Get ready for picture overload because I’m finally posting about our trip to China to bring Collins home!
All packed with our giant suitcases (these are seriously the best. HUGE and super light weight) and ready to board the plane.
I will probably repeat this a thousand times, but Anderson was an absolute rock star the entire trip. Long haul flight? No problem: iPad, neck pillow, and headphones are ready. If he wasn’t doing this…
He was doing this.
We survived the flights and made it to Beijing. A comfy travel outfit is a must including this cross body bag.
Here is where we hit a little bump in the road. We got off the plane, retrieved our luggage and made it through customs. Apparently our guide was taking some other families from our group back to the hotel, so he had a friend of his meet us at the airport. This guy spoke absolutely no English, so he immediately thrust his phone at Shane to speak with our actual guide. Our guide, Jason, told us there was one other family on our plane that we would wait for, then this man would put us into a car and take us to our hotel. We knew the other family, as we had met on the plane. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Almost an hour later they appeared. Great!
So both families were ushered outside and the guide put the other family (that we had just waited an hour for) into a car and sent them on their way to the hotel. Then we proceeded to wait. And wait. And wait. About 45 minutes later our car finally arrived. We then proceeded to get stuck in the worst Beijing traffic. It took over 2 hours in traffic to get to the hotel. By this time I was completely exhausted and aggravated and Anderson was passed out in the backseat. We finally pulled up to our hotel and unloaded our bags. Anderson was still completely passed out, so the driver picked him up out of the back seat, laid him on the sidewalk and quickly drove away. Ha! We got checked into our room only to find that we had been booked in a room with one bed instead of two. We asked to be moved, but the hotel was full so we asked for a roll away. Due to the language barrier we were brought a crib. Anderson was not having that. Ha! Eventually we got the roll away bed and ordered up some room service because it was way too late to venture out at this point.
Our first meal in China at 11 p.m.
This kid LOVES sweet and sour chicken and was determined to use the chopsticks.
After a good night’s sleep we were up and ready for breakfast.
Then off for a day of sight seeing. First stop, Tienanmen Square.
Last time we were here this part of the square was closed due to some foreign leaders visiting. I love the two men in the background staring at us.
A warm and sunny day meant lots of umbrellas.
Anderson’s first experience with a squatty potty was quite entertaining. We walked into the stall and he suddenly froze. “What is THIS????”. Son, that’s a squatty potty. Then he proceeded to pee all over the floor around the squatty potty including onto my feet (yep, I was wearing sandals). Shouldn’t this be easy for a boy? He was completely confused as to how girls use this type of restroom then was super impressed when mama could navigate one like it was no big deal.
Next we headed into the Forbidden City. Apparently I didn’t take many photos of this portion of our day. Maybe because we had been here before?
The Forbidding City is huge and each section is very similar to the one before. I was proud of this little guy. He didn’t complain of being bored even one time and took in all of the history.
I think he looks like a secret service agent here. Keeping the group safe.
It doesn’t get much cuter than holding Dad’s hand. Anderson got a bit nervous in big crowds and would always sidle up to one of us and quietly sneak his hand into ours. Love that sweet boy. Don’t worry, we won’t lose you in a sea of Chinese tourists.
After leaving the Forbidden City we loaded into a rickshaw for a hutong tour.
Our driver pedaled approximately three feet, then stopped abruptly and made me get out. Should I be offended? Was I weighing us down?
After a couple of minutes of chattering in Chinese between a couple of the drivers the three of us loaded into an different rickshaw and headed off on our ride. It turns out our first driver was done for the day. It had nothing to do with me 🙂
After riding through the narrow alleyways of old Beijing we stopped at a local family’s home for lunch.
It looks a bit different than our kitchen at home, but boy was the food delicious.
Something about this little cup made me chuckle.
After lunch we took the rickshaw back to the bus, then made our way back to our hotel in horrible traffic. Once the group was back at the hotel we decided to do some exploring around the hotel. Just up the block is a huge mall. Anderson got a kick out of wandering through the toy store.
One of the things we were really looking forward to on this trip was taking Anderson to see all of the crazy street food. Here we are at the gate of the road.
Yes, those are scorpions, starfish, cockroaches, snakes and other bizarre foods for sale.
Fun drinks and we never figured out exactly what the watermelon drinks were, but we saw tons of people enjoying them.
So as we explored food street we quickly realized that Anderson needed to get out, and get out fast. You see, the smell in this funky little crowded alleyway is absolutely horrendous. Between the noxious smells and the wiggly snacks waving at him on a stick, Anderson was about to lose his lunch. So we quickly wove thru the very dense crowd and back out to clean air.
Next to our hotel was this beautiful church. A rare sight in China.
That evening we went with a few other families in our group to dinner. The food was served family style and was delicious.
After dinner we were all exhausted from jet lag and knew we had a full day ahead of us in the morning. Up next, the great wall and meeting up with old friends!