The Paparazzi Are Strong Here

Today’s agenda was Tienanmen Square and the Forbidden City. You would think Beijing, because it is the capital city, would be an International, multicultural place, but we stick out like a sore thumb here. Everything is very Chinese and very few people speak any English, so we were very thankful to have a guide lead us around in this huge, confusing place. There are a lot of tourists, but it is mainly Chinese tourists coming from all other parts of the country to visit the nation’s capital, not so much tourists from other countries.

The girls, ready for breakfast!

The girls, ready for breakfast at 0530.

 

Tienanmen Square.  David said it is always crowded, but that this was a lighter day.

Tienanmen Square. David said it is always crowded, but that this was a lighter day.

Outside the imperial city.  Chairman Mao is always watching.  Aaaaaaalways watching, Lazowski.

Outside the imperial city. Chairman Mao is always watching. Aaaaaaalways watching, Lazowski.

No falling allowed in China.

No falling allowed in China.

The boys from both families.

The boys from both families.

We expected to generate a lot of stares from our previous experience in China, and we knew that bringing Grace along would add an even greater draw to our group being an auburn-haired beauty, but today was nuts. I literally think we had more pictures taken of us today- in one day- than our entire trip last time. Grace and the baby were mobbed and I think people got as many pictures of us as they did of the historic sites. Even Corin, Joey and I were pulled away to join random groups to pose for pictures. Joey didn’t mind too much…

Garrick wants to know where the snacks are that he demands as payment for photos.

Garrick wants to know where the snacks are that he demands as payment for photos.

If Carrie picks a sister wife one day, she has to go to China to do so.

If Carrie picks a sister wife one day, she has to go to China to do so.

The fans kept coming!

The fans kept coming!

Grace is wildly popular here.

Grace is wildly popular here.

Garrick gets a helping hand.

Garrick gets a helping hand.

It seemed so crowded to us, but David said this was a good low crowd for a Saturday. I wasn’t thinking that as we literally almost got smooshed in a pushing and shoving mob trying to peek in at the Emperor’s Temple for a picture…

Room of Heavenly Tranquility - Empress Quarters

Room of Heavenly Tranquility – Empress Quarters- we almost died in a mob trying to get this picture.

I wish I had to do number two!

I wish I had to do number two!

Imperial Gardens

Imperial Gardens

Two different Chinese people who also spoke a little English came up to us, counting our children, and asking if they all belonged to us…if they only knew this was not even half of them! Four children is incomprehensible to most people here, and 9 is just crazy talk. We were also asked twice about Charlotte: “Is she Chinese?” Um…that’s a weird question.

Posing, China style.

Posing, China style.

Hobbit house in the Imperial Gardens.

Hobbit house in the Imperial Gardens.

Yeah,  I know English can be confusing some times, but this truly takes the cake.

Yeah, I know English can be confusing some times, but this truly takes the cake.

 

As we headed out the East gate (avoiding the North gate where we were told was a beggar’s hangout and not to go that way), we decided to stop and get a picture in front of the moat. Not sure what happened next, but I somehow ended up in quite a predicament, while Joey, who already had his camera ready, took my picture instead of helping me up…like we weren’t enough of a spectacle already.

While staging for this picture, outside the East Gate of the Forbidden City...

While staging for this picture, outside the East Gate of the Forbidden City…

This happened.

This happened. Breaking all the rules in China.

At that point we figured it was time to go back to the room for a rest. We planned to eat leftovers in the room for lunch, then give the babies a little nap before heading over to the Temple of Heaven, a popular tourist attraction. I ended up passing out again along with the little ones and when Joey woke us up at 4, we were in no shape to go traipsing around the city to be back at 6:30 when we were supposed to meet for dinner with David and another family touring with him. I almost think the nap makes the jet lag worse. We wasted an entire afternoon of our limited time here doing nothing but hanging out in the hotel room- Joey took the kids to the hotel gym while I took the little ones to the hotel playroom (nothing exciting) and we planned to make up for the lost time by going to the “Night Snack Street” and checking that out after dinner at the Beijing Noodle House.

Joey's long, lost, Chinese brother must own the Huoban BBQ Grill Bar....

Joey’s long, lost, Chinese brother must own the Huoban BBQ Grill Bar….

We had the privilege of meeting another adoptive family here that has 12 children- 6 bio and 6 adopted (4 from China). They are an older couple that has selflessly sacrificed their retirement years to bring home 4 disabled children and give them a family. China is NOT handicap accessible, and it was touching to watch the father carry his lame teenage son into the restaurant for dinner and watch how they cared for their children. During the meal, Grace started fading fast, so we quickly realized our plans to see more of Beijing after dinner were not going to happen- it’s a good thing we aren’t here with our primary purpose to vacation and sightsee, or we’d be sorely disappointed leaving without seeing half of what we’d planned. We had hoped to see the crazy snacks the street vendors sold of scorpions on a stick and other delicacies, but we didn’t make it. Maybe next time.