Yesterday, we had another incredible day of sightseeing. We walked all day in quite the heat again, seeing extraordinary architecture in the historic Beijing center. Our first stop was Tiananmen Square. It’s within the top ten largest city squares in the world and just an absolutely massive space. Our second stop was the Forbidden City, adjacent to Tiananmen Square. Surrounded by a moat, these 980+ ancient rooms once housed China’s emperors from 1420-1912. It is now home to the Palace Museum, where many of the artifacts are kept. The intricacy of these buildings and extensive detail of hand-painted were stunning.
We then traveled to the Summer Palace, where the emperors and their families would come to “play.” There were gardens, more ancient buildings and more stairs to climb, but they offered an awesome view of the water and Beijing.
Since it was our last night in Beijing before traveling to Violet’s province, Gloria treated us to a Peking Duck dinner. We (the guys) also asked to order her favorite dish (bullfrog), and we promised to try it. I know the cliché thing to say is “it tastes a lot like chicken” – but it’s true. It tasted like a fattier chicken wing and took the flavors of the sauce and spices well. I don’t think it’s a dish I would order for myself, but I wouldn’t pass on trying it again if it was presented. Nicole tried duck for the first time, and that felt adventurous enough for her.
As our time in Beijing ended, we said goodbye to Gloria and our site-seeing friends. We packed up our bags and headed to Lanzhou – the capital city of Gansu, Violet’s province.
Nicole and I are now in our last stage of waiting. Tomorrow afternoon, we meet Violet for her Gotcha Day. She is traveling about 6-7 hours in the morning by car to meet us in Lanzhou, so please pray for safe and smooth travels for her, the nannies and orphanage director traveling with her.
We are enjoying having a free schedule tonight and even found pizza! It tasted SO GOOD and was a really cool, modern restaurant. It looked a lot like something you’d see in the US. It took a couple of minutes of trying to ask for bottled water which was humorous. Imagine a game of charades and trying to use translators on the phone with three young waiters. Nicole ended up with hot lemon water, and the waiter had someone write “free” in pen on his arm, thinking that was her concern. It is custom to drink hot water with meals so, we’re looking forward to cold drinks again!
It is surreal to think we will finally meet our daughter tomorrow. We’ll see how much sleep we will get tonight!
Enjoy some pictures below: