Today we went to Tianamen Square first. Everywhere was crowded, so many tour groups were there, including Chinese. There wasn't a whole lot to see there, we just stood around the concrete pad and looked around to the various buildings. Our guide told us that 100,000 people could fit standing inside the square. Of course we got a pic of the famous portrait hanging of the emperor Mao too. From there we walked to The Forbidden City. This place was humongous, with sooooo many different buildings to see. A funny thing about being there was that the Chinese people kept crowding around and taking pictures of the daughter and son of a couple in our group who were blond headed. They would place their Chinese children in with them for several pics. You would've thought these kids were celebrities, no kidding. It got to the point where it was quite tiring. When we were walking to this place, there was an older Chinese man walking toward us, he stopped at a trash can and blew his nose right into it with kleenex! We were so surprised... and repulsed. Just had to share this gross tidbit...
Ok so from there, our guides took us to this restaurant to have roasted duck and other Chinese food. The food there was probably some of the best we've ever had. Talk about delicious!!
From there we walked to our adoption agency's office here in Beijing for a short film. After this, we were bound for The Great Wall. We had to ride over an hour to get there too. However, they did take us by the Olympic park, so we got to see where the opening ceremony will take place.
Today was pretty dreary and foggy while touring the wall. There was snow and ice on the ground and some covered the steps to/from the wal which made climbing that more difficult. These steps were very uneven and some were probably 12" high and others were maybe 4" high, they all varied in size. This made it quite harder for my short legs to hike up those steep , deep stairs. Do you feel sorry for me yet? haha Well Scott climbed up to the 2nd highest point which was forever long. Before you even got to that point, the visibility was very very poor due to the fog. I took several long breaks in getting myself up there, I huffed and puffed, thought my heart would pound out of my chest too. However, I told myself that if these older people could do this, that I would too. My legs were already sore starting out, and now they're much worse!
I'm so out of shape... Anyway, it was so weird to think that we actually got to go see this place, let alone get to climb a part of it. This was quite an experience, which we will never forget! I will post pics later, because we were late getting back to the hotel so I'm getting a later start here. We're so tired, we're about to drop! (It is Sunday night 7:30 p.m. here). Ok we were so tired and just ordered room service. Let me tell you, I ordered a cheeseburger/fries, Scott got a club sandwich/fries. I took one bite of it and I'm here to tell you it was not beef. The menu said it was 100% beef, I think it lied. It had a wang to it, tasted weird and foreign. Scott tasted and said he thought it tasted like ground up duck. His sandwich had cucumber on it, ever heard of that on a club? BTW, we leave in the morning at 6:30 to head to the airport to fly to Urumqi!!! YAY!!!!The time is almost here to meet our Drew!!!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Ni Hao everyone! That means hello if you didn't know this. Well it is Mar. 28 here just affter 3 pm. Just got back from doing tours today. We went on Hutong tours riding in rickshaws, The Temple of Heaven, the drum tower, a kindergarten school with lots of beautiful children who were outside on their conceret yard and playing duck duck goose,and we ate authentic Chinese food too. We're meeting at 4:15 to go to a Chinese acrobat show. Good thing it's inside, b/c it's awfully chilly here and it's been raining most of the afternoon. We're doing great! We met a few more couples who are here adopting their children too, however not from the same province as Drew. We have a Chinese guide named Elsie who works for our adoption agency out of their Beijing office. She is very sweet and helpful. You should see all the people here and the traffic is hectic at most times , there's lots of buses, taxis, and many bike riders who ride in the middle of traffic, very brave people and I guess they're just so used to doing this. Oh yeah, I had a couple of Chinese people come up to me today and start talking, of course I couldn't say anything, I just smiled and shook my head acting like a dummy. It was pretty funny as we all laughed about it, Elsie our guide had to laugh and help me out. We saw many McDonald's , KFC restaurants,Starbucks,Pizza Huts around here too. We are being well taken care of, and everyone is friendly. However, when you're out walking around, there's all these vendors putting their products in your face wanting you to buy it. You just have to keep walking... Oh yeah today was my first day of experiencing a squatty potty (bathroom), believe me, we are very fortunate to have regular toilets in U.S. These aren't everywhere but in public there's quite a few of them used I guess- our hotels have regualar toilets of course. We saw ducks hanging in a window today that were skinned and raw, such a lovely though eh? Well I'm goinging to try to upload photos later if I have time. BTW, our blog is censored over here so it's a little bit more work in getting around it to our blog. I think I got it figured out ... I have to go to the blogger website and it was in Chinese, so I had to pick English to read it! How funny is that?? Well just now, someone knocked on our room door, and the person gave me this cake! I suppose it's a b'day cake, my b'day cake! yay!!! Well I' m adding to this post as we just got back to the hotel from eating dinner.it is 9:45 pm. . We really enjoyed the acrobat show especially b/c it was all kids,no adults. Well we better got off here, we need our beauty sleep.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Hello everyone back home, just thought I'd let you know that we made here to Beijing all in one safe piece. We arrived right after 2:00 -China time, so it would've been about 1:00 a.m. there. We didn't get to the hotel til after 5 though. Yes I am dog tired too! We did take naps on the plane but geezzzzz. We just went and ate at this restaurant in our hotel. It was Chinese food and they didn't give us forks to use, but only chopsticks and a soup spoon. I had shrimp fried dumplins which I loved,and congee just to see what all that was about. I knew that Drew eats it quite a lot on a daily basis. It's basically just rice that been cooked a lot of water for a long time. I had it plain but sometimes they put meat, veggies, or fish in it. I wasnt that brave just yet. The menu had things listed as intestines, shark fins, fish and seafood dishes but it all sounded like it wouldve been gross when you looked it, then I wouldn't be able to eat it. My dad asked the Chinese waitress to sit down and show him out to use those chopsticks. She declined to sit, but did try to teach him with using them. We all laughed out loud on that one! Oh yeah, our flight to Beijing was packed and alot of them were Chinese coming home or to visit. We sure saw a lot of adorable kids--too bad I couldn't just bring them with us too. Well going to bed to hopefully catch up on some sleep and jet lag.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Whew... the countdown is on! We leave here at 4:00 in the morning to drive to St. Louie. We're all packed too, that's an amazing feat. The butterflies are already buzzing in my belly.... JUST REMEMBER on March 31 in China time, we will get Drew!!--that is called Gotcha Day in the adoption world! So, since China is 13 hours ahead of us, it will be late evening on March 30 U.S. time--get it, got it? Please be thinking of us and praying as we make this amazing journey of a lifetime to our son! I will try to keep everyone posted as much as possible here.
Monday, March 24, 2008
FYI~our itinerary was updated (scroll down to Our Itinerary to see the changes) and we changed our flight arrangements coming home (see Flying our lives away post) so that we fly into St Louis 5 hours earlier! Yippeee!!
Well the packing has commenced finally, as of today (for all my family and friends who were worried we'd have to go naked). I'm not a very good packer as I had to borrow a bigger suitcase for all our junk. Therefore, we each have a very large one that's packed to the brim. Well here's a pic of the toys we're taking for Drew and his new backpack. I know I'll surely forget something, maybe I have too much already? I hear there's a lot of good shopping/bargains to be had though and chances are that we'll have to buy another suitcase to bring all of our new items and souvenirs home. I think my brain is in overload right now thinking of anything and eveything, what ifs, don't forget this or that, etc. Scott assures me that everything will be just fine. I just need to breathe now....