps. Even right now I feel somewhat queasy thinking about how high up we were on extremely steep steps.  There are a few parts of the wall that don’t have steps, but is more of a steep ramp.  Those areas were particularly difficult to maneuver due to the slick conditions.  While going down many people took advantage of this decided to slide down on their bottoms rather cautiously side step the whole way.  It was quite comical and Aaron and I enjoyed the camaraderie we felt with people from all over the world as we laughed and joked about the whole situation.  Although it was a great experience, I will say that the next time we come back with our kids we will definitely shoot for a time of year with a warmer climate.

After the Great Wall we visited a cloinaisse factory and had lunch there.  The talent these people possess is just amazing to me.  The work and effort that goes into one vase is extraordinary.  Next was the Summer Palace.  Again the snowy weather made it absolutely BEAUTIFUL!  I am quite certain we wouldn’t have enjoyed our day nearly as much without the little bit of snow of the ground.  I love how everyday there is a reminder that God is good.  Tomorrow we head to Amelia’s province of Hubei.  It’s so surreal to know that our wait is coming very close to an end.  In less than 48 hours I will have a daughter!

Jade Factory




Bridget said...


It sounds like everything is going really well with you and Aaron so far! I have been checking your blog daily and I can't wait to see some pictures of your little sweetheart. I have been on the verge of tears several times reading your blogs and thinking about how you must feel. Prayers for an easy transition for Amelia! Thinking of you all and the boys too!