Sunday, March 15, 2009
The answer to the question...
is no. Adding Crystal Light immunity to Pocari Sweat really doesn't make it taste any better, but I figure it's got to be good for me. The alcohol on the table at lunch however probably is not. The glasses they provided were no bigger than a thimble and there is a reason for that. We poured some smelled it, touched it to our lips, and decided that was plenty!
We had a day of great contrast yesterday and by the end of the day I was so tired I couldn't possibly blog so I am instead writing this at 5:00 am. We left the hotel at 8:00 and drove for a little over an hour to get to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall. I was so excited when I saw this was the location we would be visiting because this was the same section that Delleen and I visited in 1998. Such a different experience than Badaling in 2001. It was very quiet and uncrowded. Cadi at first was disappointed to hear that we would take the cable car up and thought that meant we would not be walking on the Great wall, but once she saw that we would still do a lot of hiking she was okay with it.
We spent almost a hour hiking around, exploring the watch towers and just soaking up China. It was incredible to finally be standing with my two daughters on the Great Wall of China! I was able to share about the first time I went to the Great Wall and how our guide told us to close our eyes and hear and smell and feel the Great Wall. Then he sang Silent Night to us. At the time I thought that was a bit strange, but every year at Christmas time, when I hear that song I am transported back to China and the Great Wall. I tearfully sang Silent Night to them and I pray that it does the same thing for them each year a Christmas.
Once we were finished and heading down to the bus the bartering began! I probably spent too much and bought too much, but it is so much fun to play the bartering game! The kids were amazed at the way things are done in China. At one point a tiny little woman had big old me trapped. I could not physically push my way past her. I finally had to duck under her arm to escape!
After we said goodbye to the Great Wall we headed back to Beijing. Most of the villages we passed by seemed very tired and sad. Deserted buildings, people standing by the side of the road, an occasional mule or person pulling a cart. I think this is the China Cadi had pictured in her mind so I was glad she got to see the contrast between the two Chinas. We stopped for a tour of a factory that makes that enameled filled brass that I can't spell! Cloisenne closinee, how do you spell that word! Anyway we had a huge lunch and then had time to spend more money in the friendship store. I got some pearls for the girls, those painted glass globes with their names painted inside, and a lot of other things to bring home. I'm afraid my suitcase is already too full!
After driving for about a hour more we were at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Venue. We saw the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest. We paid the extra money to go inside thinking the price of admission would be worth it if we could use a western toilet and it was! Once insdie and down on the floor of the Stadium, Cadi asked if she could run all around the Bird's nest. She and Josi took off and Cadi filmed a video on the Flip of them running then walking then running again around the stadium. Its pretty funny!
When we were finished we headed back to the hotel for a short break. We all got showers and I washed out the clothes we had on. Cadi definitely wins the prize for carrying home more of the Great Wall than anyone else! We walked to a nearby restaurant and had a interesting dinner. I loved the fact that Cadi loved the spinach soup and Josi didn't let the head on the fish slow her down one little bit! We should have taken our camera! So totally exhausted we came back to the hotel and collapsed. Today is another day. We will start out in just about an hour with a walk through the park to observe morning exercises, but that is another story...