Saturday, May 12, 2012

Beijing Day 3 (only 1 part this time : )

We met our guide in the lobby at 10.  As soon as we started to head outside you could tell that something important was going on b/c there was a bunch of people.  Of course the one thing in all the commotion that I zeroed in on was Mickey Mouse.  It turned out that it was a Bride and Groom arriving and Mickey was there as part of the festivities.  Candy said that in China they hold all of their weddings early in the morning.  Instead of rice or bubbles, they threw a boat load of confetti in the air, then Mickey handed the couple a bunch of balloons that they released together and watched float away.  It was actually very pretty and they looked so happy. Oh and Yes I did get my picture with Mickey Mouse : )

We then headed to the Lama Temple.  It really is amazing to see.  It was originally built in 1694.  This is still a practicing Buddhist temple.  Candy said that people come here often to pray for various things.  They burn incense and pray in different ways depending on what they are praying for.  The most popular days are the 1st and 15th of every month.  Let me tell you that if you have asthma this is not the place for you.  I got some great pictures, but we were practically the only people there that were not burning incense.  It totally kicked off my allergies and my eyes itched the rest of the day.  We spent the next hour or so just walking around and looking in shops.  We didn't buy anything, but it was a very pretty and a quiet area so it was nice.

After awhile we grabbed a cab to the Summer Palace.  Seriously!!  The forecast said rain today so where are the clouds and stinkin rain.  Needless to say it was sunny and hot!!  I have totally picked up on the whole using an umbrella as shade thing.  It seems like everyone over here uses their umbrellas on sunny days so I caved in to peer pressure and my bright yellow umbrella went up.  It didn't stop me from getting a sunburn though.  We had on SPF 50, but I forgot to reapply.  Anyway.  I am sad to say that I really didn't absorb much at the Summer Palace.  Frankly I was hot, tired and cranky. It is absolutely beautiful though.  There is alot of garden, a huge lake and we took a boat across to a big bridge that has over 500 dragons on it.  You can tell by my vague detail how spaced out I was.  Truthfully the highlight was towards the end where I saw this small group of girls (probably late teens) looking at me and giggling like girls that age do.  Eventually one worked up the courage to ask me for a picture which was fine.  Apparently that gave the other girls some courage b/c then I had to do pictures with every girl individually.  I also had Mark take a picture b/c I finally decided that I don't care if they take my picture, but then it works both ways and I can take theirs too : )  I tell you what, you would think that I was some 6 foot tall, tanned, buff and gorgeous dude with the way these girls were smiling and giggling over these pictures.  It is just funny b/c at home I am average and slightly chubby.  Here I am a ROCK STAR!!! I will always remember that my first experience with a squatty potty was at the Summer Palace.  I was so proud of myself.  Now I have used them several more times and am getting used to it.  I will tell you though that basically they are just disgusting!!!!

Here are some travel tips:  1) there is no such thing as a line in the potty.  It is whoever grabs that door and gets in there first.  Truthfully this can be said for anywhere.  When you are standing in line for something you should basically be a second skin to the person in front of you or someone will cut in (oftentimes by pushing).  This is not considered rude here, it's just the way it is.  2) Yes you do need to carry your own toilet paper with you.  I have actually just been carrying around the little kleenex packs and this works fine.  3) You need to carry hand sanitizer with you everywhere!!!  I have the little bottle and I also carry a few of the hand wipes as well, b/c sometimes you just need that extra clean feel that you don't get with the rub it in kind.

We then took a cab to KFC (Mark liked his chicken, but my sandwhich was totally gross) and then we saw the Acrobats show.  We originally were not going to see the show, but since we have been so tight with our money we figured we could splurge a little.  I love our guide b/c when she asked us if we wanted to go she told us all the ticket prices and then said that really she would recommend the cheap seats b/c even the cheap seats are really good.  She was so right!!  The theatre is pretty small so we were still center and only probably about 30 rows up.  It was a great show.  Short, but really entertaining.  It is amazing how they can do some of those things.  We bought a copper hand painted rabbit ornament to go on our Christmas Tree since Konnor was born in the year of the rabbit.  Mark and I try to get a Christmas ornament whenever we travel so that our Christmas tree is made up of memories.

After that we headed back on the subway to the hotel.  Yesterday and this morning Candy kept saying how much energy we have, but let me just tell you that she totally wore us out today.  We were both exhausted when we got back to the hotel.  We have packed all our luggage except bathroom stuff and the alarm is set for 530.  Tomorrow we are going to the Great Wall in the morning and then we catch a mid day flight to Guangzhou.  By the time we land in Guangzhou we will be less than 24 hours away from Gotcha Day!!!  I can't believe it is so close now.  Off to bed for us tonight.  We are hoping to borrow a cable in Guangzhou so we can upload pictures.  Keeping fingers crossed.  Have a good weekend.


Burning incense at the Lama Temple

Lama Temple

Boat made out of marble at the Summer Palace

Picture taking : )

Summer Palace from the boat

Acrobat show

Acrobat show

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