Thursday, September 11, 2008

My aching feet!!

We have walked one billion miles today... or at least it felt like it! We started by going to the Forbidden City, which of course was ah-mazing!! You could just imagine that you were an emperor (or empress!) wandering those grounds, or being carried around I'm would have been a long way to walk to get anywhere! The crowds were thick, and there was a lot of pushing and shoving to see some of the sights (thrones and such) inside the palaces...the doors were open but with rails, with everyone pushing to get up to the front to see. It reminded me of pep rallies at Auburn! Ah, China. The Forbidden City is not to be missed though! Here are some of my favorite pictures.

See the crowds?? Yes, they are pushy!

Ice Cream Break- it was hot!!

After wearing ourselves out at the Forbidden City, we hunted down a lunch-spot... that took a while, but we ended up very happy with our lunch of spicy chicken, noodles, rice, and broccoli. We then walked some more.... trying to see the Bell and Drum towers, but they were closed, so we started exploring the Hou Hai lake area. More walking, more shopping! I also finally got a picture of a Chinese child (with permission of his...or her- it was hard to tell- daddy of course). As an aside, it is the strangest thing I have ever seen, but the little toddler age children are dressed in pants with the inseam mostly cut out! And without diapers!! Their little heineys are just hanging out all over the place!! We haven't seen any pee-pee or poo-poo stains on the mothers who tote them around all day, but I don't see how we don't...the are too little to be potty trained! This child seemed to have intact pants, but I'm not sure!! :) The pediatrician in me also fully disapproves of all the kids on bicycles without helmets!! My PALS services have not yet been needed though...

After walking around Hou Hai lake and hutong, our feet demanded that we take a cab for once, and we headed back to our hotel to freshen up and rest. Later, we ventured out to the Night Market, where there are stalls and stalls of, well, interesting and unusual (read, disgusting!) food items for sale... the available variety includes silk worms on a stick, fried centipedes, scorpions, sea horses, starfish, kidneys and hearts of various animals, snake, mice, and a lot of other unidentifiable creatures.

It wasn't all horrifying though... we tried several (boring!) things, which were mostly good: chicken on a stick, pineapple rice with sugar, fried dumplings, fried bananas (which were very much like New Orleans' beignets), and fruit with a coating of melted sugar- like brittle! Yes, we ate some things we probably weren't supposed to, but hey, you only live once! I may regret it in the morning, we'll see! The fruit brittle stuff

And now, of course, we are turning in for the night. Tomorrow is the big day.... Ron's time trial! He's nervous... but he's ready! He's ready for all of his hard work to pay off, and to go out there and have some fun! We're meeting up with the crew from the Hartford and riding out to the course together, which is at the Ming Tombs. Should be fun! I am so proud of Ron, and ready to see those Go-Sticks in action! Stay tuned in (and keep your fingers crossed for him!)... he goes off at about 2:45 here, which is 1:45 AM at home- we should have some updates posted by the time ya'll wake up! Until then....