Monday, August 13, 2012

Beijing

There were so many great things to see and do in Beijing. We were there Saturday, July 7 through Wednesday, July 11.

Saturday, July 7
Flew to Beijing. There was a little misunderstanding on how close (or how far away) the subway stop really was from our hotel. So basically we had a death march through the city to our hotel in the Saturday afternoon heat. With our luggage. Of course, there was not a taxi in sight that would stop for us!

Not to worry, we had a delicious dumpling feast that more than made up for our pain.

Sunday, July 8
Sunday we went to church...only weren't told that the 9 a.m. sacrament meeting was cancelled in the summer months. So really we just chatted with a few other people there that didn't get the memo either.

Then off to the Summer Palace! The Summer Palace was absolutely incredible. Crazy to think about how many people it took to build all of the amazing structures (and lake!) solely for the emperor and family to enjoy.


The whole gang on the seventeen-arch bridge.


Matt and I dressed as an emperor and empress.


Overlook from Longevity Hill.

We also went to a Chinese Acrobat show on Sunday night, which was so fun!

Monday, July 9
Went to the Great Wall. Only one word: AMAZING. I still have trouble believing that I was actually there.




We took the cable car up to the wall, and rode the Alpine Slide down. The Alpine Slide was about three times as fast as the one in Park City, such a blast.

Then we went over to the Temple of Heaven.



Tuesday, July 10
This day we had a division of the group. Matt, Wayne, Spencer, and Megan went to see Chairman Mao's tomb. It was about a 2 hour line to see his body. I came later with my parents and Shauna. We met at Tianamen Square (don't forget that according to the Chinese, absolutely nothing happened here. So really, it is what this picture displays, a large public square with lots of people wandering around.)


Then we headed over to the Forbidden City. The best part of the Forbidden City was learning about all of the concubines. Very interesting. But the history and everything else about it was cool too.



Notice my shirt: Hello Kitty says hi from Beijing! Oh, and look at the blue sky! That is a rare event in Beijing.

Then we were supposed to get on the night train to our next city, Xi'an. Only we missed it because of a mix up with the travel agency. Whoops. After sitting in a train station for 3 hours we finally got our transportation figured out. Just another funny story!

Monday, August 6, 2012

First Stop - Xiamen!

Our families first came to our city, Xiamen, so they could see what our life was like. Matt's sister, Megan was already in Xiamen staying with us because she had just finished a semester teaching English in Ningbo, China. My parents flew into Xiamen late on Tuesday, July 3 and the fun began! (Sorry, I don't have pictures for everything we did. We tried!)

Wednesday, July 4.
Highlights included:
Taking a walk around the pond near our house (I call it a pond, it is pretty big pond though).



Showing my parents how expensive the import stores are (no picture, just imagine a 7-Eleven sized store full of expensive every-day American food). $6 for a cake mix? Thanks Betty Crocker, but I'll go without :)

Eating cheap, delicious dumplings for lunch. $5.50 USD to feed 4 people lunch? That is why I love China.

Going to Wal-mart. You laugh, but it is much different than the Wal-Mart back home. Imagine dried fish smell, chicken feet laying on ice, etc... Maybe one day when I am bored I'll take some pictures and show everyone.

Kung Pao chicken for dinner made by my maid, and an evening walk to see the city lights.

Then we headed to the airport to pick up my in-laws - Wayne, Shauna and Spencer!

Thursday, July 5:
We spent the morning at Hulishan Fortress, built in 1894 to protect Xiamen against foreign attackers. There is also a show where the warriors pretend to light a cannon.



After we left the fortress we were walking on the beach and there was a guy with a camel. Random, but awesome.


Then off to Nan Putoa Temple, a Buddhist temple.



No trip to China would be complete without a stroll through the fresh foods market.





A delicious dinner made by the wonderful people Matt works with.



Friday, July 6:
Tour of the Lifetime Factory.


Gulangyu (tourist island) for some sight-seeing.


Korean dinner with the president of Lifetime China, Kenneth.


Walk to ZhongshanLu at night, the pedestrian street.

Saturday we were off to Beijing!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Where to go, buddy?

This is what IT employees in China create when their boss in America sends them Pez dispensers.


Hilarious. I'll be honest, I don't really get it. But it is still funny! Here is the department with their candy, plus Matt.


Where have the Klein's been this past month? Yes, I was taking a blog hiatus. But I am back! Look for updates this week on our amazing trip around China with our family.