Well, we are TIRED! I am currently down on the floor in our hotel that has WiFi. The kids are all in bed and I'm sure Todd is close behind. I needed some time to check in here. I thank you all for your emails and posts here - it's nice to hear words from home! Last night, we were going to go out and get Hagen Daz icecream, then try and look for an electrical converter (side story - I bought 2 converters at Frys and we have managed to cause sparks and popping sounds with them - I think I got the wrong ones... We don't really need the converters for much - just the boys' DSes and our sound machine. For now the boys are living without their DSes and we are just using batteries in our sound machine,) we were and then we were going to stop by the little market to get more water and ramen for dinner. Deklan COULD NOT stay awake though! It was like someone flipped a switch on him. He feel asleep on the couch in the lobby while Todd was asking the staff a question...so Todd carried him and he wouldn't wake up. So, Todd ended up going back to the lobby and Trayton, Kallen and I got some things to eat and we all went up to our apartment. Deklan was so tired, I had to feed him... I've included a couple pictures of him sleepy below...
So, our day started at 7am where we met our driver for the day. He took us to the Great Wall. The drive there was educational and it was very interesting talking with him. We told him we were surprised by the variety of vehicles on the street and he told us that there is such variety because the cars are made in China - even if they are American brands. Yesterday when I said that the driving was pretty sane, well, I need to change that. It is SO funny! There is definitely a culture about it. Everyone seems to know what each other is going to do...there is a lot of honking! On the highway, you will see people just pulled over on the side of the road walking around, letting their children play on the side of the road while they wait for friends to meet up and then they caravan to wherever they are going... Really funny. It IS illegal, but people just do it anyway. Also, there seems to be a group of people that are above the law... people that drive illegally in other ways... our driver said that these people usually have "connections" perhaps they are government officials or their friend or a relative is an official. It's very bizarre. One observation I made while on our drive was that there are many trees - all very similar in size and they are planted perfectly - almost like an orchard... I'm guessing that they were planted before the olympics to "green things up" a bit???? Who knows though... O.K., so we made it to the Great Wall, and it was GREAT! It was simply spectacular!!! We started at the 6th tower and made our way to about the 12th tower. We took a cable car up to the 6th tower and then took a bobsled ride down the hill which was a TON of fun!!!! We had to cut our climb short as Kallen's throat has been hurting - not sure if he has a little cold or if it is just from the poor air quality. Once again, we were "pounced" upon to take pictures with people. People just LOVE the boys! Deklan and Trayton seem to be favored because they are smaller. They just think Deklan is the bomb! They are getting REALLY tired of all the attention however - it's wearing them out. One funny thing.... we ran into people from Granite Bay at the Great Wall! For those of you that don't know, Granite Bay is minutes from Roseville where we live. For those of you that know Roseville, the people we ran into are the owners of Sunrise Natural Foods. This man's son actually has another store called Sunrise Nutrition Centers on our side of town and they are actually sponsors for the triathlon club that Todd started! It is a VERY small world after all!!!! After the great wall, we went out to a nice lunch out in the country. It was the best meal we have had here. We had some eggplant/potato/vegetable dish, kale, a chicken dish for the boys and then rice. After lunch, we headed to the Olympic Stadium which was really fun to see. We went inside of the Water Cube. Once again, we felt like more of an attraction than the Olympic Stadium itself. We could never stand still for very long otherwise people would start asking us to pose. Inside the Water Cube is a really great water park. We wish we would have known about this as we would have brought our suits. After all of this, we were beat so we headed back to our apartment. For dinner, we went to Pizza Hut. Yep! NOTHING like our Pizza Huts at home. The pizzas had no sauce. There were many weird fishy topping options and practically every pizza had corn on it... But, the pizza did the trick and we were full. After dinner, it was back to the apartment for a little journaling for the boys, showers, and then bed for them...
Tomorrow is Gwyndolin's birthday and how I wish that we could have her for this day! It will be O.K. though. We fly to Nanchang tomorrow and we get Gwyndolin on Tuesday May 3rd - we can't wait!!!! We will meet up with the other family that is also with our agency and whos daughter is also at the same orphanage as Gwyndolin. We will also have our China Coordinator picking us up at the airport. It will be nice to kind of have someone in charge of us for a change. We've managed quite well here in Beijing on our own, but it will be nice to have someone "take care" of us for a while. O.K., I'm going to sign out here after I post a couple pictures... I need to go check the laundry and make sure the machine is doing its job right - I think I finally have it figured out! My goal is to go to Nanchang with all clean clothes...
Again, thank you for all of your posts and emails! We look forward to reading them everyday!
|Deklan asleep in the lobby.|
|When we got back to our room, he walked so fast to the bed.|
|A squatty potty. No biggy for me as we used these all the time in Korea. This is for the benefit of future China Travels. This was a gross one!|
|Deklan on the cable lift up to the Great Wall.|
|Kallen on the cable lift up to the Great Wall.|
|That is Trayton and Todd on the cable lift.|
|On our way up to the Great Wall. This picture was taken by the owners of Sunrise Natural Foods.|
|One of the vendors made us take a photo with these hats on - we humored him. Deklan looks like he is having fun though!|
|The boys walking the Great Wall|
|It was simply breath taking!|
|I'm so happy we were able to see this - it was simply spectacular!|
|The boys inside one of the guard towers.|
|The boys during one of their many "photo shoots."|
|The Great Wall|
|A darling little girl that was at the Great Wall with her family.|
|Trayton getting ready to go down the bobsled of the Great Wall|
|In front of the Water Cube.|
|The Birds Next|
|To the left - the pool where Michael Phelps won 8 gold metals!|
|Inside the Water Cube.|
|View out one of the windows of our apartment.|
|View out of one of the windows of our apartment.|
|View out the window of one of our windows|
|View from one of the windows of our apartment. That crane is in the process of building The Waldorf Astoria Beijing!|