Happy Birthday Surae and Beijing Recap

First of all, Happy Birthday to our baby girl. She is one today! Tomorrow is our Gotcha Day. We fly out of Beijing around 10:40 in the morning and are scheduled to pick up Surae at 3:30 in the afternoon. I can’t believe the big day is almost here. Our time in Beijing has flown by, but we have really packed in lots in a short period of time.
Our first day here went by rather quickly. We went into the Houhai area which surrounds some beautiful lakes. People ride around on bikes and rickshaws there and life has a much slower pace. There we stumbled into a much less touristy version of the Quanjude Duck Restuarant which is a famous Peking Duck Restaurant in China. We were some of the only non Asians in the place and they were having some kind of a talent show there. It was incredible. People were singing, dancing, doing acrobatic routines, martial arts, and tons of other traditional Chinese arts. It was fantastic and added to the great ambience of our meal. The duck was mouth watering and that crispy skin truly melts in your mouth.
The next day we tackled the Forbidden City and Tian’anmen Square. The Forbidden City was beautiful and we got kind of lost wandering around in the great palace.
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At night, we returned to Houhai again and went for a rickshaw ride with this great driver. He showed us a really cool temple where a ceremony was taking place and rode us all around some of the back areas where the Chinese people were playing heated games of cards.
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After that, we ate dinner in a traditional Hakka restaurant called Kejia Cai. This was one of the best meals we ate so far, if not ever! The Hakka people are a minority group from Central China. Their food is so wonderful and different!
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On Friday, we took a 3 hour bus ride out to a less touristry area of the Great Wall at JinShanLing. We began a hike there and ended up at Simatai. It was about a 7 mile hike that consisted of a lot of steep uphill climbing up really primitive sections of the wall that have not been restored. The views here are absolutely incredible and I’m sure because of the difficulty of this hike, there were not that many people out there. We were able to get so many pictures without a soul in them which I didn’t think would be possible. Being on the Great Wall was truly a dream come true. It is as beautiful as it looks in pictures. When we arrived back home, we headed out for some sushi at Hatsune. Oh my gosh! How delicious. I was thinking about my my good friend and sushi partner Jill and wishing she could try some of this sushi- It was so yummy!
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Today, we went to the Panjiayuan Market and for a girl that loves markets, this market was hands down the best I’ve ever been to! I could have spent all day there, but we had to move on. It was filled with all kinds of cool Asian goods- paint brushes, jade jewelry, clothing, original art. What fun! Then, we headed to the Temple of Heaven and the Park there. The Park was again pulsing with Asian energy. People were all over singing and dancing. The Chinese are not afraid to sing and dance and I love that! We went to the Silk Market next and that was fun too. The Chinese love to bargain and Michael is getting pretty good at his bargaining skills. They might start at 220 Yuan for a shirt and he’ll talk them down to 20! He loves it and they think he’s funny. I feel too guilty to bargain though like I’m cheating them out of their money, but they really don’t seem to mind and applaud his skills at the end most of the time. Tonight we are off for more roast duck and tomorrow we are headed for Nanchang to finally meet our baby girl! We can’t wait!!

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4 Comments

  1. Cece Allison said,

    October 27, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Danielle,

    What an amazing adventure you guys are on! The photos are exceptional. Toni has been so intrigued with all that you are experiencing. She definitely has a lot of questions about the food and is very envious that she cannot try them as well. I told her that you would describe it in detail to her when you return. Tomorrow is the big day. Good luck! We have you in our prayers and are wishing you all a safe trip home. Again, the photos are unreal – WHAT A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY…and CULTURE!!

  2. Melanie said,

    October 28, 2007 at 1:28 am

    Awesome pictures! It is 9:30pm Saturday night so it is 9:30am Sunday your time. Isnt it neat that Jiangxi babies are given to their parents on the Lord’s day!
    The plane ride from Beijing to Nanchang will be your last time without your baby girl.
    We saw Graham…well should I say Frankenstein tonight and Pop Pop.
    WE CANNOT WAIT TO SEE PICS OF HER!!
    XOXO, The Wyricks

  3. Nana Lewis said,

    October 28, 2007 at 2:49 am

    The Food Network has nothing on you guys! HA! I’ve gained 5 lbs. just reading about your dinners! The Great Wall photos look spectacular!! I can’t wait to see you photos you must be taking. We saw Graham tonight with his PopPop at the Halloween party. He and all the cousins had a ball with the other kids eating dinner then searching for candy bags hidden outside. We cannot wait to hear from you guys and see Surae! So glad you’re having a great time and look forward to hearing from you. We love you all! Momma

  4. Aunt Sandra said,

    October 28, 2007 at 9:10 pm

    Michael good at bargaining? Like papaw Hyder like grandson. HA HA I have enjoyed following your trip on this blog so much. Can’t wait til you get home with that precious child. Safe travels and love to all of you. Sandra


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