Saturday, January 31, 2009

You Need Me On That Wall!

Our first glimpses.

Yikes, that looks steep.

The gang getting ready to go.

I love this picture of the tree.

The locks are a symbol of love. You engrave the lock, chain it to the Great Wall and throw the key over the side.

Me and my Minnie on the Wall.

At the first rest stop. Uggg, just seeing the picture gives me the same feeling in my tummy!

Janie and Summer (Rivers' Mom and sister)

Summer and Me at the top of the tower. We moved mountains of fear to get our fannies up there!

Madie and I resting at the watch house. Mandie is adopting "Charlie" from PHF, who is with Jenny at EW3 right now. We will get our kiddos together.
Janie and Eric - Rivers' parents.

Don't look down!

Janie's prince charming coming to get her.

A last glimpse from the last stop.

China Besties

Harrison has found some new ladies. Here he is with Lily, Rivers' sister. Actually Rivers has 3 sisters, Lily, Summer and Brooke. Harrison loves all the ladies, but yesterday late afternoon proclaimed his "love" for Summer. She is pretty cute and is super sweet, so I approve.

Hammie Working the Camera

Harrison has many nicknames, but one of them is "Hammie" a.k.a. "Hambone." The name started because he is such a little entertainer. Here he is working the camera at the Great Wall.

Medal Winners!

Mike had medals made for Harrison and I that said we climbed the Great Wall. Once I got back down, the boys were waiting for me and were my cheering crowd. I was so happy that Harrison did not come up with me. I had been trying to get him to and he wanted to stay with Daddy and Daddy didn't want him to go. Apparently after I left, Harrison cried and cried wanting to come. I never would have made it with him as it was honestly a pretty scary experience for someone who is afraid of heights.

The Local Star

The rumors were correct, the Chinese people are quite taken with Harrison. He has had a really hard time with it and usually walks around with his hand in front of his face so they cannot take pictures. We did put a hat on him one day and that really cut down on people stopping him, but now he is refusing to wear it. Finally, after this many days he allowed someone to take his picture with their little boy. I had to snap one too!

Yum Yum Lunch

I know that you won't believe this, but I am actually eating the food. For a ridiculously picky person, I find this to quite impressive. In fact, my Minnie Mr even ate some "Fish Sticks" at lunch yesterday and cleaned his plate.

Water Cube and Bird's Nest

The Water Cube above and the Bird's Nest below in the back of the photo.

I was not really excited to go see this. I guess having been in Atlanta for the Olympics, the buildings are not that exciting. I was wrong. The water cube is really an amazing structure, as is the bird's nest. They are so out of place in Beijing, just so stunning and perfect.

Home Sweet Home

Not exactly like my swishy Peachtree City Wallie, but we were thrilled to be stopping at the big Super Wallie in Beijing. We desperately needed a suitcase since our blew apart in the Atlanta airport. We bought a huge American Tourister with compartments for $72. Love it!

Rickshaw Ride and Hutong Area

It was freezing, but we had a great Rickshaw ride through the Hutong Area. I had been dying to get down the little alleyways that we were passing in Beijing and this was our perfect opportunity. We even were invited into a home to see how the locals live. It was an amazing and eye-opening experience.

I really like this action shot above. This is Eric and Brooke Nash - River's dad and sister. We are having a really great time with the Nash family and everyone in our group.

A husband and his wife live in this home. Typically, the adult children and families will live there also, but this couple's children wanted to live in a more modern area. There is no bathroom in this house and the neighbors all share a common bathroom, which the Minnie Mr. deemed it necessary to visit. Although the bathroom was modern with squatties, the smell was overwealming.

Its A Small World After All

I was chatting with one of my travel mates the other day, Shannon King, and we were talking about Atlanta. They are from Smyrna so we were talking about where we live, etc. She mentioned that she homeschools, but that her husband's mom is a teacher in East Cobb and wants them to move there. I said, Oh, I lived in East Cobb and that is where I went to school. Really? Well, Dee (husband) went to Walton High School. What??? Me too!! And, Dee's mom is a teacher at Dickerson Middle School. I went to Dickerson Middle School. Amazing!
So, as I lay awake the other night at 3 a.m. I started thinking. King....King....could his mom be Lynn King, who was not only one of my favorite middle school teachers, but one of my sister's also? The next morning I asked, and the answer was YES!
Here we are in China and I am traveling with my middle school teacher's son. I also remember that his dad and my dad worked together for a while in the 80s, but he doesn't seem to remember that. I will have to wait to see when he talkes to his parents if that memory turns out to be something.

Friday, January 30, 2009