Tianamen Square, Forbidden City, and Olympic Park

**If you haven't seen yet, either scroll down or click here to see pictures of this morning when we met Caleb. I know that 's what you're really here for!**

Yesterday was an exciting day ~ of course not as exciting as today, but how can any sightseeing compete with adding a son to your family? ~ and I have many pictures to share.

We started the morning with rearranging our bags for our evening flight to Wuhan. From there it was time for breakfast. The food was pretty good, but the coffee left a bit to be desired. Overall the Best Western in Beijing was pretty nice, but I wish we had been back in the Radison SAS that we stayed in on our last trip.

We got to meet the last family from our travel group to arrive, and also got to meet baby Kate who joined her family on Saturday. After loading all the luggage onto the bus (if you think that we had a lot of luggage, we actually packed somewhat light compared to a few of the other families ~ imagine what the luggage for all five looked like...), it was time to head out for a full day of Beijing sights.

Kylie and Anna Claire headed straight for the back of the bus
but Darby decided to sit behind her parents and draw.
When we arrived at Tianamen Square we were amazed by the number of people wrapped around the back half of the square in line! The line was moving rather quickly and we Americans speculated on what it was all about. Then Rosa told us that on Sunday the Chairman Mao Mausoleum is open. There were THOUSANDS of people there to pay their respects. Not exactly how I'd want to spend a Sunday morning, but...

So then of course we stopped for a few photo opportunities! Here are our Beijing/Guangzhou guides, Rosa (orange coat)and Maggie (pink coat).

They are both awesome! Rosa (whom we spent Saturday and Sunday with) works for a travel company that America World uses for their guiding services, and when she isn't a guide, she translates dossiers for the CCAA. I asked her yesterday how long it takes to translate a dossier and she said that if she works hard, she can translate TWO dossiers in one day! Wow!

Our entire travel group ~ looks so small compared to last time!

Kneeling ~ Clayton, Kylie, me, Ian, Heather, Emily, Anna Claire, Matt
Standing ~ Ken, Tina, Grant, Gerry, Julie, Stephen, Darby, C.C., Kate, Pam, Bill

Just the three of us...
Maybe we'll get one of our new family when we are back in Beijing next week!

One thing I find fascinating about China is how the ancient and modern are both visible pretty much everywhere. You never have to look far to get glimpses of both!

Following our purple flag around... Rosa said that yesterday when she bought our tickets to tour the Forbidden City (at around noon) that the day's maximum number of ticket sales had almost been reached. They only allow 60,000 tickets to be sold a day, apparently we are touring during peak tourist season!

I was very glad that I had paid a lot of attention during our tour last year (click here to read about it) because about halfway through Kylie decided it was nap time. I didn't have the heart to put her in the umbrella stroller because it doesn't lean back and the courtyards of the Forbidden City are so bumpy! So I carried my slumbering angel for about an hour. My arms were aching by the time she woke up, but it was so worth it!

Next we had lunch and headed to the Olympic Park. I love the ancient history of China, but I was also thrilled to visit the site of the Olympics! We all agreed that we'd hate to be London because China put on an amazing Opening Ceremony and created such amazing architecture for the games. The Bird's Nest and Water Cube were impressive on TV, but much more so in real life!

Stopping for pictures when we first arrived.

Another shot from across the park.

Inside the Bird's Nest ~ WOW!

Kylie showing Daddy how the runners "get set!"

Checking out the seating...

The Water Cube up close. It is an amazing material, both somewhat see through and reflective at the same time! We're hoping to get in next week when we are back in Beijing ~ they had already sold the maximum number of tickets on Sunday.

Walking back to the Bird's Nest from the Water Cube. Note the lights look like mini-nests!

We did drive by the Olympic Park on Saturday night coming back from the Great Wall. The lighting at night is quite amazing!

We headed straight from the Olympic Village to the airport so that we could catch our 8pm flight to Wuhan, the capital of the Hubei Province. We'll be here until Friday afternoon. I'm really looking forward to some of the sightseeing that we'll do here in Caleb's home province, but most of all I'm thrilled that we have been granted the opportunity to go to the SWI that oversaw Caleb's foster family placement AND we'll get to meet his foster family to give our most sincere and humble thanks to them in person! This will happen on Thursday.

The rest of my family is resting right now. Things with Caleb are going rather well. The kids are already interacting and I've managed to get several giggles out of him. He ate well at lunch and tried to use chopsticks on his own! He won't drink out of a sippy cup but can manage drinking out of a regular glass quite well. Kylie insisted on laying beside him during their nap and held his little hand after he fell asleep ~ yes, my heart almost melted! We have tons of video, but few pictures yet. I'll have to get some after everyone wakes up from sleeping.


Nancy said...

Wow, that is impressive your guide translate TWO dossiers a day cuz we all know how much paperwork that is! She rocks!

Your poor arms! But how special that you were able to hold your baby girl for so long before you became a family of four.

My heart also melted when I read that Kylie was holding Caleb's hand. I just feel so emotional right now for you cuz its just bringing back memories of Noah's court hearing and when the feeling I had that he was mine forever. My heart and family felt complete (almost, as soon as we travel to China!).

Anonymous said...

Kylie, taking Caleb's hand in hers while they were napping is just heaven sent! Kylie, you are dahma's special little angel. I miss you. Dahma can already see that you are going to be a loving, big sister. Hug your brodder for me. Love, LaoLao

Nicole said...

I am a little jealous the olympics are over and you get to see the water cube and birds nest up close!! ;)
Why do you keep saying you'll be back in Beijing?? next week? Just curious, you usually head to GZ after yes??
SO SO sweet Kylie holding Caleb's hand!!
Can't wait to see more!!!

Cindy M said...

WAY cool pictures of Olympic Park! Can't wait to see it myself the next time around!!

You're going BACK to Beijing???

Looking forward to more pics of the kids!

Love ya!

Anonymous said...

How AMAZING!!! I can't wait to see video of Kylie and Caleb sleeping holding hands!!! That makes me cry. And how wonderful that you will get to meet his foster family!! I will be praying that goes well!
Oh I wish we were there!!!!!!!!
Caleb Aunt Cici and Uncle Adam love you already!!!! Oh hurry up and get home!!!!
PS the picture of Kylie in the starting pose for running is hilarious! I love it!!!!
Aunt Cici.
I woke Adam up with the glare of my computer at 6:00 am this morning looking at the pictures of Caleb. We both laid there in the dark reading! How wonderful!!!
Love you ALL!!! WE miss you!!!
Come home NOW!!!

Donna said...

Great pics!! It must be amazing to be there with Kylie this time! Make sure that Kylie & Caleb are taught the fine art of Lazy Susan Video Recording at the next group meal!! :)