Friday, December 3, 2010

Beijing Day 1

Ok, we've made it through day 1. Stef and I have "done" Beijing, so, in my mind today was more about Graham. We started out with breakfast. Graham tried almost everything on the buffet. His favorites for breakfast were miso soup, dim sum and fruit. A breakfast of Chinese champions. Then we hit the Forbidden City and a number of other sites. Graham was stoked...and Stef was cold...or so that seemed to be the theme of the day...and no joke, it's cold.

We did the Hutong tour and ate lunch in the home of a Chinese resident of the Hutong area, which is kind of like there old city...but, remember, 100 years ago was like last week to it was really old. I thought that was a pretty neat experience. I know it was touristy, but you felt like you were really seeing China rather than some of the other places the tour guides typically take you. Food was good, people were nice, etc.

We also hit a "knock-off" mall. Wow, that was an experience. It was littered with sales people that would make Gordon Gecko proud. Maybe that isn't the best analogy, but it's late and I'm too tired to think of a better one. Point is they were very aggressive...nice...but aggressive. Walking down each isle was like running a gauntlet of people calling out "hello" want a belt, want a bag, buy a silk dress for the pretty lady...and they didn't take no for an answer. They would grab you by your arm and gently tug you to their booth that looked eerily similar to almost every other booth in the building. Surprised, I'm sure, but we walked out with several "precious" items. There was a toy store next door, and Graham got to put his bargaining skills to test. He was kind of funny trying to play the uninterested buyer. But, he left with a great deal on a pair of remote control helicopters. One for him, one for Davis. Corinne, we'll buy something for you soon...

Last time we were in Beijing, we skipped the acrobat show because we were just too tired. This time we went. Graham and I enjoyed it...Stef slept. Picked up take out Chinese (which takes on a totally different meaning here) and hit the hotel. No idea what I was ordering because it was all in Chinese...go figure...but it was really great food. We're not part of a big tour group this time, so they're not taking us to the touristy Beijing Duck Dinner spots...I think our guide took us to the spot where she wanted to pick up dinner to take home for herself. When we got to the hotel, Graham went into a coma, and Stef has finally gone to sleep...again.

Hopefully tomorrow we'll be a little more fresh, and can post more. We put a few pictures up, but not too many. Tomorrow we go to the wall where we were told to expect it to be about 20 degrees's to hoping she was exaggerating.



  1. Praying for you and all involved! So happy that you're there safely! Looking forward to more posts!!!!


  2. It looks really cold! Hope that the Great Wall was better and not so chilly! The boys are loving the pictures and Graham's posts....Jack wants to know why Maggie is not with you yet....having to explain some :)
    I love all of the history you are seeing. We did the Hutong tour too and I thought it was wonderful.....
    Tell Graham good luck learning to bargain...a gift I do not have !!

    Praying for you all!


  3. Cinamon, Ed, Eve and ElianaDecember 3, 2010 at 7:04 PM

    It looks much colder than the last time we all were there. I recognize the ....we're in China, we want to enjoy it, but I'm exhausted look. Can't wait til the "family" moment. Praying and sending lots of love and hugs your way.

  4. I love hearing from all of you, but Brook, I'm so glad you're writing again this time, you crack me up! I love your perspective on things! The photos are great! Praying for Sunday...

  5. This is Aunt Melba with Sharla taking dictation on her computer... "Thinking of you, praying for you and loving you from the other side of the world..."

  6. Hi sweet friends! Thanks so much for the pictures. They are great! It was fun to read Graham's post and see things from his eyes. What a special time. Can't wait to meet little Maggie. We rocked out to Toby Mac and Skillet tonight and I am looking forward to a more peaceful night of Nutcracker Ballet with sweet Corinne tomorrow!! Love you guys and the Johnson house hold is praying for you and your family here!