Jade Factory, The Summer Palace, Pearl Factory, 2008 Olympic Site, Chinese Market, Neighborhood Park, Chrysanthemum Tea, Hutong Tour of Old Beijing, Chinese Family Lunch

To wrap up the final sights and sounds of Beijing, we also went to… Jade Factory A state-run Jade Factory (actually we went to this before the Great Wall but I’d forgotten about it) where they tell you about jade, how it was part of the 2008 Olympic medals, how it’s carved, etc. then take […]

Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, Censorship, The Forbidden City, and The Legend of Kung Fu

Temple of Heaven Complex The Temple of Heaven is a beautiful temple complex, the main temple of which you see on almost every official Beijing Tourism guide and that is because it is stunningly iconic.  For Samira and I, upon arrival at this complex, we said, “Oooooh… so THAT’s what that thing is!” So this […]

Climbing the Great Wall of China- Check. Driving in China? Checkered.

There are several ways to make it up the Great Wall of China- and probably hundreds of places where you can access a wall that is, in total, about 5,500 miles long. Most folks visit Beijing and do a day tour to the Badaling area, though, and we were no different. Morning dawned with two […]

Xi’an and Terra Cotta Warriors (and More Notes on Beijing)

We had a blast in Beijing!  After the Great Wall, we visited the Summer Palace, a pearl factory, the site of the 2008 Olympics, including the Bird’s Nest and Water Cube, went to a market, visited a neighborhood park,  took a hutong tour and also got to have lunch with a local family in the […]

China: Pretty Amazing with Amazingly Bad Beds

So far, China is even more amazing than I thought that it would be, the people kind and fun, and the energy incredible!.  The food has been great as well (and nobody has even come close to offering us odd food.  Samira and I would also like to give ourselves a little high five for […]

Wow. Here We Go to China?!?! Woo Hoo!!

I’m leaving the house in 5 hours and still working on finalizing packing.  Oddly, clothes are the least of it.  I have about five different power cords that I need to take with me… or choose to.  Whichever. It’s a lot of stuff.)  No, I don’t think I’ll sleep much tonight but that actually works […]