Friday, May 20, 2011

Touring Beijing- Day 1

We started off the day at the Jade Factory. Carla and I both picked up a jade bangle bracelet. I also got a couple things for Mia for birthdays when she's older. But I think we both got caught up in the "this is our first day in China" excitement and may have spent too much. We'll see later in the trip if I find the same things for way cheaper. Then I'll be aggravated with myself.

After that we went to the Ming Tombs. I'm fascinated with the history of China. I especially love all the attention to detail. Everything has a meaning whether it has to do with numerology, feng shui, fire, water, the heavens, etc.
The Yongle Emperor of China whose tomb we visited.
I thought this was breathtaking. It's a headpiece worn by the empress.
Our guide is wonderful! Although we were disappointed that no one else wanted to pre-trip it's actually turned out to be great. We have more flexibility in our schedule and Jacky has more time to spend with us and just focus on the stories instead of herding us onto the next thing. We're learning so much about China, the culture, the history. I'm absolutely loving it.

Then we stopped at a cloisonne factory. I always thought these were porcelain. But they're not. They're metal.
Although it was beautiful..... most of it was priced more than I wanted to spend.We saw things more than $10,000 USD.
But I made an exception for this guy, of course.
After a just mediocre lunch, we headed for the Great Wall of China. I've been dreaming of visiting here since I started the adoption. I was absolutely awe struck to finally be standing there. Our guide took us to the section with the cable cars. It was a little scary but we made it up much higher without having to exert any effort.

But the no effort didn't last long. The stairs were steep and uneven. It was quite a work out getting up and down. The crazy thing was.... we saw women wearing high heeled shoes!

We had a few people stop to take photos with us. I don't know if it was the novelty of seeing Americans (cuz we saw very few) or my sister, the natural redhead. But we talked these random Chinese people into doing the OH-IO after we posed with them. It was hysterical. They spoke just a little English but we managed to communicate and had a blast.
This one's for my co-workers. It's "mini Krista" who normally sits on my desk at work. She's on vacation with us. LOL!

How random is this? We found other Ohioans  at the Wall! These are grad students from Kent State who are over here teaching kindergarden English.
After the Great Wall, we gave our legs a rest, hopped in the car and headed to the Bird's Nest for a photo op.
Next up was a tea ceremony.

Then another mediocre dinner. These shrimp were staring at us with their beady little eyes. Which made it really hard for Carla and I to eat them.
There were Chinese dancers during dinner.
Because we didn't eat much today we were still hungry when Jacky dropped us off this evening so we grabbed some munchies from the store. Look familiar? The chips are green cucumber and sizzled bbq. Interesting flavors but not bad. We skipped the tomato flavored but may get more adventurous later and give them a try.
It's been a long day. We're both exhausted ...but happy. Very happy. We'll write more later. Right now the rock hard bed is calling.


Mom aka Grandma said...

I love all the pics, looks like you guys are having a blast. Never really thought about it but I guess Carla is a bit of a novelty with her red hair! Especially love the mini-Krista pic. Griffey says HI! Keep up the pics, I love 'em!

Mom aka Grandma said...

Forgot to ask.....what flavor are the potato chips?

wzgirl said...

When you get to GZ, Krista - look for the Shrimp Pringles! They are PINK! So happy to see you in China! xoxoxo

SJF said...

I still want to try Pringles Grilled Shrimp flavored chips. Have to buy them online because they only sell them in Asia.

La-La-Liene said...

What a lovely post. From Lane's experience in China a few years ago to adopt Emi red hair is a novelty. One of the families in our travel group had a daughter with bright red hair and the Chinese people were always stopping her to take her picture or have their picture taken with her. The penguin is super cute. FYI from Lane's experience, a lot of meat/seafood will come with head still on or bones. Glad you found some "American" junk food. Can't wait to see more!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Glad you have been having an awesome time so far... hugs...

Rhonda said...

OMG, the OHIO thing is hilarious!

Catherine said...

Red hair is the draw. Norma faced the same thing when we were there. sure packed a lot into your first day! Did you eat lunch at the cloisonne factory? Uh oh, if you did and that one was mediocre for you you're in for a shock. We LOVED that meal and to this day my dad still talks about it.

You're well into day 2 now. Excited to hear about it too!

Debbie Z. said...

Great pics! thanks for sharing, keep them coming! LOVED the Ohio pic!

Laurie said...

Wow...that was all in one day!

Frame-worthy pic of you and Carla on the Great Wall.

The tomato Lays chips are the best! I wish I had some now. Not to be confused with the chicken and tomato ones;) Many of the American products you find are slightly different. You must try the Sn!ckers bars, they are so much better than here.

Aren't the beds crazy? I told my friends it's exactly like sleeping on ceramic tile.

Keep having an awesome time and sharing!

Lindsay said...

lol - loved seeing Mini Krista on the job :)

Mom aka Grandma said...

Please bring home some shrimp Pringle's! I would love to see those!

Kayce said...

Loving this post and I'm going to be so anxiously awaiting each one here after!! Love that penguin!!

Anonymous said...

the OHIO was I think you have the rest of us dreaming! miss you! Dominique

Donna said...

Fun! I'm pretty sure Jackie was our guide in Beijing too. :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your link to SAC, love to follow along on your journey. All the photos make me wish to be back in china soooo much, and would love even more to be coming back for a sister for my daughter! All the best in the next few very special days! Best wishes, Helen (and Lily Jing, aged 4 from Guangdong) in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Anonymous said...

Alicia in DC said...

Really enjoyed sharing your tourist trip around Beijing. Brought back wonderful memories of my trip there with Mom and Great Aunt Alice in 1997. Now that you and Carla have been there, that's 5 members of the family who've stood on the Great Wall. Who would ever have imagined that?!

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