Our first day in Beijing has been awesome. It started out to a rough start because I failed to properly set our alarm. We were supposed to be in the hotel lobby at 8am ready to go, breakfast eaten. We woke up at 7:45! We missed out on the big breakfast and our hotel room looked like a wreck when we left, but thankfully we had some granola bars packed that we ate for breakfast and we were able to get ready super fast! We were the last of our travel group to arrive in the lobby, but we are "family #1" when they call roll.....they should have picked a different family :) Oh well! The other 7 families didn't seem to mind us being a few minutes tardy. They are a great group of families to travel with and we have enjoyed getting to know them.
I am going to try and post pictures in this post....if they don't come through, I might have to post them in a separate post....
Our first stop was Tiananmen Square, then the Forbidden City along with the Imperial Gardens. Below are some pictures. These landmarks are simply just amazing. They are huge in size yet so intricate in detail. If you notice in the picture with the flags- it is the Chinese flag and the Ethiopian flag! How cool! Of course the Ethiopian flag does not always fly here, but an important Ethiopian leader is visiting Beijing today of all days, so they are flying the Ethiopian flag. It seems like an extra special confirmation of our family :to see these two flags flying together.
Next we had lunch at a traditional Chinese restaurant. They brought out several Chinese dishes- I tried most of them (skipped out on the duck and other unidentified meats) . Most were very good, but I can't lie- I prefer our good ole' Kentucky cooking!!
Next we went to a pearl store. We were given a demonstration about pearls that was very interesting. We also were shown some gorgeous pearls that were thousands of dollars (I tried on a necklace that cost $7000!!!) Thankfully they had some that were more in our price range (talking $20 :) and we were able to buy some nice gifts and a small bracelet as a gift for Emmie.
We visited a beautiful area called Summer Palace. There is a gorgeous lake and it is a very tranquil and captivating setting. There were Chinese ladies dancing, and Chinese men playing music. There were people in paddle boats on the lake. Just a pleasant place.
We also visited a silk store and then drove to the site of the 2008 Olympics and ate at a nearby restaurant. Again, traditional Chinese with a fish dish that was served head and all and looked like a blooming onion!
We ended the day by seeing a Chinese Acrobatic show. It was AWESOME!!! Their skills are unbelievable and I sat with my mouth open most of the time! We got back to our hotel around 9 this evening and we are exhausted!!! Only 5 hours or so of sleep in the last almost 48 hours makes for some crazy feeling people.
The city is HUGE!!!! There are people and skyscrapers everywhere you look! And lots of cars, bicycles and scooters. The weather was very hot today- over 90 degrees. The air is also very "cloudy". Many people masks, and even more carry umbrellas.
Tomorrow we will go to a church service and visit The Great Wall of China. Then we will prepare to leave Monday morning for Nanning, where we will meet Emmie!! My stomach is already doing flip flops thinking about how exciting it will be. There is one other family that will be going to the province with us. They are also adopting a daughter.
Well, that is all for today. Thanks for all the prayers, and keep them coming.