Friday, October 10, 2008

The Great Wall and Other Things

We made it home from Beijing. I thought I would try to put a quick post together. I decided to go ahead and break up this post--otherwise it would be way too long. I just want to give you a few highlights of our stay in China.

We arrived here in Beijing on Monday morning--the ship had a little trouble clearing immigration so we were a few hours late getting off. This made us a little late. We were supposed to see The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. However because we were so late we ended up going to The Summer Palace (I guess because it stayed open later than The Forbidden City)


I have a great camera but unfortunately couldn't truly capture the sights--things were absolutely incredible. Both Allan and I were awestruck when we saw the Terra Cotta Warriors. This gives you an idea of the size of this pit--which I believe was Pit #1.

Now to give you a better look at the warriors:

Just to give you an idea of what we saw:

Toilets--fortunately they weren't all like this:

We were lucky enough to find some "Western" style facilities. We even found some that were rated pretty high. Everything was incredibly clean.

Birds Nests:

Getting tickets to the Birds Nest was very difficult so our bus driver drove (very slowly) past it so we could see it. I loved being able to see it. (That was our first day traveling to Beijing on our way to the Summer Palace)

We also saw older gentleman with their birds nests that they would carry with them to the park or to visit with friends.


But fortunately, when all else fails:


The morning our ship was heading into port in China, I went on the balcony and saw this. I thought it was so beautiful (maybe I was just excited to finally be in China ; )

We took a little Dragon boat around Kunming Lake at The Summer Palace. It is just amazing--hard to believe it is man-made. Right before we were getting off the boat I captured this picture of the sunset.


When we were in Xian we climbed The City Wall.

I will have to write a post devoted to our experience climbing the Great Wall--IT WAS SO AMAZING, but here's a picture just to give you an idea of how steep it is.

I'm glad to be home--a little exhausted. (We left Beijing on October 10th at 4:40 p.m. and arrived home in Winnipeg at around 7:15 p.m.--who'd have thought the flight would be that short!!! Ha, ha, ha. We crossed the International Date Line going this direction so we gained back that day we lost in September.

Kyle was happy to see us (and I was so happy to see him ; )

Sidenote: Happy Birthday to my sweet grandson, Brandon, who turns 14 today!!! Hey, Neal didn't get his birthday because we didn't have September 24th and Brandon got two birthdays because we had October 10th for 2 days ; )


PJ said...

I bet if feels good to be home.

Um...Yuck on the 'weird things on a stick' ;)

It all looks beautiful, I can't wait to read and see more!

glittersmama said...

You need some serious quads to use those bathrooms!

I'm glad you made it home safe and sound. I'm excited to hear more of your exciting adventures.

Holly said...

I'm glad you're home safe and sound. Love the pictures and can't wait for more. I remember toilets like those in Italy!

[Somebody Loved] said...

Wha-Hoo! You're back!
Awesome first post about your travels... there will be more right? Rest up if you can. Vacations and traveling can be hard on the traveler.

Chel said...

Oh, Yvonne - such an amazing adventure and experiences, but I am sure glad you are HOME!

I love your pictures and hearing of everything you got to see and do. I hope there is much more to come!!

I really missed you.

Ashley said...

I am in awe of all the beautiful pictures. I enlarged the creatures on a stick to get a better look. Strange indeed! Glad you all arrived home safely. I hope the other members who left early are doing well. Get some rest. We missed you!

JustRandi said...

Welcome home!!
I'm so glad you had fun and you're finally back.
And blogging the day you return!! That's dedication right there. Thanks for the pic's. They're amazing.

aurora said...

Wow. Gotta love those toilets!

Looks like a super trip. I am sure that it is amazing to travel with your hubby.

My hubby will be landing in China in about 6 or 7 hours. sniff, sniff.

Tori :) said...

So... was McDonalds any good over there???

I can not believe how STEEP that was! Wow!

Heffalump said...

I can't wait for you to catch us up on the rest of your trip!

Tiffany said...

I am so glad you were able to experience China. What amazing things to see. Even the food on a stick must have been a memory maker, to say the least. I am happy you are safely home, and so love the pictures that you are sharing. Wow!

Jodi said...


You have been missed! I love reading about your adventures and seeing the pix. Hope you are planning on posting tons more pix!!!

Those "things" on the stick are unbelievable! Tell me they don't really eat that stuff! Bleh!!!!

Looking forward to hearing more!

Corrine said...

those are some steep stairs!

ok were those sea horses on the sticks???

what a fun time. bet you are glad to be home and safe.

What fun memories.

annie said...

I love all the pictures! and like everyone else am glad that you are home safe! Looks like an amazing trip and can't wait to hear and see more!

Neal said...

Since you gained that day back from September - does this mean you're going to celebrate my birthday AGAIN? ; )

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

Can't wait to see more! What an awesome adventure!

Heidi said...

Welcome home! And loved your bra comment on my site. Seriously, awesome.

Magirk said...

Fascinating pictures!

I'm so glad you found some 'respectable' commode accommodations (LOL!), and some familiar food. ;-)

Welcome Home!

It sounds like it was a wonderful trip.

(And I know I'm terribly late on this, but I hope Bev's husband is okay.)

Melissa said...

Welcome home :) So amazing! What a fantastic trip! I can't wait for you to post more and more! I'm so surprised you didn't try the seahorse on a stick... yummm... tasty! :P

Lauren said...

Aw! I love all of the pictures!

I am glad you found some clean bathrooms!

When all else fails...go to Mcdonalds. I did that when we were in France.

Nancy Face said...

Hi! Sorry I'm late...I haven't really been reading blogs for the past few days! But I'm VERY glad to be here now! :D

Nancy Face said...

Wow! There's so much to comment about! First of all, you take the most wonderful pictures! I loved seeing them all! :)

I have never even heard of the Terra Cotta Warriors...they are so AMAZING.

Nancy Face said...

Whoever designed those floor toilets must have had something against women! ACK! :0

I can't even BELIEVE they have fancy signs proclaiming the 4 Star Rating of their tourist-y toilets! HAHA! :D

Nancy Face said...

The Bird's Nest looks really cool...what is it with all the older gentlemen and their bird cages? ;)

Nancy Face said...

You have got to be kidding...that stuff in the picture is FOOD? For HUMANS? REALLY? :0


Burgers and fries have never looked so good before! Haha! :D

Nancy Face said...

The sunrise and sunset pictures are beautiful! :)

I couldn't help thinking of how Lauren would do on the Great Wall, being so incredibly steep (she has quite a fear of heights)...YIKES!

I'm looking forward to your post about the Great Wall. :)

Nancy Face said...

Poor birthday! ;)

Lucky Brandon with TWO birthdays! :D

Nancy Face said...

Okay, I'm done hogging your comment box now. Tee hee! ;)

Yvonne said...

pj: I'm SOOOOOOOOO glad to be home.

Weren't those things on a stick just gross looking!!!
Kyle said he would have eaten them ; )

It was beautiful.

glittersmama: I was very surprised I could squat ; )


holly: I'm glad to be back home.

The toilets were something.

sheila: Yes, there will be more.

I can't seem to get my body clock set at the right time.

chel: It was so fun. There will be lots more--just can't figure out how to do it all.

I missed you, too.

ashley: All those foods on sticks (if that's what you can call them) were so yucky looking--and some smelled pretty bad, too).

My brother-in-law passed away last night, so my SIL is doing as well as can be expected.

justrandi: Thanks--it's great to be home.

aurora: Allan and I had such a great time together. It's so wonderful to share those experiences together.

I hope your hubby has a great time in China--has he been there before???

tori: I have to say I was a little worried when I ordered my Big Mac--is it really hamburger kept running through my head ; ) It tasted the same.

It was steep--very glad I was prepared.

heffalump: It will take time but I will post about it all.

tiffany: The whole trip was such a great memory maker (great description ; )

jodi: Thanks--it's good to be home.

I am planning on posting more--just trying to get things organized.

I couldn't believe that "food" on a stick ; )

corrine: Yes, those were sea horses. I never could find the scorpions--which is what we were really wanting to see (not to eat ; )

It was a great trip.

Yvonne said...

annie: Thanks--I'll do my best to post more soon.

neal: Yeah, we'll celebrate your birthday again--NEXT YEAR!

gina: It was AMAZING.

heidi: Thanks--glad you enjoyed the comment.

magirk: It's always nice to see the McDonalds sign ; )

It was a great trip.

Bev's husband passed away last night--he went quickly but didn't suffer.

melissa: It was a fabulous trip.

I laughed when Kyle said he would have tried all the stuff on the stick ; )

lauren: Thanks.

Thank goodness for McDonalds.

nancyface: O.K. You are so funny!!!

I'll comment on all your comments in one comment ; )

I'm glad you commented. I appreciated the comment about the pictures. I love taking pictures.

The terra cotta warriors are absolutely amazing. You just can't believe--it is estimated there are something like 7 or 8,000 of these life-size statues buried. They were discovered in 1974 when local farmers were drilling wells for water.

I was just grateful that the toilets flushed!!!

These older gentleman just carry their birds to the park--don't know why. (I couldn't help but imagine you carrying TJ in his cage while you go on a run ; )

Yes, the stuff on the stick IS for human consumption--but not for this human!!!

I loved seeing the beautiful sunsets (even though I was up early I didn't see many sunrises ; )

I'm sure Lauren would have done just fine on the wall.

Frankly I think Neal will be very happy if we think of him as being a year younger ; )

Brandon would love to be older so two in a year is good for him.

Thanks for all the comments.

Alice Wills Gold said...

Oh wow.....I am so jealous! I am sure you had a wonderful does it always get better for always have amazing travel stories.

Suzanne said...

Your shots are amazing! Especially the toilet! LOL! :D