Sunday, October 29, 2006

News Alert - Split Pant siting in Wuhan...details to follow.

Let's try this again...I tried to post once before and blogger would not cooperate - so I apologize for not getting any info to those who are anxiously waiting.

First I have to start with a story from Wuhan where we are currently residing in the White Rose Hotel. We decided to be extra daring and extravagant our last night without Grace, and eat at McDonald's. It was quite an experience. First of all it was the busiest McDonald's I've ever been to and it was two levels. We ordered by pointing to a menu. It pretty much tasted like McDonalds and everything was going along fine. Until I noticed another couple at a table across from us with their little boy in split pants. If you don’t know what split pants are, just take them literally – pants with a split right down the middle. Anyway, this little boy had on split pants and you could see his little behind, among other things, just hanging out. So, no big deal – you see split pants everywhere. Until the next minute when they sat their darling little boy down on the table in his split pants! So that his little bottom was on the table! Good thing we had already eaten and had not let our food touch the table – yuck! We got a good laugh from that. But shouldn’t there be some unwritten rule about not setting your kid down on the table if he’s wearing split pants??!!

Now on to the more important but not as funny stuff. We started our trip with a 4 ½ hour delay in the airport in Chicago. Needless to say, we could now give guided tours of O’Hare including the location of all the good restaurants! We finally arrived in Beijing around 7:30 at night and got to our hotel (the Swissotel) at 9p.m. We were exhausted and carefully got into our very hard twin beds to get some much needed sleep. Oh yea, the flight was pretty uneventful – cramped, long and we met some nice people who were adopting for the second time.

We started Saturday morning with an excellent buffet in our hotel. We met many of the families we’re traveling with and they are all so nice. I look forward to forming some lifelong friendships.

We took a bus to Tiannemen Square and the Forbidden City. It was very interesting and huge. It was amazing to think that this city was built for an emporer and his family and servants. It was very large with multiple palaces. The inside rooms were very expansive and looked pretty hard and cold. Not a warm cozy place – but a very old place. It was hard to imagine that it was built back around 1100. Wow!

My favorite part of the day was definitely the Great Wall. It was incredible and breathtaking. We climbed up the steepest side and made it to the second guard tower. My legs were about to fall off, but it was so worth it. Just to feel the stone and imagine the soldiers who used it and the men who built it. It was something I’ll never forget. Pictures can’t do it justice.

The ride to the Great Wall was also an experience. The Chinese live very modestly. Many live in what we would call shacks. There are many buildings that are falling down yet people still live in them. I also saw people living in large tents. I definitely think that people spend a lot more time outside – probably because their houses are not the kind of place you can kick back and relax in. There were people everywhere, in the most random places, at all times. And there are just lots of people. Traffic in Beijing is terrible- much worse than anything I’ve encountered in St. Louis!

One last thing about Beijing…we ate lunch at a restaurant that’s famous for their duck. Steve liked it. I was too chicken to taste it, but I had some great spring rolls. Four couples sat around a large table and the food was served family style on a big lazy susan. I also had to use the squatty potty at the restaurant. It was not easy and very hard on the thighs!

So far it's been a wonderful trip. It's kind of like being on vacation with a bunch of good friends. We just seem to click with everyone and we all have a good time.

Tomorrow I'll be a mom. We get our babies at 10:30 a.m. (So Mom, I'll be calling you around 10:30-11:00 p.m.!)

We miss you all!

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