Sunday, January 8, 2012

Beijing Photo Dump!

I can't believe I never blogged about our trip to Beijing!  We went the first weekend in September for 4 days.  It was a whirlwind trip, there is SO MUCH to see and do, we were going non-stop from the minute we landed.  I had a fabulous time and would love to go back again, we didn't see even 1/4 of what I wanted to see.

The kids, however, were less than impressed.  They've become very spoiled travelers and aren't much interested in "adventure".  Beijing is a pretty dirty city, you can't drink the water, the public toilets don't provide toilet paper, and you can't flush TP, you just toss it in a garbage can next to the toilet. Really, really gross. Pretty disgusting for even the hardiest of travelers, absolutely unacceptable for my soft lot.  Poor Meg has a bit of an OCD issue and doesn't deal well with "germs" so she was particularly uncomfortable for most of the trip. The vendors at all the different tourist spots and markets are also very aggressive, getting right in your face shouting about their "special deals" and in some instances physically grabbing you by the arm and dragging you to their stalls.  This really freaked Meg out and on our second trip to the Silk Market, she opted to stay behind at the hotel because she just couldn't handle the hawkers.  With her blonde hair, she really stood out and attracted a lot of attention.  None of it was negative, people were genuinely in awe and we were stopped often and asked to pose for pix, Meg most of all and even Ethan a few times.  The spotlight is not something Megan is at all comfortable with, so again, she was far, far outside of her comfort zone most of the time, but to her credit, she didn't complain at all and really tried to enjoy the trip for the once-in-a-liftime opportunity that it was.  She was friendly to everyone who stopped her and smiled for pix like a pro.  All that aside, it was an awesome trip for me.  I did TONS o' shopping and there's just so, so much to see!

Anyway, here are some of the best pix:

The first of many "Picture please!" moments for Meg

 At our first stop, the Summer Palace

Stopping for break at the Summer Palace

In the palace, heading up to the roof tower

View of Kunming Lake from the top of the palace

Ethan about to board the dragon boat for a ride across Kunming Lake
 Bird's Nest @ Olympic Park

Kid's Republic bookstore

Gabi and Ethan reading a story in the window nook at the bookstore

Our huge, completely awesome, dirt cheap hotel room at the Hilton Wafujing

At AMP mall, waiting for our table at Pizza Hut (over on the left).  It was an actual sit-down Pizza Hut restaurant, haven't been to one of those in YEARS!

Escargot on the Pizza Hut menu, cause what else would you order with your pizza?

One tiny part of the Wafujing Night Market

Snack time!  Scorpions, sea horses, lizards and locust.  A whole new kind of yakitori!

No caption needed.

Tiananmen Tower (entrance to the Forbidden City)

Another "Picture please!"

A testament to Meg's unease.  
They haven't held hands since Meg was 3!
You can see those grandma's in front turning around to look at Meg.  They stopped us and wanted to touch her hair, then they gave the kids some candy.

Tiananmen Square

 Heading up the Great Wall

Some parts were super steep

Ethan and his "I climbed the Great Wall" medal

Probably my favorite pic from the whole trip. Planking on the Great Wall!

After finding out the waterpark we been so excited about for WEEKS was closed, and it was our last day

The Water Cube (home of the waterpark FAIL) @ Olympic Park

After the Great Wall.  Just cute.


Tokyo Five said...

I think your kids sound very nice!

Did you try a "Sea Horse"? How does it taste?
I want to try one...especially this year---2012 is the "Year of the Dragon", and "Sea Horse" in Japanese is 「タツノオトシゴ」...which means, literally, "Dragon's Lost Child".

gaijinwife said...

awesome adventure even if it was a bit grotty. LOVE the pic of the girls jumping on the wall - how fricken cool is that!! And Ethan is just super adorable. Just showed hub pics of your kids and said that's where I'm staying in April. You know to remind the man who just got back from a night in Kumamoto when he said he was only in Beppu - that I don't lie :)

Bryn said...

Thanks T5. They can be pretty typical American brats, but they're good kids for the most part. I didn't try any of the stick snacks, too gross! The scorpions were still alive on the stick, when you bought one, they gave them a quick flash on the grill.

Bryn said...

GW - should I send Hub a pic of my underwear drawer to prove I really live here?

Robin Vistnes said...

Awesome pics! The planking encouraged some of my own planking in Nicaragua. I wanted to see some of you in China too!

Betty Welch said...

Bryn, I love the composition and the way you use natural light so well. I am jealous of your photography skills. Ethan is a handsome boy. Gabbi is tall. Her height doesn't come from our White family as most of us are short. I can't remember if Uncle Frank was tall or not. Meg looks like Leslie our cousin as well a Grandmaw White in her younger days (nose and mouth area. This is the first time, I think, that I have seen your children. Fabulous group.

Your cousin, Betty

Rebecca S said...

Fab pics! Sounds like a (mostly) great trip but I'm with Meg....after a childhood of camping (and I mean rustic!) I will NOT do without my amenities. And I'm sorry TP is not an amenity, it's a necessity. Gross :P

illahee said...

oh wow, your trip looks amaaaaaazing!