Tuesday, June 18

Beijing Day Two: the Forbidden City, Kung Fu show, and Dinner

Saturday greeted us with mostly clear skies and it was hot. We did the Forbidden City and the Kung Fu show at the Red Theater. Our guide brought her camera along to snap shots of her atypical customers. She got some good ones that I am glad to have for our memories. 

And we're off for the day. That's our hotel behind us. Jake was determined to start the day walking and NOT in the stroller!
My biggest and littlest men. So cute!

Here we are approaching the Forbidden City with its moat behind us. It was here that we came across our first potty training child being held over a trash can to do its business. That's what you came here to read, right? 

Morgan was in good spirits being scooped up by strangers at the beginning of the day and the reason is below. 

Once we got to the gate area, our guide told us the price of tickets and Ryan gave her the money and she went and got the tickets while I lathered the kids up with sunscreen. Such great service from this guide!!! Many Chinese carried around their umbrellas to keep the sun off – light skin is strongly preferred. Isn’t that funny how our cultures are opposites in this regard?!

Nine is a revered number in China since it's the largest single digit. 
Us in action. Kids snacking as always! Jake, our Little Boss.
Ah, our globe trotters, I'm so proud of them! 

The Forbidden City was massive! We only scratched the surface on our tour but it was hot and I don’t do heat and children well together. We’d brought snacks, lots of water and I remembered to bring the spray bottle which saved us from Morgan having melt downs. I don’t remember much of what our guide was trying to share but she kept us moving along and even did Morgan’s potty stops with her! Now that’s service! I knew she’d be efficient, knew where she was going, and Morgan was probably better for her than she would have been in a new situation with me.

No trees = less place for assasins to hide or fire hazard. Their shade was sorely missed!

Tourists can pay to dress up and have their picture taken looking like the Emperor, Empress or concubine.
We saw these all over the place as a means of transporting goods. Wow!

Male lion with the ball under foot. He's the ying to the ting-yang balance.
Getting around in style! 

Ahh, shade and our secret weapon to keep Morgan happy! Our guide brought her that bow in her hair and while I wanted her to wear some comfy shorts, she picked her girly pink tutu skort.  
Our guide tried to get Morgan to charge 1yuan per picture posed with her!
Ever the capitalist, our guide!
Morgan was just happy with the spray bottle in her hand!
Jake's happy place - an incline to run or slide on!
As long as you didn't try to touch him, he was a happy camper.
Many learned by way of his ear-piercing scream that he's not touchy-feely with strangers.
Cuteness!!! So fun to see kids look real hard at our children.

You can't hear him, but he let out a shrill one!
McKay says he likes being famous because you get free stuff, like these flags.
It was with mixed emotion that we let our boys wave those flags around.
Emperor's bedroom
Beautiful gardens which I was too tired and hot to enjoy.
Glad Ryan ran around taking pictures of many of it's beauties.
The Forbidden City's exterior wall.

After exiting the Forbidden City, we hopped on a bus with Helen to head to the Red Theater. We really enjoyed the “Legend of Kung Fu” show. It is such a tourist trap but nice to sit back, relax and be entertained. We did the earlier 5:15 show. 

Afterward, Morgan couldn't stop showing off her kung fu skills for the rest of the evening. It was hilarious!

We took the metro back to our hotel’s neighborhood at the Oriental Plaza Mall. We didn’t wander long looking at menus when we found the equivalent of a Chinese Applebees with some pretty decent food. 
We were many people's dinner entertainment. Imagine witnessing our first real meal with ever using chopsticks and we were starving! McKay is a champ with chopsticks! Easton gave up and Morgan gave it a go but took to spearing her food - corn pancakes. 

Dinner: sticky rices, steamed broccoli, steamed asparagus, corn pancakes, salad, spicy noodles, beef and noodles.
Very refreshing and yummy and I'm not even a walnut fan. 

Everyone's so happy to sit down and eat real food after a day of snacks!

It didn't take long for those chopsticks to become pancake swords.
Shocking, I know!
Before long, Jake was done so I walked him around the area in front of the restaurant. We mostly enjoyed watching the beautiful fish in their pond with other restless toddlers and typically their grandmother.

Next stop, DQ blizzards for our pint-sized globe trotters! The kids now began negotiating a deal – what if the better they behave, the bigger the blizzard they earned? Works for us!

My baby was so tired!!!
Morgan won't die til she's dead, she's like the energizer bunny!
And she loves her blizzards! 
And Kung Fu!
We bought one of those silly cheap rubberband spinners you shoot into the sky from a street hawker and the kids had a blast with it.
Ryan had given them some yuan to barter the price and they did well.

 We took the route through Snack Street to see it lit up at night on the way back to our hotel.

Again, showers and baths for all, a load of laundry and attempt to get to bed when our bodies say it's not near bedtime yet! I think it was 1:30am Beijing time when we all settled down. Turns out a six hour time difference makes a difference!