Last week, we had Monday off to celebrate communism, so naturally we took a subway and bus 2 hours away, to the botanical gardens (still in Beijing, in case you were wondering).
There were tons of gorgeous flowers in full bloom. The tulips were spectacular, both up close and far away:
(Adam took the photo with the colors; I've taught him well, if I do say so myself!)
Here are a few other favorite flower shots:
(The last one is the of the peony garden. You know, the flowers that bloom on their own and don't need much attention?)
We were lucky to have clear, sunny weather, though that meant we were joined by thousands of others celebrating China's communism and general lack of smog. It made it difficult to get pictures without other people in them, as you can see:I can't really be sad though because what would I do with a picture of a grass-and-flower rabbit? This picture is much more amusing; thank you random man making a ridiculous face.
This was about the time that we realized that the Chinese have a fondness for taking pictures...anywhere. I mean, we knew the love for photographs and the constant posing, but at the expense of flowers at the botanical gardens? But honestly, we weren't terribly surprised.
Luckily the people who built the gardens anticipated this and made small paths amidst the flowers so that people could literally squat and take pictures inside. So we just took cues from the locals and followed cultural norms...
We enjoyed a picnic lunch overlooking a small lake, and people watched as we ate. While we would ordinarily just bring picnic blankets for the day, people here bring full-on tents like they're camping. There were babies napping, people playing cards, and picnics galore in and around these tents.
We left the gardens and (after 2 hours of public transport) met some friends (we have  friends!) for drinks.Thank you, Communist China, for a wonderful day!