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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Greetings from Beijing!!!!

March, 21, 22, 23, 24

Ni Hao! We are in Beijing!!!! This place is amazing! Scott and I have marveled at how big the city is!!! We flew out on Thursday March 21 from XNA and because of the time zones we landed here in Beijing at 3pm on Friday afternoon. The flight was 2 hrs to Detroit and 14 hrs to Beijing! It wasn't a bad flight though. We flew Delta and each seat has it's own touch screen entertainment system! It was great! I was so excited that we were finally flying here that I didn't sleep a wink;) Needless to say, I am still trying to adjust to the difference in time change;)
When we landed we were greeted by our English speaking guide named Rocky. He is wonderful! Yesterday he managed to get us to Tienanmen Square, the Forbidden City (outside pics only), the Olympic square (the Birds Nest and Ice Box), a Jade Factory, The Great Wall, Summer Palace, the Tea House, and to cap of the fun-filled day...a Chinese acrobatic show. Whew....we are exhausted!!!
I wanted to give a quick 1-2 liner on each thing we did yesterday so y'all get a little taste and so I can remember;)
Tienanmen Square- HUGE! Probably 1/2 mile square! Can not believe it was packed, shoulder to should, with people when the protest happened years ago. It is beautiful and had 2 HUGE LCD screens that showed the beauty of China on it. The mausoleum of General Chow is there.
Forbidden City- directly across from Tienanmen square. This place was the palace of all of the emperors and their families. HUGE compound. Sad part was that when China was invaded years ago this man ransacked the palace and took most of China's treasures and fled to Taiwan. :( To this day there is still tension with the people over this.
Olympic Square- in 2003 this whole area was farm land and construction went lightening fast to make hotels, apartments for the athletes, and the stadiums. The Birds Nest and Ice Box are right next to each other and very beautiful. There is the famous hotel there next to it too that is in the shape of the Olympic flame.
Jade Factory- this place was soo impressive. There are several workers working with a carver and large pieces of jade to hand make the gifts for people here. It was amazing to watch them, I could have stayed for hours. Jade is very precious to people here in China. It grows naturally in the rock and when polished it is gorgeous. We bought a jade family ball here. This is a ball made from 1 piece of jade rock. Inside is four smaller balls that are each hand carved by the workers. They make 12 holed into the rock to carve the smaller pieces in it. When you see it, you would never believe it came from 1 piece of rock! On the outside is a double Phoenix, meaning mother and grandmother and a double dragon, meaning husband and grandfather and the balls inside are the generations of happiness to come. I love the history here!!!
The Great Wall- WOW!!!! that about covers it here! We hiked with our friends Jason and Erica to one of the highest points in our area (soooo sore today!) and revelled at God's creation. The stones and carvings on the wall are amazing. It is sooo steep in places and uneven. I can't imagine the people who guarded this wall every day and the ones who gave their lives to build it.
Summer Palace- very intricate. Known for having the longest open air entry way. It's detailed with hand painted art. This is where the Emperor and family spent summers. This place is 200 acres! It includes a man made lake on it with a HUGE marble boat that one of the royals ordered. We were amazed at the size and beauty of this palace. Def worth seeing if you are here!
Tea House- my friends all know...I LOVE TEA!!! (Sarah Philips you would have LOVED this place!) They taught us all about the ancient teas in china and what they are believed to heal in your body. The presentation was fascinating. This was a highlight of the trip too for me;)
Acrobatic show- this was not a branson Chinese acrobatic show!!! Let me tell you, this was AMAZING!!! problem was I was soo exhausted from the jet lag and full day of sight seeing, I had to chug red bull to keep me awake!!!
Well, that about wraps up today! We crammed the whole city in one day!! Exhausted! Lights out;)
Couple more days til we get MaeLynn!!!!!!!!

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