Friday, May 4, 2012

Pictures from Today, our Friday May 4th

Today started with a bang, literally.  The power cord plugging in the warmers at breakfast exploded and started a mini fire.  Don't worry, it didn't interrupt breakfast, everyone just went around it to grab their food.  It also thankfully did not spread.

Then we went to the grocery store.  
We bought water and coke.
Huckleberry loved it. So many different fruits he had never seen, but his favorite thing was the dried dandelions in the tea section.
My favorite part was the telephone booths every block or so.  If we still had them in the United States I wouldn't have had to cave and get a cell phone a few months ago.
I feel pretty conspicuous with my giant camera around my neck, but Oak and Huckleberry blended right in.
After the grocery we successfully talked to the kids on facetime.  SnapDragon wanted us to show him the whole room with the camera and asked us to stop so he could see the picture on the wall better.  We mostly saw him and the top of Sunflower's hair...she didn't quite get the concept of keeping her face in view.  They both seemed pretty excited to be at our house with Aunt Hannah.

Then we did meet with the other families in our travel group and we went to the bank to wire money.  Well, actually we met them at the bank since they left without us.  (Our China rep counted 6 families and left...but there were apparently 7 families going.  But the bank was on our little map and we found it on our own.  She never realized she'd left us behind.)

  It was a long and hot time (if the bank had air conditioning it was set to 85 F) but we are relieved to be done with that now.  We also got to know our travel mates quite a bit better in that time.  I enjoyed hearing many of their stories on how they came to this moment in time about to meet their new child.  So very exciting!
I was politely asked not to take pictures in the bank, but I snapped this one before it was translated (others took pictures with their cells, but no one had noticed that).  You can pretty much assume this is what Huckleberry is doing during all of our appointments in the next few weeks.

Then we just had enough time for lunch before heading out to the acrobat show so we headed to the one Chinese restaurant listed on the map our agency gave us.  Many, many fast food places were listed too.
Our First Pot of Tea in China...kind of a Jasmine Flavor
Oak trying out his character translation app on his iPod.  Seemed to match what the menu said.

The pork dish we ordered had really good sticky rolls with it and it all tasted a bit like cinnamon.  The texture was not something I'd had before, but it tasted great.  So did the walnut salad and the kung pao chicken (though that was a bit spicy for me.)
 But my favorite dish we ordered were the dumpling peking style.  I'm really not sure what was in them...seemed like maybe egg and green onions?...whatever it was it was really good, and a whole giant platter for $6 US.  You can probably find them for less, but our guide said, "we'd rather save your health than your money!"
In the restaurant; It was a very nice, beautiful restaurant.

Standing outside the restaurant before our walk back to meet our group.
Then we took the nice air-conditioned cushy bus to the theater for the acrobat show.  It was really pretty amazing.  There was no flash photography and we were pretty far in the back, but I do have some photos to share.
See!  I'm in China, too!
He just kept adding chair after chair. 

The woman next to me was getting pretty was I.

But he was pretty amazing and did NOT fall!

This was one of my favorite acts.  They danced around and were thrown and lifted high and dropped...all with this stack of bowls never falling.  Sometimes they held the stack of bowls with their feet, but it was incredible.  All the acts were great.

Can you imagine the upper body strength and coordination!

I'm not sure if I can explain this act, but it was impressive.  The wheels spun individually and together in a circle.  This guy walked on the outside and at one point was blindfolded and at another point he jumped rope!
Maybe this picture give you a little better idea of what was happening.

This act started with one person riding a motorcycle in a circle in a giant ball.  Then they added one motorcycle after another.  Until at this point there are 5 going in a ring and two are at the bottom waiting to join them at just the right moment.

The 7 motorcyclists and the wire ball they were riding around in!
The costumes for the final bow were absolutely gorgeous!
Then we came back, ate a little bit for dinner, and fidgetted with internet for quite some time.  For the moment it is up and I can post.  Tomorrow we get to see the Great Wall of China.  I am hoping I'll fit in a little better taking pictures at an actual tourist attraction.

So I don't expect to be able to give all the boring details about every day, or even have time to sort and upload pictures each day, but today it worked out.  And I'm glad because I wanted to remember every moment of this trip.


Andrea Dawn said...

You have some great shots here, Nora. Enjoying the journey with you.

Sarah said...

So excited that you are finally in China! It's funny that your agency only trusts one restaurant in Beijing. We ate at so many places and I never, ever got sick in China except at the Hard Rock Cafe. Now India...that's a totally different story!!

Can't wait to "meet" your new little treasure.

No Greater Love said... it love it love it. This is the best way to end my day...reading your blog. And yes, I know it's only 6:30 my time...but I'm pooped and crawling in bed. :) But I am soooooo happy to see a post from you with pictures. Wooohooo. And I think it's so funny Sarah already read it, because with every single picture I looked at, I kept thinking, "I've got to tell Sarah to come look." But, hah, she already had. :)

Abby Knapp said...

I love the pictures...the one of them carrying the water was so funny! They fit right in! I am so happy you guys are having a good time...can't wait to see your pictures from the great wall! The show looked awesome...

Catherine said...

Thank you so much for sharing your time with us! It's great to read and brings back so many wonderful memories!

One tip I offer parent's on their China trip is to take a video of yourself each night sharing as many of the details of the day that you can remember. You can capture so much in a 5-10 minute video that you probably won't share here but will be priceless for yourself when you return home. There are so many details to remember and sadly they'll fade but a video can capture so much!

Hope you had a great time at the Great Wall!!

Anonymous said...

What was the App that Oak was using to translate the characters? We will be traveling sometime in June or July and having something like that with us would certainly make me feel more comfortable.