Friday, September 14, 2012

Helllooooo from Beijing!!!!

We made it!!!  We left the house at 7:20 AM to get to the airport.  We have not traveled by airplane since our honeymoon almost 11 years ago.  I was nervous getting there just because of our luggage and going through security etc.  We checked in and that was all done by computer this time.  You walk up, input your confirmation number and scan your passports and then they print off your boarding passes.  We met some really nice people as we were waiting.  We found out as time went on that our flight was going to be delayed 2 hours.  They gave us a meal voucher for us to get lunch.  We had many people that asked why are we going to Ch*na when we told them where we were going.  We told them that we were going to be adopting a little girl.  Their whole reponse changed.  Most were completely amazed and said thank you for doing that.  It was neat to see!!  When it was time to board the plane, we got on thinking we were leaving soon only to sit and sit and sit etc.  You get my drift.  We found out close to 2 hours later that we were still waiting for mechanical clearances for the plane to be able to take off.  We were in the aisle seats.  At first everything seemed like it would be okay....however as time went on there was no where to stretch or to be able to get comfortable to even sleep a little.  On the back of the seat in front of you they have screens where you can watch a list of movies, play games and also watch the flight.  That was new since we traveled too!!  After 13 hours of being in a plane we were ready to land.  There was quite a bit of turbulence too.  Towards the end of the plane ride I (Jenn) was not feeling well.  The plane landed and of course I got sick!!!  ugh!  Not fun.  I felt much better though.  We landed in Beijing.  At first it seemed like there were not many people there until we got to the part where we needed to go through immigration services.  There were A LOT of people in line!!!  At the airport, I got my first view of what a squatty potty was too.  Although I opted to wait for a bathroom with a regular toilet.  We went to go get our luggage.  We went down an escalator expecting to see our luggage and we saw people just running!!!  We were trying to figure out where they were running to and realized we had to get on a train/shuttle which took us to the area where you needed to still walk pretty far to get our luggage.  The shuttle was super fast and I told Jon I would not complain of his driving again.  After we got our luggage we met our guide who was holding up a sign with our names on it.  We followed him out and got into their little Hyundai vehicle.  We saw the vehicle and wondered how our luggage was going to fit into it.  We ended up having one of our large suitcases wedged in between us.  Of course we got into the car and it was rush hour!!!  I have never seen rush hour like this before.  It took us about an hour to get to our hotel.  I just wanted to get to our hotel and lay down.  We arrived at the Beijing Novotel Peace Hotel.  Very nice hotel. 

Packed & Ready to Go!!!

Waiting for our Plane

Our Plane

Inside Beijing Airport

Waiting in line to go through Immigration

Today we went to the Great Wall.  It was absolutely breathtaking. It is work to climb that is for sure.  I couldn't tell if it was the jet lag we had or if it was just tough.  Some steps are a few inches and others are 12-18 inches.  Afterwards, we had lunch at the Jade Garden with our group that is here with our agency and had a tour at the Jade Factory.  We then went on a tour through Hutong Lane.  We then were able to go visit a family and see a middle class home.  Their home consisted of a sitting room, small kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom for sleeping.   The man is a Kung Fu teacher and his wife was a factory worker where she made toys.  In Ch*na a woman retires at the age of 55 and the man at age 60.  We then took a rickshaw ride through the streets of Hutong.  It was very interesting to see the town.  In Beijing, the population is about 19 million people.  The streets have many cars and they do a lot of honking.  There are about 4 million cars on the roads.  It is pretty busy on the streets.  Crossing the streets takes A LOT of thought.  People do not have the right away the cars do.  They will not stop for you at all.  The government has tried to control the amount of cars on the roads by requiring that if a person wants to buy a car they have to apply for a license first.  Each month is a lottery where only 20,000 names are pulled.  I will post some pictures for you to enjoy from our day here.  TWO more sleeps until our Gotcha Day!!!!   

A Man Carving Jade

A woman polishing the Jade after it has been carved.

The Happiness Ball carved out of Jade.  This picture shows the steps on how it was made starting from the right to the left.  It is all one piece.  It has 4 layers.  It is amazing how they can do that from only one piece.

One of the Olympic Stadiums.  The Cube stadium.  Swimming & Diving events took place here.

The Nest Olympic Stadium

Beijing Traffic

Us on the Rickshaw

The Olympic Medals from the Beijing Olympics 2008. The medals were made out of Jade.


  1. Yay!!!! You are really THERE :) So happy for you - can't wait to see your girl in your arms :)

  2. Oh I love seeing you there! I'm so excited for you guys! Yay! Yay! Yay!