We made it in last night very late. Noah and Leah traveled so well it was unbelievable. I kept waiting for a meltdown...nothing. It was incredible. We stopped over in Narita, Japan and had a beer and a snack. Actually, that last 4 hr leg was the toughest as it was 3AM in our bodies. The kids did power though and we got to he hotel, showered and snuggled in for the night. We have connecting rooms with the kids and that it nice.We crashed for about 6 hours and then were off for a great day. We ate a great breakfast at the hotel. I ate all Chinese type food while the rest of the family played it safe...until they saw how good my food looked. They decided to be brave and tried pickled octopus We started at Forbidden City and Tian'amen Square. Even though I had been there before, it was just as magnificent the second time. Tom and the kids loved it. Our guide, Rocky, is very nice and we have him all to ourselves. Our driver, Mr. Shu, can navigate like a rockstar through BJ traffic. I will get to that in a minute.
We ate lunch at a vegetarian place near our hotel. Noah hated everything, but Tom, Leah and I LOVED the food and ate way to much.
Next, we went to the Temple of Heaven. There were so many people there that we were unable to get a good look into the temple itself. We did enjoy walking around and people watching. Noah and several people take pictures of him and with him today. They also rubbed his hair. He was embarrassed even though we told him this would happen. As for Leah, well, people just stare and do a double-take of our family.Several people took pictures of all 4 of us. Leah LOVES it here and thinks it is pretty cool to not be the minority. It is nice for us to show her a China that is not scary or unkind. She is meeting wonderful people and seeing beautiful art. She said to me that she wished she had a sketchbook with her so she could draw all she sees.
We went to a teahouse after the TOH. It was a nice break to a very fast- paced day. However, I ended up spending 200 dollars for a large container of my favorite tea (pu'uer) and Tom almost had the big one....we at least got three "pee pee boy's for free (fellow tea-housers know what I mean).
After that, we went to the Acrobatic Show. My friend Heather and I went this a few years ago. This time though, we were in the front row. It scared us...there were balancing acts all around us that I thought for sure would come crashing down on top of us. As a matter of fact, a clown, yes...a clown (and I do fear a clown) did a juggling act in front of Noah and Tom with "hot" tea. At the end of the act, the teacups came falling down toward Noah and Tom went to protect him........JOKE. It was all on purpose. Then several other acts had Leah and I ready to run for the hills. She and I were laughing so hard! The ride back to the hotel took a very long time. Our driver can weave in and out of traffic like nobody's business. The kids were amazed at the amount of horn-honking that goes on. It is crazy!!!
We finally returned, exhausted, at 7:45. The kids wrote in their journals and are now working on some brain-games. Tomorrow is a free day for us. Tom will visit the Shell office in Beijing, while the kids and I walk around the city. The kids are curious and want to explore. Saturday we will go to the Great Wall. Sunday we head to Shanghai on the bullet train and prepare for the newest member of our family. If I have jumbled my words, misspelled or just do not make sense...forgive me. Trying to get used to the time change. Love to you all. Miss my Eric!!! Now for some pictures!!!