Monday, June 8, 2009

China...

Joe, Jordy, and I just got back from Beijing. We were there for four days total. Because we were short on time we decided to do a private tour. The tour because we were nervous about being in China and not speaking Chinese (most Koreans speak English around the base in S. Korea). The private tour because we didn't want to make other people suffer through our wonderful child's temper tantrums- something he has become quite good at these days.

When we got off the plane in Beijing, we were met with our tour guide who took us to a waiting van and we were off...we had hoped to the hotel to freshen up and rest a bit- but instead we launched into a full of touring right off the bat. This was bad news considering we had been up since 4AM and had already endured at least four of Jordy's temper tantrums. I was sweating buckets and couldn't find my deoderant- yummy!

We drove by the Olympic stadium- the bird's nest and the water cube. It was raining and we really didn't feel like touring, much less like stomping around in pouring rain to look at buildings.

Then we got out and went to Tieneman Square. Our tour guide told us all about the history, it was pretty amazing! We also went to the forbidden city on that day. Poor Joe and I were ready to drop dead by the end of day one. Of course when we got back to the room and tried to sleep, Jordan suddenly got a 15th wind and was ready to go! After Joe finally got him settled down, I tried to get on the internet.

Come to find out that none of our American or Korean plugs would work. My good friend Pat will be amazed to learn, that there is another type of outlet! I called down to the front desk to ask for a power converter. In ten minutes a beef burger was delivered to our door. So much for the English speaking staff!

The next day we went to the Great Wall. I expected to have great awe and admiration for this huge feat of human engineering. The wall at one time was a continuous structure. Really it was somewhat disappointing. We went to the Badaling section of the wall, and decided to go to the less crowded side- b/c it was also less steep.

I can't even imagine what the steep side was like, because our side was just awful. The steps were so steep that Jordy couldn't even attempt to climb them! Joe and I had a spat over him trying to climb. After I assured him that Jordan could at least go up with some assistance, Jordan fell and scraped his chin. Luckily I was there to keep Joe from seeing the blood on his chin. Surely if Joe saw the blood, the climb of the wall would be over!

Miraculously we made it up to the first guard tower. I had to carry Jordy the entire way. My legs are still sore 5 days later! Joe was terrified we were going to miss a step and plummet to our deaths. I kept seeing decrepit old women go up and down the steps and thought we could manage.

By the time we made it to the top, I was drenched in sweat. Joe was pissed that I was putting us in such peril. Jordan was mad I wouldn't let him walk on his own, also still bleeding from his chin.

At the guard tower we made it to, the view was incredible.

I am glad we went to the wall, but would recommend making sure you are wearing good shoes (I wore silly little black flats), and leave little ones at home!

The rest of the trip went well. My favorite part was the shopping at the markets. They are like giant swap meets. We got some good stuff for pretty cheap. Also I got a cheap watch, that stopped working 4 minutes after I set it! Oh well!

2 comments:

Kameron said...

Not that I'm glad your trips are hectic and stressful, but it helps me feel validated that nothing we try to do goes super smoothly with a toddler either!

Trent said...

Great pictures. I like the one on the wall. Tammy and I were trying to place the are where you took the picture. Was it to the left once you entered at Badaling? I don't remember that particular guard post. Cheers.