Today was a busy day! The girls fell asleep within 5 minutes of laying down tonight!
We had a nice breakfast buffet in the hotel. It's a bigger buffet than we have at home. Then we drove to the summer palace. The Emperor and Empress used to reside there in the summer. The album below show pictures of our drive to the Summer palace, as well as the summer palace.
After the Summer Palace we had lunch at Yulong Friendship Shop which housed a factory, a family style lunch, and a big shop. You will see pictures of the handmade vases, our round table of new friends, and the large carvings at the shop.
After lunch we traveled to the Great Wall of China. We certainly got a lot of exercise hiking up the stairs! It was truly an amazing sight.
After the Great Wall we traveled to the Olympic Green, site of the 2008 Summer Olympics. It cost money to go inside the facilities, so we were content just walking around the park. The pictures of the outside should show you some of the magnitude of the sight.
One thing that is interesting is that the girls are quite a novelty. Everywhere we went it was crowded with Chinese tourists for the most part. I think they enjoyed the girls just as much as the sights. They smiled, laughed, and touched their hair. In addition, they sometimes pulled on the girls to get their picture taken with them. Mothers asked for the girls to stand with their little children. Also, teens asked to have their picture with them. At first, we didn't think to take their pictures as well, but after it continued to happen we took pictures of the girls with their admirers as well.
After the Olympic Center we headed back for a buffet style dinner. So far Gary has enjoyed the Chinese food more here than in the U.S. It has a less sweet taste here. After dinner we had very tasty ice cream cones a little bit like our "nutty buddies", but these were creamier and yummier!
We made it back to our hotel around 8:15pm. The guides are concerned about our girls being too cold, so they are bringing some of their coats from home for them tomorrow. Kirstie's cough seems to really bother them. The guides, Maggie and Rosa, are so helpful and kind. Anyway, Gary and I have spent the evening packing back up and updating the blog. We have to be checked out by 8:30 in the morning because we fly to Maria's province (Shanxi) tomorrow night, but we're out all day sight seeing again tomorrow.
It's been nice hearing from some of you. We appreciate your prayers.