First day "on our own" back in Beijing

Because of how late we got to bed last night, we decided to forgo our vigorous sightseeing schedule today and sleep in. Caleb got our family moving around 9:15 and we decided to just throw on some clothes and get down to breakfast before they closed the buffet. From there we came back up to shower, bathe the kids, and get ready for the afternoon.

We finally left the hotel at about noon and decided to go to the silk "alley" market (once it was an alley, but recently a big building has been built there to house all of the merchants). The entry level floor was mostly coats and adult apparel. Each little booth had one (or more) sales associates that REALLY wanted to make a sale. The aisle was narrow enough that walking often was difficult and if you even glanced in the direction of one of the shops, the seller began to try to sell you something. It reminded me of being in Jamaica, only the stuff being sold is clothing, not trinkets. The fun part was the bartering. We needed a coat for Caleb for this winter and I told the girl that if the price was good, we'd buy one for Kylie as well. When she told me the original price I said, "No way!" and before it was said and done, she had come down over 1000 yuan to something that was a deal for me. We also bought a silk duvet cover for our bed (something that we regretted not getting on our last trip) and a cute Hello Kitty velour sweatsuit with an adorable long sleeve t-shirt for Kylie. All told we spent less than $120 and the thrill of the bargaining was intoxicating. (I may bargain for a waterproof jacket tomorrow when we go back to pick up Grant's tailor made suit as I lost the one I used to have...)

First floor of the silk market ~ which wasn't so much silk (on this floor anyway)
Caleb wasn't as impressed with the shopping as I was!

From there we just started walking and passed down embassy row and then found a great park. We spent about two hours strolling around and then had a late lunch/early dinner at a German beer hall. Somewhat surreal to eat curry wurst and pomme frites in Beijing... (Though perhaps not as surreal as seeing just how interested the rest of the world is in the results of our presidential election. So Obama won huh?)

Some pictures from the day and then I'm off to bed because we have a lot to see tomorrow and an early schedule to keep!

Father and son exercise break on our walk to the park.

Water scape area ~ it was so tranquil and so easy to forget we were in such a huge city!
Women practicing some sort of martial arts discipline ~ I adopted the rule that if folks pull out their cameras at me that I am entitled to do likewise! A lion from yet another dynasty ~ I've enjoyed looking at the differences in them from dynasty to dynasty.
Daddy is the tickle monster! This picture taken just after a first ~ Caleb let Ian take him to the bathroom out in public! I'm glad I didn't have to take him to a squatty...
All smiles while Ian carried him for about 10 minutes!
Yes, my arms are getting quite buff ~ maybe I can think of a way to carry them using only my abdomen muscles?
My girl.
Soldiers stopping traffic while crossing the street on Embassy Row.


Mom of Triple As said...

It's great to see the pictures of Ian and Caleb. Sounds like you had a nice day in Beijing.

Anonymous said...

Back in Beijing. That means two days closer to Charlotte! WooHoo.
You are brave to be in Beijing without a guide. Have a great time. Hope you all get rested before the flight home. I'll surely be praying for all of you.
Love the pictures of Caleb with Ian.
Love, LaoLao

Laurie said...

Oh my, what fun it was to come home today to THREE posts- SO much fun for those of us enjoying your trip right along with you. :) You are brave for doing Beijing on your own- good for you! That's nice that Maggie has offered her help- what a lady! My favorite picture was of Caleb trying to get the ball out of the statue- he is SOOOO cute!!

Anonymous said...

I had to scroll way down to get caught up on all of your adventure! Chris asked if we were heading to Charlotte Douglas on Friday...We will give you time to get settled, love on your mamas and sister, but we seriously can't wait until you think it is a good time for Kylie to introduce us to Caleb -- and of course see you and Ian :) Love you ALL! Jen and the Brayley Boys

Nancy said...

That is great, looks like Ian & Caleb are bonding!

Anonymous said...

Wow I am jealous! I want to go shopping in that market!!! I also like the random "elipticalish" workout thingys out for the public to use. Maybe America wouldn't be so fat if we had things like that!
37 and a 1/2 hours until we get to see you guys!!!
Love Aunt Cici

Mom of Triple As said...

I told Andrew that you said you'd celebrate his birthday a bit late when you got home ~ he smiled and said, "Ok." We love you guys too and can't wait for you to come home!

Mendy said...

Love the pictures, especially one of Daddy and Caleb.

NaiNai Miller said...

What a wonderful picture of Ian carrying Caleb. I'm so glad the first shyness is over. Can hardly wait until I see you together as a family of four. I am so proud of all of you.
Love, nainai

C.C. said...

Looks like so much fun! I wish we were still there with you:-)