Saturday, May 07, 2005

In the morning we met in the lobby of the hotel and met the other 9 families also adopting. We all boarded the bus and headed to Tiannamen Square where we had a group photo taken at the entrance to the Fordbidden City. There were lots of people out and about as Saturday marked the end to the week long Labor Day holiday in China. Ike guided us through the Forbidden City. We only got a small glimpse of how vast and beautiful it is. The weather was beautiful. As we exited the Forbidden City, Ike told us that we would meet some vendors. Ha! He must have been joking. We got to know some vendors intimately as the pressed against us trying to sell us knock-off watches and postards of China. Our group formed a protective circle to try to keep them out. Matt thought it was funny and amusingly checked out fake Breitling watches. We boarded the bus and headed to the Friendship Store (a government run store for foreigners that sells every kind of Chinese-made collectible). There, we had lunch and toured the cloissone factory. We then continued on to the Great Wall. I must now stop and apologize. I had, in the past, called those people unable to make it to the top of the Great Wall "wimps". Please accept my sincerest apologies. What a hike! Don't be fooled, it is a tough climb, the steps are not one certain shape, height or size. Each step varies, some are steep and short and some are steep and long!! If you have knee problems, this is not a climb for you. Shannon made it a goal to make it to the top and she did. What inspired her? Being passed by Chinese three-year-olds and Chinese women in high heels climbing and crawling up the steps.

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