Saturday, May 21, 2011

Touring Beijing- Day 2

Let me just say that I'm having an absolutely fabulous time! The trip has been amazing so far. We've been blessed with 2 days of gorgeous weather. Temps in the 70's by mid-afternoon, sunny and breezy. Not too hot. Not too cold. Perfect. I'd heard the pollution and smog were bad in China. Either we've been really lucky or that's an exaggeration because it's been absolutely clear and beautiful the last 2 days.

Our guide is taking great care of us. We just show up in the lobby every morning after breakfast and he wisks us away to all the sights. No planning on our part. He and our driver, Mr Sun, (pronounced Soon) open the car doors for us like perfect gentleman, drop us at the gates with no walking, they have water waiting for us when we're thirsty. We don't even stand in line for admission tickets to these things. Jacky does that. I couldn't have asked for a better way to see Beijing and just relax the last few days before my life takes a drastic (but happy) change.

Today we started off at the Forbidden City. It was stunning. I love that we have Jacky all to ourselves because it's given us a great opportunity to learn more about China. He's so knowledgeable. I'm having so much fun listening to his stories.     

The place is so big. It was crazy how many people were there today. But then we'd go to a different section and be the only people in the room. Everything was so breathtaking. The history, the culture, the beauty, knowing the emperors and empress walked these same places hundreds of years ago... amazing!

Just another thing I had to stop, stand in awe of and take it all in. That's happened a lot since we arrived. All these places I've seen other people visit. But standing here just seems unreal at times. I can't even describe how happy I've been since we got here. I'm excited to finally see Mia. But I'm at peace knowing she's close. It's helping me keep my perspective and stay in the moment. I'm so grateful to have had this time in China before Mia Day. 
Carla and I are fascinated by the fashions we've seen. I can't believe how many women at the Great Wall and again today had on heels! As you can see from our pics, Carla and I are all about the comfort. So get used to seeing the ball hat. It may appear in a lot of my China pics. LOL!
After the Forbidden City, we went to the Temple of Heaven. It would take me far too long to try to explain what these places are so I've decided to start including links for anyone who wants more info. It truly is fascinating stuff. 

We thought this sign was funny. Jacky had to explain what some of them were.
There's a large park located here. Since it was Saturday it was full of people. In this large square were probably a hundred people dancing. Young and old. All different types of dancing, too. I saw a waltz, something that looked like the 50's sock hop stuff, some more modern just shake your booty kind of stuff. We even saw some belly dancing. Seriously. It was something to see.

After the Temple, we headed out to a restaurant for a Peking Duck lunch.
We called them our little duck burritos and they were FAB-U-LOUS! Made up for that mediocre lunch yesterday.
A server in the restaurant in traditional costume.
After lunch we hit the Summer Palace.

It was another indescribably beautiful place. With the perfect weather adding to the experience I could totally understand why the empress enjoyed spending time here.
We took a dragon boat across the lake. It was really nice to see the palace from the water.
The Marble Boat inside the Summer Palace.

I hope I always remember how fabulously happy I was strolling the long corridor inside the Summer Palace. I was eating a mango popsicle with my sister on an absolutely gorgeous sunny day. Just days before becoming a mother. With China all around me. Hearing the music, the conversations of the people, the sights, the sounds.
We also squeezed in a couple quick stops at the silk market and the pearl market. My wallet is a little lighter again today. But I got Mia two very important things. A blue silk handkerchief I plan to carry on "Gotcha Day" and a pearl bracelet. Both will be gifts I give to her on her wedding day (if my girl decides to marry, that is....). The handkerchief will be her "something old" and "something blue".  The pearls her "something new".
I realize I'm in a total state of pre-Mia bliss. But I really do love it here. Now I understand why so many say they left part of their heart in China. Because part of mine will be staying, too.
Today was amazing. I wonder what tomorrow has in store.


Anonymous said...

I am enjoying reading your blogs and it brings back so many memories of trip to bring home my daughter Kate back in 2006. My sister also traveled with me and we both stood in awe of the history. It amazed us both to try and grasp the ancient history in China. Enjoy these days, the anticipation of meeting Mia is there, just below the surface. Soon that little one will be snuggled up against you and you will be in heaven.

Susan and Kate (b: 7/15/03 a: 9/18/06)
Tampa FL

Donna said...

What an awesome post. I've walked in your shoes and I'm sitting here now with my daughter on my lap with tears in my eyes reading your description of the beauty of China. I'm so glad you are thoroughly enjoying your experience. There were many times that I just stopped to take it all in not believing I was actually there.

~Kristen said...

The happiness in your post just beams!! Im so glad you are having such a wonderful time in Mia's homeland. Im loving your pictures!!

Selkie Mom said...

Amazing trip, I want to go someday. Thank you for sharing it.

Susan said...

So happy you are savoring every second. In a week or so when you most likely will become anxious to get home w/ your precious new daughter, remember these moments don't last long and cherish every second in China! I'm enjoying a virtual trip back via your journal!! Xie Xie :)

The H Family said...

Oh Krista - I LOVE you! I love reading your posts! The joy I can "hear" in your posts is just lovely! I'm so happy you are feeling that "calm" feeling right now and are enjoying the beauty of China. I can't wait to see your beautiful Mia in your arms. I'll be right here following along - Gwyndolin is too - she's eating Puffs as I read your blog... :-)
Keely (Ziggy from RQ)

K said...

I'd love to be back in China! I think it's more than Mia bliss. I've been home for 2 months now and I still miss China a lot. I loved it there! Thank you for posting each day; I'm enjoying your adventure.

Jannine said...

Krista--I am also a single mom; I went to China in October to get my daughter. Like you, I went to Beijing before meeting up with my travel group. My mom and I did almost all of the same things you are doing and your travel guide and driver may be from the same company we used. Your posts remind me so much of my own experience; I loved the entire China experience. Congratulations; you are now so close to holding your daughter for the first time after years of waiting. I will be watching anxiously and cheering for you from 7000 miles away!

Kayce said...

China is an amazing place! I am loving your posts so much as it just reminds me of my own time there and fills me with that awe China always brings me. You will never forget these days before Mia. :)

Traci said...

I already wrote this out once (on my phone while in San Diego) but it's NOT here!!

First, this feeling will never leave you. It is the number one greatest memory that will ever be in my mind. It surpasses the birth of my children, but I attribute that to me being fully in the moment with Ju and not drugged at all (c-sections for me.) From the time we took off in Dayton until a few days after receiving Jaden, we were on a high like I've never experienced. I'll never forget it.

Eventually we did come down off of that high, of course, but it was still amazing and memorable.

Second, I must give this advice. On the morning of your adoption you MUST not wear your hat. I took my shower, dressed, brushed my teeth, thankfully I put on make up, and then I slapped a hat over my head. Off we went to the office for our adoption. Everything was going fine until they said, "Maam, you must take off your hat for your family adoption photo." "WHAT?!?!" No I wasn't going to take off my hat but they insisted and now we have, as part of Ju's permanent record, an adoption record with a soaked head Mom with hat head. :( Please, Krista, hear my plea......don't wear a hat on that day in case that same rule applies to you.

I have now done my duty and must now retire to my bed. Good Night from Mia's home.....Dayton, Ohio!!!

So excited for you!!


kgilmore said...

I love watching your journey. What precious memories! Savor it all. Take in all the sights and sounds! I can't wait to see you with Mia!!!

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