Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others
#girlslookfab

Garrick is not that excited.

It was such an amazing experience to see the Great Wall in person. Our guide here has been fantastic and walked it with us, telling us stories and history behind it along the way. We found out about this guide through another family with our same agency. He is a Christian and it’s been interesting and fascinating to hear his conversion story and details of life here from an insider. I wasn’t too excited about the cable car ride leading up to it, as my experience with Chinese thrill rides has been a bit more than I’d bargained for in the past, but the kids thought it was great.

Cable car ski lift to the wall.

 

Corin wears his jacket for the pockets...like Grandpa Claude.

Big kids at the Great Wall.

 

all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others

“Loyalty to Chairman Mao”…because all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Yes, my eyes are open!

The Great Wall was…great.

Imagine climbing this under arrow fire, with guys with axes waiting for you at the top!

At the base of the great wall next to a flowering tree (apricot, I think).

After the Wall, we drove to an old section of Beijing to discover the daily life of common folk in the area. It felt surreal to peek into the alleyways and courtyards of their life and get a peek at a people who live so very differently from how we do. We were able to eat lunch at a private residence there and see their home and learn about the culture. ¬†While the area was pretty beat up, there was a very nice “kindergarten for the politically favored” there. ¬†Socialism!

Garrick was a popular sight in the neighborhood.

The boys’ rickshaw.

 

The girls enjoying the ride.

The girls enjoying the ride.

David followed us on a bicycle and would stop to tell us about different locations.

David followed us on a bicycle and would stop to tell us about different locations.

This was a higher level courtier.

Traditional doorway design, indicated social status and position in the imperial court.

Cuteness in the hutong.

Cuteness in the hutong.

We felt like royalty!

Riding in rickshaws through an old Beijing hutong (neighborhood).

Back in a bit honey, gotta drain the main vein....

A downside of inner Beijing hutong living – you probably don’t have your own bathroom.

Lotus root, anyone?

Some traditional Beijing cuisine. The kids tried pretty much everything.

An old Beijing inner courtyard, with two beautiful girls!

An old Beijing inner courtyard, with two beautiful girls!

Our guide pointed out to us on the way back a good restaurant we could have dinner near our hotel. It was a great little authentic dumpling house and had a picture menu we could point to for ordering. By this point in the day, Joey had taken the two older kids to the pool while I stayed in the room with the babies. I had intended to use that time to write this post, but instead passed out until 6 along with the little ones. No one was happy to be woken up. Jet lag is killing us. Not sure when we get over wanting to go to bed before 5 and waking up at midnight thinking it should be morning soon. It’s 4:30 and we’re all up again getting ready for the day. At least we’ll be the first ones at breakfast!

Made of brick, so it lasts.

Bell tower, Ming Dynasty.

Originally Ming dynasty, but made of wood, so burnt down and rebuilt by Qing dynasty

David Wang explaining the origins of the Drum Tower (pictured) and Bell Tower of Beijing.

On the streets of Beijing with David Wang

On the streets of Beijing with David Wang

We are so excited!!!

Two days until we meet this guy for the first time!