Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Beijing Day 2

After a long fun filled day in Beijing on Friday I think we were toast once we got back to our hotel room!! Much needed sleep was had by all!!  We woke up Saturday morning tracked down our missing luggage and got the packed up as we were heading out that night to come to Guangzhou.  We wanted Saturday to be more of a relaxing non rushed day and it turned out to be just that.  We had another amazing breakfast - side note - all breakfast here in China is super good!!  After breakfast we met our friendly tour guide Eric and headed out to the city center.  It was much more crowded on the streets of Beijing with it being the weekend.  Also Eric said that the months of May and October are the busiest months of the year in China as far as tourism is concerned.  For example that day it was an hour wait just to get a ticket to the Forbidden City.  Thankfully that was not on our agenda as we had done it last year and didn't think the kids were old enough to enjoy that tour right now.  We did stop at Tienanmen square and walk around to the outside of the Forbidden City.  It was neat for Nathan to be able to see in person some of the history that he had learned during our homeschooling year.  Chinese people really know their history- the facts they recall is pretty incredible.  The sad part to me is that they don't know all of their history.  They learn about what happened in the square and things about the revolution from people like us - foreigners.  Nathan was pretty fascinated by seeing all the military all over the place in the sqaure and he enjoyed seeing the mote around the Forbidden City.  After stopping at the city center we headed out to the Hutong Village and took a tour in rickshaws around this old old city in Beijing.  We even got to go in house.  In this village in these homes there is no bathroom.  You have to use the public restroom.  I cannot even fathom living that way - but they are totally accustomed to it - and I am sure they would think our way of living to be quite different as well.  After our Hutong tour we returned to the hotel to get ALL of our luggage and grab some lunch.  At this point Nathan was ready for some American food so we hit the trusty Mcdonalds.  Can we say yum - sort of.  Nathan thought it tasted like home - so I was glad for him.  After eating we then headed out to the market.  This is the place where all the foreigners go to bargain for lots of different things - mainly pearls and knock off purses, watches, and shoes.  If there is one thing I do well its drive a hard bargain.  This is always a fun part of the trip for me as when I say just the few things I know in Chinese the market people get all surprised and it makes for great conversation.  And let me just say I am a better bargainer than my husband :-)  and I always walk away wondering if I could have bargained them down farther.  We probably disappointed so many as we didn't buy much - after all its fake - but they do crack me up trying to tell me its not!!  We did visit our friends pearl market and had a good time there.  We picked out some pearls to give to Abbie on her wedding day.  Linnea got a little pair of earrings and Nathan made as strand of pearls to give to his future wife one day.  After our market experience we sat down at a starbucks as we waited for our guide to come back and pick us up.  I am so glad we did this - as Nathan sat down and being the social butterfly he is - he started speaking to the lady sitting next to him and she was an American.  Her and her husband were there visiting friends they actually are working in Korea.  And the friends they were meeting volunteer at Maria's Big House of Hope - that is the orphanage christian songwriter/singer  Steven Curtis Chapman sponsors.  They were going there to volunteer over the weekend!!  How kind of God to give us this sweet experience.  They asked if they could take our picture and pray for us as we were in China. I LOVE how God is in all the details.  So gracious to hear a familiar language and to speak with believers who have a heart for the orphan!!  Makes my heart joyful!!

After all this we headed back to the Airport to say goodbye to Beijing and hello to Guangzhou.  Here are a few pics from our Saturday in Beijing.  Enjoy!!

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