Thursday, March 27, 2008

Now We Know They Call It The Forbidden City

We had a very full day - After a delcious breakfast at the hotel (yes, it is really that good) we went to the Forbidden City - Home of all the emporers of China from the time it was built in the 1400's until the last emperor in 1925 (remember that movie?) It is an amazing structure which has remained largely intact until today when my kids came to visit. Our guide complimented us on how fast Claire could run away from us in an attempt to escape. Wesley then proceeded to start pulling up the cobblestones which were loose from the courtyard in the city. And to think that courtyard has been there for 600 years, largely intact, until Wesley came. I am so proud of my little archealogist - if only China was as proud. We left there and went to Jianshen Park - This is the wrong spelling - but I am to tired to find the right one. And really, how many of you will know the difference anyway! The kids had a great time running up about 4000 stairs to the top - which had a spectacular view of the Forbiddden City and Beijing. The rest of us did not die or have any sort of stroke during the hike - so that was good - In my opinion this is really a not to be missed park - The views were well worth the hike. We ate lunch at a Chinese restaurant which didn't even give us chopsticks - It was good - but a little weird! We then went to Behai park - also very beautiful with step and a good view and a cool Tibetan buddhist temple at the top. All the trees are blooming here and everything is just starting to turn green - so it was very pretty! We also visited a pearl market on the way home and the kids bought some trinkets - silly me - they were spending their own money that they got doing chores - I didn't think and didn't get Benjamin anything - He was busy entertaining the staff and didn't act like he wanted anything - He started crying in the van when he didn't get anything. Luckily our guide pulled out a bracelet he happened to have and that made Benjamin very happy. I will try to remember to buy something for everyone next time - even if they don't look like they want anything! Mom and I went to Walmart after we got back to the hotel - We took a taxi all by ourselves - so brave of us! Dinner later was hot pot - which was fun - The kids were then immediately ready for bed and so am I after I get this written. About Benjamin - he seems to like/bond with Kendell more than me so far (Claire is glad about that and would not have it any other way) He is a show off and likes to talk a lot to everyone where we go - We are a little worried about what he is saying! He will stay with us and hold hands. He will usually not answer us when we try to say something to him in Chinese (probably our problem, not his) He understands some things already like - go brush your teeth, go to the bathroom/bed. I don't feel he is attached much yet - but does tell people we are his mama and baba and gets along great with his ge ge, jie jie, and mei mei - as he calls them. They are already starting to fight about toys! Enough for now - I must go to sleep before we scale the Great Wall in 40 degree rain tomorrow (jealous, aren't you?). Good night from Beijing.

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