Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 7 - Summer Palace & Acrobat Show

I would have posted this earlier tonight, but after a long, sweaty day, I decided to take advantage of the nice big tub in our room. We discovered tonight that there's a TV screen that projects onto the bathroom mirror (so people can watch TV while taking a bath). Rich people are crazy...

In addition, I just finished blogging about today and realized that I somehow deleted my post...

So here I go again.

We had a slower start this morning, since we're completely on our own today without a tour guide. Peanut and I walked over to the nearest McDonald's to buy breakfast. It was my 1st experience ordering food without using spoken language. I pointed at pictures and used my fingers to express how many I wanted to order.

Peanut and me on the streets of Beijing.


After breakfast, the four of us embarked on a Beijing subway adventure. We squeezed our way into a train that was already full of people. We were like sardines. We took two different lines, and we were on the 2nd line for more than a dozen stops. The girls got tired of standing and decided to sit on the floor. 
I've been surprised by how much attention the girls have gotten from the locals. I've heard that blonde children receive the paparazzi treatment here in China. It hasn't been to that extreme for our girls, but almost everyone turns and stares at them wherever we go. I'm not sure if it's because they don't look so Asian to them or because they're not used to seeing two siblings close in age. 

We arrived at the Summer Palace. We must have taken a wrong turn, because what was supposed to be a 3-min walk ended up being a 15-min walk in the heat. Boy, was it HOT today. We were drenched by the time we reached the entrance.

Summer Palace - it's located on the outskirts of Beijing, and it's where the royal family spent their vacations to get away from the city. I've heard it's one of the most beautiful and serene places to visit while in Beijing. I believe this would have been true, if it wasn't for the extreme heat and MASSIVE amount of people there. It seemed more like a zoo than a quiet getaway place. Within 15 minutes of arriving there, we were ready to leave. After maneuvering our way through the crowds, in the heat, up and down the numerous hills, it was hard to find the "awe" of this place. We've heard completely opposite stories from other families, so please don't just take my word for it. 
People everywhere...
Girls still had fun climbing on rocks and hills
Peanut was my trooper again, as we had another day full of walking and climbing hills/stairs. Allan was also a trooper as he had to carry LB on his shoulders most of the day. I am now starting to pray that Siana will attach to me more than to Allan. Our two girls have been attaching themselves to Daddy (even more so than usual), I'm starting to feel a little left out.

On our way back to the hotel, we accidentally ran into a fancy mall. Inside their food court, we found many familiar western restaurants. We enjoyed a nice lunch there and some Dairy Queen ice cream. We rested at our hotel for about an hour. Then it was time to head to the acrobat show. We took a cab this time, and at the entrance of the acrobat show, we met two other families from our agency. All three of our families are here in Beijing for the same days, and we will all head to our child's province tomorrow. We will then meet again in Guangzhou in a week (that's where all adoptive families spend their 2nd week in China; it's where the U.S. Consulate is located). 

The acrobat show was simply amazing. There really are no words to describe it, so I will let some of the pictures speak for themselves (though even they don't give it justice). 

After the show, we took the subway back to the hotel.

Each of our girls had a small meltdown today. LittleBit asked when we are going home. I know that they're having fun, but they are also very worn out. I think we're all looking forward to having slower days once Siana joins us on Monday. We've been on the go every day; we are ready for some days of just hanging out at the hotel.

Tomorrow we fly to her province (it's about an hour flight). Monday is Gotcha Day. So very close. 

OK, after typing this twice (after my bath), I can hardly keep my eyes open. 

Good night, all. Or I guess it's "Have a great day" in your time zone :)

God is Gracious,
Maria

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