Yeah, yeah, these aren't in chronological order. Get over it. We had only a little time connected to the internet in Beijing and even less time to sit and write, so I'm backfilling between arrival time and Gotcha Day.
This is our first full day in China, and we went for a tour of some of the sites in Beijing. We toured Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and finally part of the Great Wall. We only had one day to do this touring because the next day we are leaving for Chongqing. The other groups of adoptive parents are travelling to their cities a day later so they will do the same amount of touring over two days.
Tiananmen Square was very large, and because it was wide open, a steady breeze made it much colder. While we were traveling there we got a call from my father-in-law, he needed help with our computer. Here I am rendering long distance tech support.
From Tiananmen Square we moved into the Forbidden City, which was walled and without the wind a lot warmer.
After that we boarded a bus and drove out for an hour for some lunch and a visit to the Great Wall. Lunch was at a "Friendship Store". Downstairs was shopping, kind of touristy things, and upstairs was a dining hall. Each table sat 10 and we had a lazy susan in the middle. The waitresses brought out plate after plate of food and we all sampled them. The Orange Chicken was my favorite and Lynne's was the eggplant. When we got there Lynne wasn't feeling very well, and had all but decided not to eat. Luckily the sight of the eggplant changed her mind and she ended up eating and feeling much better for it. One of the group, David, never made it up stairs to eat. He was not feeling well and had come down with the stomach bug I would later catch.
We arrived at the Great Wall, and the pictures can hardly do it justice. It is amazing in it's size and scope, and even more so considering that parts of it were built around 200 B.C.
All in all it was a great day, but after travelling 25 hours the day before I think it was a bit too much, if you have a choice I would not recommend such a whirlwind tour.