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Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Stiffs Do Beijing

We made it to China. I wish I could show you some of the hundreds of pictures we took today. Unfortunately, the VPN is working great from the lobby, not so much from our room. Jet lag is finally kicking in and we have a very early morning train ride in the morning. So the low down is.. after about 24 hours of travel we made it. Waiting right outside the airport gate for us was a huge sign advertising planned deer hunting. I'm kicking myself for not stopping to take a picture for Grandpa. It looked like woods were stocked and you could just show up and shoot what you want. Of course this is what it looked like, we're not sure since it was written in Chinese.

Jet lag hasn't taken us down yet. We stayed up late last night, went to bed and hit the road this morning. We went to Tian A Men Square. My apologies if I spelled that wrong. It's getting late and well, I'm emailing this post. Then we toured the Forbidden City. We walked on stones that were over 600 years old. It was amazing. The only thing more amazing is our guide, Allison. She was full of knowledge. 

We toured a plant that makes copper artwork All those Chinese vases lying around are actually glued copper, put in a fire... who knew? They were beautiful. Then Ray and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch that was delicious. We shopped and then headed for The Great Wall.

I really wish I had the picture... there was traffic. We found out that the government only allows cars with certain numbers on their license plate to drive on certain days of the week. On Saturday, it's a free for all in Beijing. So, after sitting still for a while, our guide asks if we want to walk. We said sure. There we go walking down the side of the interstate in China. It was beautiful scenery but we were contorting ourselves to fit between large trucks and buses and the guard rail About 40 meters from the exit, traffic started to move again. It was whizzing right by. We finally got to spot, stopped and our driver whipped in, we jumped in and we were off. 

Ray and I climbed to a third tower on The Great Wall. It was incredibly steep. We definitely got our workout. The fact that we were standing on the wall was amazing. The view was amazing. Almost as fun was people watching on the way down. I'm sure I looked like I was about to die at one point too, but it made me wonder how many heart attacks happen on the ascent. 

We have a long standing joke that we are That Family... the family that everyone else thinks is weird. Apparently even in China we are weird. Our guide told me repeatedly today how she couldn't believe we had just one bag. She couldn't believe we went to the third tower, especially since we got down in about the same amount of time it takes one family to get the first tower. She has gotten a kick out of Ray trying to pick up the language. We can't get it right. I just gesture but Ray still tries.

Tonight after we were dropped off, we walked over to Olympic Park. We saw the Birds Nest. On the way back we stopped at a little bakery and picked up a warm sandwich to split and some other goodies. I think our entire meal including drinks cost less than $5. 

I'm ready to get on a train and get to Jack's province. Two more sleeps and we'll have a son! Hopefully we'll have lots of town time tomrrow. I'll try to post pictures then. 

1 comment:

Sara@domesticallychallenged said...

I'm so happy for you and can't wait to see pics! When you have a minute, can you send me your address? Got a welcome gift for Jack to send!

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