Saturday, January 10, 2009

We are back!

Well, we are back and even though we are fighting a bad, bad jet lag we couldn't wait to share with all of you our wonderful trip. From the moment we arrived to the beautiful and brand new Beijing Airport we knew that we were in for an awesome adventure....

A very cold morning (cold not just by California standards, we might add) found us running around the Olympic Nest and Cube.... No, we were not training, we were trying to prevent Frost Bite..

After visiting the Pandas at the Zoo, we visited the Huton, the old part of the city, with 500 year old houses, where we had lunch in a Chinese home and learned about the daily life of the Chinese families before Beijing became the modern city it is today....

The following days were full of history and spectacular views. From the Summer's Palace to the Forbidden City, from Tiananmen Square to the Ming Tombs. Ancient buildings with stunning and meaningful architecture, where vibrant reds and sunny yellows taught us about the Emperor's life, desires and myths.

We were travelling with teenagers, so, of course we made time for shopping, walks around the city and some weird snacks: silk worms (not their favorite), centipede and sea horse!

On January 1st, we visited the Great Wall and climbing to the top became the most exciting thing each one of us has done. A beautiful, warm day made the visit memorable!

Two more cities were included in our tour: Suzhou, the Asian Venice, where we visited exquisite Chinese gardens and cruised the Grand Canal....

...and the invigorating Shanghai....where spectacular skyscrapers, bicycles and 18 million people shine under millions of lights. A city so clean that is almost impossible to describe...

During our trip, we met and spent time with some wonderful people....

We learned about Chinese culture and traditions. We learned about embroidery and jade, cultivated pearls and handmade rugs too beautiful to put on the floors. We also learned that after 4 days of real Chinese food, even Pizza Hut sounds good! We had lots of tea but we also confirmed that there is a Starbucks no matter where you are in the world...

But most of all, we learned about the warmth of the Chinese people, about their love for their children, and we learned how a simple word spoken in a horrible "chinglish" brings a friendly smile in every Chinese person. They made us feel welcomed and safe, and for that, we are eternally thankful.

"The world is like a book. If you don't travel, you only read one page"

This post is dedicated to our Tour Guides: Tom (Beijing) and Tiffany (Shanghai). Thank you so much for your fantastic job and patience dealing with the 9 of us!!


slommler said...

What a fabulous trip you all had!! And your pictures and descriptions are awesome. How beautiful! I feel like I was there with you. Thanks so much for sharing this with me.

Tara said...

What an amazing trip the 9 of you had...thank you for sharing your experience, I too felt like i was there! Welcome back...and that jet lag can be a real bummer, sorry~!

warm Hugs~


Irish Rose Creations said...

Beautiful pictures! I spent six weeks teaching in China during the summer of 2004. It was truly the most amazing experience ever! (Of courss, the heat at the time was nearly

*The Beautiful Life* said...

How fun to look through your China pictures after having seen my daughter's so much lately!

I think I would LOVE to go in the cold weather, as you did. (But then, I'd live at the North Pole if I could... ). :)

Your family looks so wonderful! Though I couldn't make out who was who and who belonged to whom, you all look so happy and great! :)

Thanks so much for sharing!!