I've been absent from the blogging world as of late because my VPN was not as easily fixed as Adam's. Luckily, I got a pretty hilarious email from the company, sent to all China users, with steps to help repair the problems and a few snarky comments towards the Great Firewall. It's good to have real internet again!
It's already been a few weeks, but Janice had a great 1st weekend in Beijing. We started off our Saturday morning with a traditional NY brunch (bagels/cream cheese/lox--straight from H&H to our kitchen!! Thank you Janice!) in a less traditional setting--picnic at the Temple of Heaven.
Notice the kid in the pink jacket in the corner? That's one of my students, Molly! We were eating and people watching, when Adam said "Look at that little kid with all of her ponytails!" I looked up and realized "I know her!" So we're in a massive park in a massive city of 23 million, not particularly close to my school, and we run into 2 students! It was awesome; at first they were somewhat shocked to see me, but then burst into song--Days of the Week, ABC Song, and the Bumblebee song. At the top of their lungs. On the steps of the Temple of Heaven. I love my kids!!
|Talking to parents while Molly and Lily scream the days of the week|
We walked around the park a bit before picking up some snacks at Wanfujing and meeting up with Ben and Simon to explore a park and hutongs nearby. The park is apparently known for "random" meetings of parents who want to set up their single children, Fiddler on the Roof style. Unfortunately, it was pretty deserted when we were there,
so we rode the bumper cars instead!
My favorite part? The American-themed cars.
We ended the day with massages and dumplings, the perfect Beijing welcome!
We woke up early Sunday morning and met our friend Jeremy to go to our favorite place: the Great Wall. Because we've posted pictures from this exact hike two other times (though it was just as spectacular!), I'll spare the wall pictures and bring on the people pictures! Janice found the perfect spot for scenic shots
and Adam realized that he didn't have the quintessential "floating head" pic (see me and his parents).
I love window shots and suggested Adam pose by a beautiful view. His response: "Alison, we already have enough of us by windows on the Great Wall. I don't want to." But I insisted and this is the result:
We conquered the Great Treadmill and Stairmaster (Cathy, thinking of you the whole time!) and were all very thankful for the lack of ice. After finally making it to the top, a group picture was definitely necessary!
By this point, it was windy and we were pretty high, which leads to all sorts of beauty:
Look at that frizz! We ended with a shout out to Amherst College and naps on the ride back to Beijing.
Janice's final weekend was also fantastic--we explored the tea district, ate delicious Yunnan food, found an incredible silk shop, and drank cocktails overlooking the Forbidden City. What a great visit!