On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to travel to the Great Wall of China. There is a great history to this wall, and if it weren't already 10:31 p.m. here and if I wasn't the only one still up, I might give you all a history lesson. However, considering all of the above circumstances, you'll just have to go read about it for yourself. :)
We visited the Wall of China (as Kayleigh called it) two years ago. At that time, we visited a relatively busy part of the wall (Badaling, I think), and we climbed a good bit of it. We were there BEFORE picking up Kayleigh. It was extremely hot and humid. We were pouring buckets of sweat.
This time, it was very cold. I don't know the exact temperature, but when you factor in the wind, it was pretty darn cold. We also had Kayleigh and Zoe to contend with. I had wrapped Zoe up as much as possible and had her in the carrier, but I still spent a good bit of time worrying that she was cold. This time we visited the Mutiayu section of the wall. We were able to take a cable car up to the higher portion of the wall and walk around as much or as little as we wanted. Because of two littles this time, we didn't go very far, although Noah ran (yes, I said ran) further to get some more pictures and just to be able to say that he had gone to some of the further towers.
We took the cable car down and bought a few souvenirs from one of the many vendors lining the walk up to the cable car, and we stopped in the tea room on our way out and bought a few more things. We told our guide that we really wanted to eat Chinese food for lunch instead of American. I think our guides thought we only wanted to eat American, so they kept offering that. We at least wanted to try some of the local fare. We stopped at a restaurant not too far from the wall. From the way it looked on the outside, most of us never would have stopped if we had passed such a place in the states, but we trusted our guide knew what she was doing. Once we walked in the door, it was like walking into a garden. We were shown to a nearby table and our guide helped us order dishes that we thought we would all enjoy. We tried the fried rice - I can't even begin to explain how good it was. Nothing I have tasted in America even comes close. We also had steamed broccoli with some kind of butter sauce and a little bit of seasoning. We could have eaten another plate of that. Even Noah and Marissa thought it was good. Our main dish was sweet and sour pork. It was very good. We had to order two dishes of that to feed us all.
After filling out tummies, we drove back to the hotel.
A little about our hotel in Beijing (other than the fact that Internet was not very good). We stayed in the one handicapped room the hotel had. It was the only room that could accommodate all 6 of us. It was a nice enough room, but did have its challenges. We were mostly on our own for dinner, so most nights, Noah and Jeff bundled up (did I say it was cold?) and headed down to the shopping center/mall, which was about a 5 block trek - and they aren't little blocks. They would go get whatever we had decided was the meal of the evening - Pizza Hut, KFC, or McDonald's- and try to haul it back before it got totally cold. They would sometimes pick up snacks for the market as well.
Because we were all in one big room, it was difficult to do anything other than go to bed pretty much about the same time the little went to bed. Since we were usually exhausted, that worked out pretty well most nights.
So, I'm done with Wednesday, on to Thursday ..... only a few days behind. :)
Again, having problems loading pictures into this post, so will put them in a separate post.