Friday, June 25, 2010

June 25 ~ Off the Beaten Path in Beijing!

First off {before I even get started telling you all about our exciting day} I must give a HUGE shout out to my wonderful & amazing sister Lisa for it is her BIRTHDAY today!!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LISA!!!! We here in China all love you & miss you so much! Keith and I did a little celebration on behalf of your birthday& had a few afternoon cocktails at this amazing outdoor lounge here in Beijing! Needless to say, we are all now back in the hotel room ~ resting...Hope you too have a very HAPPY day! LOVE YOU!

Well as you can see, we did have a few cocktails some time this afternoon which if you are traveling with us ~ afternoon cocktails are a must! As I stated yesterday, we decided not to do the group's tour today. Seeing how this is our third time here in less than 5 years and it is blazing HOT outside, we knew we wanted to do something more at our leisurely pace and enjoy some "off-the-beaten" path exploring ~ which we so did!

Our day started off by just walking the streets of Beijing which lead us to this amazing tea shop (where I was able to purchase some fresh Jasmine tea) than from there we found a crazy Hot Dumpling Spot where I was the only one brave enough to try them (seeing how we really could not verbally communicate with the vendors and their "menu" was completely in Chinese ~ it was all "look than point and shake your head YES" when you found the dumpling you wanted to try). Each steamed dumpling I tried was so good that I am actually headed back there for a late afternoon snack. We also stumbled upon an incredible indoor vendors market where we found some beautiful pieces at some amazing prices. We did a lot of walking this morning and in this heat ~ it makes you very tired. It was than that we found the outdoor lounge, sat down under this huge umbrella and enjoyed some refreshing cocktails. I do have a few photos to share with you all today. Many of them are of the crazy traffic here in Beijing while there is also one of Keith & Francesca and another one of Francesca and me.

Once we returned to the hotel I did work on getting all of the US money that is needed for Benjamin's adoption exchanged into RMBs before arriving in Zhengzhou on the 27th. In my opinion, it is just one less "detail" I need to worry about during those few short hours before being united with him. {and if you know anything about me you know that I have already placed all the bills in it's proper sealed and labeled envelope} I figured I better do this now while we are having relaxing day than trying to do it that first night when we arrive in Zhengzhou (which will be sometime around 8PM) or even the next morning before we take that walk to the civil affairs office to finally meet our little boy.

As for tonight, we again have nothing planned but for us this is how we wanted it! We did meet many of our travel group during breakfast this morning and they all seem to be a great bunch of people. We will learn more about them as our days move along during this adoption journey.

Tomorrow we are headed to the Great Wall which we are really excited to see once more.

That's about it here on our end! Only three more days until we are finally united with our little boy! I still can't believe it is really going to happen...

Love to you all & Miss everyone so very much!


Football & Fried Rice said...

mmmmmm; i think the steamed dumplings sounds wonderful!! hope you are enjoying your pre-Benjamin days - can't wait to see his face! Keep the posts comin'!!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful first day!! I think you were smart to keep it at a leisurely pace......I could only imagine how muggy and hot it is there right now!

Have fun at the Great Wall......can't wait to see the pictures!!



Valerie and Jeff said...

Your trip sounds so wonderful! The dumplings have my mouth watering and the tea shop sounds like so much fun! I'm sure you will/hope you will discover somethings very new and exciting on this your THIRD trip over! Amazing! But I'm glad you have some down time before your BIG day! I'll be away from my computer until after the fourth, but I will have you all in my pr*yers! Take time to soak in every moment. Make sure to pick up some new jems for future projects! STILL loving mine of course. Blessings to you all!! Give that son a hug from us!

Anonymous said...

I am glad you all arrived safe and well. It is hot here too. I wish I was with you when you had the dumplings they are my favorite. Annabelle is doing just fine. She keeps asking for Francesca, Keith, and you. I keep telling her that you are picking up Benjamin and will be home soon. She seems to be OK with that. She spent all day with me yesterday and even napped with Scott Joe in his room for over 2 hrs. I had to wake them up. Today we are going to Wegmans. Is should be a fun trip.
I think she is having fun but she does miss you all. Mom is OK. She is going to get a ped today. Scott Joe was looking at the pictures and wants to know why he is not there. I told him Fundsalow my little Italian buddy would not let him go. Love Lisa

Anonymous said...

When are we going to skype? It is Friday 9AM 6/25/10. Do you want to try for SAT 8AM EST 6/26/10? I will get hooked up for then. If not just let me know. Have fun today and be careful. Scott Joe says he misses Francesca terribly and he is sad. He can not wait to play with Benjamin in the #20 car. Love, Lisa

P.S. These blocks are too small to type much of anything. You know I do not shut up.

Anonymous said...

What an exciting day you all had. Exploring Beijing on your own sounds wonderful. It is not something that many people get to do since we are rushed through all the tourist stuff. There is nothing like dumplings in China, umm so good. Looking forward to all your posts. Love you guys, Amy.

Love Letters To China said...

It looks like you are off to a great start in Beijing. So glad you are taking it nice and slow. Can't imagine doing anything outside in that heat and smog.

So enjoying your posts. Can't wait to see your pictures of the Great Wall. Have fun!


Keisha said...

So glad you guys made it Safe!!!
Oh, how I miss those yummy dumplings!!!! hmmmmmm,... :)
Eat enough for me!

Have fun!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi guys, Miss you terribly and so does Annabelle. She asks when she will see you. We keep saying in a few days. She knows you are getting Benjamin. She is such a little doll but she does have a stubborn streak to her. She hasn't worn me down yet, but she won't let me out of her sight. I wish we were all together there. I miss you so much. Love, MA

Lori F. said...

Hi Guys, I miss you too. I keep forgetting that you are not here to call. I am so happy that things are going well. I am so bad at this that I posted a comment in the wrong session a few days ago. Dahhhhh!

Love you! Lori

Football & Fried Rice said...

your sister is funny with her multiple comments b/c she "talks" too much...can't tell y'all are related!!