Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Forbidden City & Tiananmen Square

So yesterday we didn’t end up going out for dinner with the group as Jenna had barely napped during the day and she was a bit whiny so we settled on just having dinner with T & H and then walked over the supermarket and Starbucks before calling it a night. Jenna was in bed by about 8:00 and didn’t wake up until just before 8:00am. Again I had to wake her as we had to have breakfast and hop on the bus for 9:30. This little girl loves her sleep!

Today we went to Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It was a very hot day and the grounds were very crowded. I don’t know that it was the best outing to have taken with the baby today but she survived it….she’s our little trooper. I can’t say that much for Gary and myself as we were feeling pretty closter phobic at times. I’m not quite sure where the Square ended and the Forbidden City started but, like the Great Wall, it was absolutely exquisite. It’s very hard to describe the beauty of it all and the pictures will hardly show the shear magnitude of the grounds. Our whole group, minus maybe one family who stayed behind, all got their picture taken in front of Chairman Mao’s picture. It was quite a spectacle trying to get 17 or so families to all pose for a picture, with all the strollers lined up, but what was even more magnificent was how the cameramen managed to usher the people to stop or walk around us so as not to ruin the shot. You have to imagine thousands of people in this square, practically on top of each other, and not one person walked between the cameraman and all of us for a good 10 minutes while we all got settled. And there must have been a good 60-70ft between us and the camerman. We all must have caused quite a scene because as our picture was being taken, everyone around us was also snapping pictures of all of us. It was really quite bizarre. I could try to tell you the whole story behind the Square and the City but I only know the bits and pieces that our guide told us on the bus ride there, and quite frankly, I don’t have the energy to type it all out even if I did remember it all. I knew there was a reason I brought a tape recorder with me, but I never seem to remember to bring it with me and my memory on good days is really no good so sorry about skipping the history lesson….you’ll have to just google it!!!

After the tour, we ended up having to wait a good 45 minutes to an hour for our bus to come and pick us up. Imagine, we all left the hotel at 9:30 and didn’t get back until 2:00pm. That made for pretty hungry, grumpy babies! And the heat, the noise, and the crowds surely didn’t help any of us. Jenna had some lunch and crashed for a good nap. Then the bus came to pick us up again to make a trip to the Pearl Market. Gary thinks I’m helping the Chinese economy with all my spending. I bought myself a few things and also got Jenna some earings and a necklace for when she’s older (I’ll have to see how long I can hold out on giving them to her!). They also had a few floors similar to the silk market by our hotel full of clothes, shoes, purses and, well, pretty much everything so I put my best bargaining foot forward and came out with some really great deals. Bartering has become a dance that I do quite gracefully and I love it! It must be the cheap Pilipino in me oozing out. Gary is just so happy to watch and when approached by one of the sales ladies, he points to me and says “She’s he boss”. Smart man.

For dinner we went to TGI Friday’s. WHO KNEW!! It was really good. Gary and I got our chicken wing fix and except for the fact that our baby decided to poop her pants right as my meal was coming, it was great! They played loud English music and Jenna was just jamming. We’ve never seen her dance so much, swaying back and forth. It was just the cutest thing ever. And of course, who forgets the camera….ME!

Tomorrow is a shopping day (like every other day here) but we’re not going to partake in the Silk Factory tour in the morning, because I’m just not all that interested in how silk is made. I’m sure it’s fascinating and all, but we’re just going to let Jenna sleep in and wake up on her own but we will be going to a market in the afternoon where there will be more bartering and great deals to be had I’m sure.

The Forbidden City

Chairman Mao

A sea of goofy hats we all bought for less than $1

The papparazzi taking our photos while ours were being taken

Olympic Games site

The countdown

Young school girls who asked to take Jenna's picture

All of us waiting for our bus....not happy campers.

But this face makes up for any bad day!

1 comment:

Bee's Blog said...

Jenna is such a cutie and I love the hat and dress. Glad things are going so well for you!