Friday, November 7, 2008

Morning/Evening/or somewhere in between. It is Saturday morning here and we're killing time waiting for the pool to open. Janie and I (John) go down in the early morning and swim with a couple of guys doing laps. Janie is in the pattern of waking up really early, going hard all day, and then crashing in a cab on the way home from dinner.

I know Deb wrote yesterday but I'll just add my catch up. The flight went great and Janie was super. Continuous movies certainly help though. I finally was able to watch the last Batman. The new Bond movie debuted here a few days ago so there's posters up everywhere for it. Our local guide picked us up at the airport and we fell asleep Wednesday night in our hotel about midnight. We then woke up around 3 AM and Janie got up about 5. After swimming we were picked up by our guide and driver and did the Great Wall, shopping, tea ceremony, hutong visit and acrobatics show as Deb described below.

On to Day 2...after the 5 AM wake up call from Janie we went swimming and then met our friend Shuang (Sean). Sean and my dad (JC) met about eight or nine years ago and Sean took the day off of work to show us the sights.

So after some caffeine we walked to Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City. Amazing, massive places. We went on Friday because on Saturday there will be more people there. It was great to see but it felt like the city of Portland was inside with us. But within the masses of people in the Square and the City there was one person that attracted the most attention. As Janie said, she's like a rockstar. Let's put it this way, if we charged for each picture that Janie was in we'd have paid for the whole trip. The little blondie was the highlight for many other tourists and kept very busy meeting new friends.

No, not Audrey, just another little friend that wanted her picture taken with Janie.

Here's the paparazzi lined up to take Janie's picture. At times we'd get pinned in by all the interest. Seriously, everyone was very friendly though. Actually, I'm really impressed with all the smiles and friendship that we've felt. So after a long walk through the sites, in which we probably only saw a small percentage of the place it was time for lunch.
We took a cab to a nice area where the Chinese youth athletes train and where there was a nice lake. Speaking of athletes but we also saw the Bird's Nest and Water Cube from the Olympics yesterday. So we took a couple of photos by the lake and then had a fantastic meal.

Our friend Shaung, Janie and Deb outside the Forbidden City.

I'm not going to remember all that we had to eat but it was fantastic. One of the better meals that I've had in awhile. Janie is a whiz with the chopsticks and has done a great job at trying new things. We've had some new things but I'm going to try and expand the boundaries today. Knock on wood we've had no stomach troubles thus far.

A little side story about the Janie and Deb are outside by the lake while Sean and I are getting the bill and finishing a couple local beers. They had these little duck tour boats that people could rent and paddle around the lake. Well they don't know why but two duck boat drivers had a little conflict with fists, and as Janie put it, wrestling. One guy was chasing the other all over the dock and they ended up fighting in front of them. Janie thought this was as amazing as the Forbidden City and had all kinds of questions about this entertainment.

After lunch we went to another Hutong area. This one was an interesting mix of the traditional Hutong with a long, narrow street that (Portland reference) felt like a mix of Alberta Street and the Pearl district. Great shopping, and it helped to have Sean there for some bargaining.
We've been taking street scene photos. Here's a shot of a little cabbage and here's one of the Hutong street where we did some shopping.

Finally, we jumped in another cab (Janie thought it was cool how she didn't need a car seat and how nobody wears a helmet on a bike) and went to the Palace of Heaven. It was sort of like when the Griswold's got the Grand Canyon, took one picture and left, because we arrived there right about closing time. Had another good dinner and then crashed. More to come today...


Amy said...

Janie- you are a SUPER STAR! How much fun. It is snowing here in Minnesota today, the kids played in the snow before school! They are so excited. They love looking at the pictures you are posting, and have been telling everyone that you are in China picking up their new cousin! Very fun. Love you all!

Heather said...

I told you they would LOVE Janie!! So fun...great memories!!


Kathleen said...

does janie have an agent yet? :)