Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ni Hao

That's Chinese for hello :) But you probably knew that from Ni Hao, Kai Lan, if you have small children... and cable.

There are some people in this world who have that certain "look" and somehow magically blend in, wherever they go. Dark hair and eyes, they can look Asian, Latino, Middle Eastern, European, anything. Our family, with blond hair and blue eyes? Well, we are definitely NOT the blending in type. In China, where foreigners are scarce, we stood out like sore thumbs. My sister and I constantly got stopped and asked to take pictures with Chinese people. The funniest was when they tried to sneak pictures with their phones! There was no anonymity, especially adding that we had maps open and our noses in a guidebook whenever we were out. We quickly formed a routine: to borrow my Mom's words, "get lost, eat, repeat". That pretty much summed it up when we were on our own! Thankfully we had a tour guide for the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Summer Palace, the Ming Tombs and the Temple of Heaven. We learned so much from her!

Enjoy my favorite photos from Beijing!

Bikes everywhere!!
We rode this guy's rickshaw to a restaurant that we thought was right around the corner. After an hour's ride, several stops for directions and many phone call by this guy to the restaurant later, we found out--it was closed. This happened a lot, actually. A bunch of stuff that must have opened before the Olympics, must not have been in it for the long haul. Like the Starbucks at the Great Wall, for example.
A view of the Hutong district outside our hotel, from our hotel room window:
At the temple of Heaven. They used these big cauldrons to burn sacrifices:
The Forbidden City. Super crowded!

A highlight for me was definitely the Great Wall (despite the let-down about the Starbucks, haha!)
Jana and I climbed up the steps for an hour and got super high up there. It was SO fun and we were really sweaty, but that did not stop people from wanting our picture, inviting family members to come, hurry up and get a picture with the white people and from getting in my face with a video camera. SO weird.
Mom discovered this beautiful place while we were climbing. It was so peaceful.
And this is my favorite pic I got of the three of us...

Annnnnd, finally, on the last day, after being lost a few times, look what we stumbled upon...

It was not the same, in case you're wondering. But, while China does tea like no one else, they are terrible at coffee, so for the first bigger-than-a-shot-glass coffee I'd had in a week, it sufficed ;)

My first text to Casey on my arrival in the U.S. was, "Ah, back to the land of coffee and personal space." It's good to be home! But, I am SO thankful for the opportunity to have traveled! To Asia, of all places! I got to see and experience what most Americans never get to and I am forever changed. Thanks to my Mom and Dad for the trip of a lifetime.

I am so excited to get back to my sewing, homemaking, daily-life-happenings style of blogging! I've made a dress and two shirts that I haven't shared yet, I'm working on a quilt for Kelby and I got some pretty cool souvenirs that my fellow textile lovers will definitely want to see :)


  1. Love the photos! It really was a wonderful trip for you! I would totally miss the coffee too.

    I have had it happen to myself while in Brazil (when I was 18) and a few years ago at Lake Louise a huge group of Chinese tourists surrounded my daughter to have a photo with her. She was overwhelmed and I wasn't sure what to do. She just scowled at them!

  2. So exciting! and beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing :) Also, can't wait to see your sewing! I have missed it.

  3. Thanks for sharing your pics and observations. It's clear that you and Jana (and your mom and dad) had a grand visit! So glad you both could get a glimpse of their side of the world.