After the long day of travel, Amy and I crashed in our hotel. We both fell asleep pretty easily. Some people really struggle with jet lag...neither of us did. I did wake up about 2 that first night and skype with my mom, but then I went right back to sleep. The bed, even though it was akin to a concrete slab, slept quite well!
The next morning, we met up with all of our travel partners at the breakfast buffet. I was quite amazed that the buffet included baked beans...right next to the eggs. YUM!
Within the former palace which housed the emperors and their families, everything is in multiples of 9.
The corners of the buildings had these little animals on them. The closer to the center you got, the fewer animals. I was amazed at the oppulance...this was built in the 1400's. Amazing!
In the garden, there was a "massaging walk." I was too chicken to take off my shoes and walk on it, but Amy did.
(sorry these pics are sideways, for some reason, I cannot change them from this disc)
The place was HUGE! Stairs - ups and downs everywhere!
There was a lot of walking that day. I remember wanting so badly to really take it all in, but being so distracted by the thought that I was about to hold my baby.
The next day, we visited the Living Hope Training Center near Beijing. I was so glad to see these precious children. I had met some of them just a couple of months earlier when they were on a tour in our area. Their home was humble, but very family oriented. The children are very well cared for there and they were such gracious hosts.
They sang for us...beautiful...heart melting...
The older children danced for us. This picture is me with one of the angels. When I met her in America, I couldn't help but think that she looked like what I imagine Emma will look like when she gets older.
They were eager to show us their rooms and their special things. Many smiles around...I think they like having company!
From there, we traveled to the Great Wall. As we neared the area, you could see it snaking across the mountian tops. Amazing to think that parts of this wall have been standing since Jesus' time!
We decided to ride a gondola car to the top of the mountain and then walk down. Funny thing was, there was as much walking up as there was wlaking down! It was no "easy" walk!
Parts were very steep and I felt as if I needed to slant myself to stay upright!
It's funny that they all want to have their picture made with Americans.
My eyes were always drawn to the children...wondering how big Emma would be...longing to know what she would feel like in my arms...
At the bottom of the hill is a sign stating that "You are not a hero until you have conquered the Great Wall." I THINK this is that sign, but don't quote me! ;)
We buzzed the bird's nest from the Olympics. We didn't get to stop, but we at least got to see it.
For dinner, we had Beijing's famous Peking Duck! Amy and I really wanted a picture of the full duck - memories of the movie "A Christmas Story" which is a Barnett Christmas tradition running through our minds. This is the best we could do!
Our guide Lisa, taught us how to make the duck wraps. You start with a little sauce...add some cucumber strips and a few pieces of duck and there you have it!
It really wasn't bad. Not great, but I can say I ate it!
It was another very full, very tiring day and it felt great to get back to our hotel room.
This was the hair dryer. Yeah...it didn't work that great. Good thing I don't have a lot of hair!
I knew that when we awoke the next morning, we would be boarding a plane for Xi'an...my daughter's city. Oh so close!