Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Last Stop.....Beijing!(Sat. 3/24)

We made it to the Great Wall!!!

Thomas & Siena at the Great Wall

The Government Ran, Friendship store & Cloisonne Factory. Artisans at work making beautiful Cloisonne.
Mommy's headed out to buy some of that stuff.

Chairman Mao's Portrait above the Forbidden City's Entrance

The Tower at Tienanmen Square
Beijing Museum with Olympic Count Down Clock
I love this classic picture of the Chinese man and his birds.
He was kind enough to pose for me.

Me & Mommy at one of our Favorite stores. See all the pearls in this one oyster?

I wonder what I can con out of these girls?

We were off to Beijing on the afternoon of Friday March 23rd.
We were greeted by our favorite guide Thomas. Thomas was a great guide and spoke English quite well. He was so polite and knew his Chinese History & seemed very proud to tell us about it all. We headed to our next home away from home which was the Poly Plaza Hotel. A little bit bigger room than the White Swan but not as elaborate otherwise. It was late so we only checked into the hotel and settled in. Or rather we tried to. Siena was up late since I suppose she didn't like the room. I knew she was tired of moving from hotel to hotel as were we. She did quite well on the plane ride but putting her down at night is sometimes a chore.

On Sat.morning March 24th Thomas picked us up for a day of sightseeing. We first visited the Great Wall. It was impressive to say the least. We only saw a portion and were not able to climb to the highest level with Siena in tow. Most people that come to China for Adoptions usually visit Beijing before getting their babies. But on the Great Wall Siena made friends with everyone like always. Everyone loves to come up and talk with her. She even had someone take her picture with them this time. For lunch we were taken to a Friendship store. These are stores throughout China that are state ran. They sell many Chinese goods and this particular one had lots of cloisonne. At the back entrance of the store we 1st visited the cloisonne factory and were given a brief tour. A fascinating art that is skillfully all made by hand still today. Upstairs we ate our lunch. We were sat at a table that was covered with food. It was more of the simpler Chinese foods that we Americans were used to. Dishes like lemon chicken, beef, fresh fruit, rice, stir fried broccoli & more. It was the best meal that I had in China. We then headed back downstairs to do some shopping. Lots of cloisonne to choose from. So I bought a few pieces, of course. Thomas then took us to a jade factory. A few craftsmen were sculpting jade and of course there was a store. Daddy bought a carved ball that has another ball inside that is all made from one piece of jade. It is called the family ball. A traditional Chinese jade work of art that is supposed to bring the family good luck. After the jade factory we headed back into town to visit Tienanmen Square. Thomas explained all of the different buildings in & around the Square. To the north end was the ancient Tower that was built in 1417 during the Ming Dynasty. To the west end was the Great Hall of the People. In the center was a monument to the People's Heroes & along the side was the China National Museum which had a count down sign for the Olympics. The south end was Chairman Mao's Memorial Hall. He is said to be lying inside in a crystal coffin. Finally at the far end of the square is the entrance to the Forbidden City with a picture of the beloved Chairman Mao Zedong above. The square is very large and is said to be largest square in the world. There were many people strolling along and several vendors selling postcards and kites to fly in the square. We didn't have much time so we didn't visit inside any of the buildings or the Forbidden City. We then went to a small grocery store to get some baby supply. I had also mentioned to Thomas that I wanted to shop for pearls. So he took us to a very nice pearl factory that had a large show room full of pearl jewelry for sale. We were shown how pearls are produced by the oysters and made into jewelry. While I was shopping Siena stole the hearts of the sales girls. She ended up being given 2 tiny baby pearl bracelets from the girls. We decided upon a ring for Siena to receive upon her 18th birthday. I found a beautiful pink & purple pearl ring with 18k white gold. It is beautiful. They said that the pink and purple pearls are only found in China. We hope she likes it.

The next day Thomas had wanted to take us out again to the sights but we had to decline. We knew we would be too tired since we had to later catch our flight home. So early that morning I went down the street to the market that Thomas had shown me to buy a large suitcase for all of the souvenirs and goodies for Siena to take home. We were allowed an extra suitcase home since we purchased the extra seat for Siena. Believe me you will want the extra room with a flight this long. Flying in China and holding her in my lap was ok but for a 13 hr. flight back to the US would not have been. So to those that plan on coming to China please be advised that you should not count on an open seat to use. All of our flights were packed.

So now the flight brings us back home to where we are now. Last night we all managed to settle down for the night. Siena fell asleep on the way home from the airport. It is now 5:00 AM on Tues. March 27th and yes I am wide awake. I woke up pretty early this morning but fell back asleep and slept a few more hours. Got back up and went out to the grocery store to get some things. Siena has been adjusting to her new home. She wanted to check it all out. So I took her around the house & told her all about it. We showed her,her room later after she got her bath. I think she was in awe. She just looked all around the room without a mumble.
It's a great feeling to be HOME!
We are One Happy Family!!! (With the exception of a little whining once in awhile.)

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