Monday, June 12, 2017

Bringing Home Britt-Part 3

 This day in Beijing was my absolute favorite!

The agenda for the day was Tiananmen Square, Old Beijing, and the Forbidden City.


The day began with a stop at Tiananmen Square.  While we were in Beijing there was an important meeting happening with around thirty leaders from different countries.  We waited in line for a bit but the leaders were touring the area and they had no idea what time (or even if) they would open for the day.  So we took a picture from across the street and headed to our next stop.

We then ventured over to Old Bejing.  This was a small square near the main road.


Love love love this girl!

Another work out park...the kids loved these!


We took these rickshaws (a small bike with a covered area for the passengers) through the streets of Old Bejing.


This is what I learned...the newer residential areas of Beijing are all big, tall apartment buildings.  Pretty much every building we saw outside of Old Beijing was in fact-just that...tall buildings.  The majority of people live in apartments.  But this area has houses and we got to drive through the streets and even take a peek inside.

When you travel don't you wonder what their houses look like on the inside?  I'm always wondering that!  So this little adventure was extra fun for me.


So much fun!


Our guide, Grace, was AMAZING!  She cared enough to learn all the kiddos' names...and we had seven kids with us so that was huge.  She was so helpful.  Our favorite guide of the entire trip!  Here she is pointing out how this doorways lead to small courtyards and then off the courtyard will be doors for five to seven homes.  


One of the streets in the area...the homes do not have bathrooms so there are public restrooms every block or couple blocks and everyone living in these houses uses those restrooms.


Our group getting a little lesson.  The company our guide is with either has a house or knows a family who owns a home.  Either way...we got to go inside to check one out.


We were checking out the courtyard area and THIS GUY showed up!  Mr. Liu is a Cricket Fighter.

He knew very little English but was super expressive so we could understand everything he was saying.  He's been in lots of magazines and featured on television here in America.

He brought a few crickets in this little jar.


He had a little wedding box where he put crickets when they got married.  He even had little tombs he placed crickets in when they died.


And then Mr. Liu pulled out some grasshoppers!


He had trained them so they never jumped.  How do you train a grasshopper is what I'd like to know?  Right?


His grasshoppers were HUGE!


Mr. Liu was an unexpected surprise, but he was a big hit with all of us.


China had lots of these small cars that reminded us of Judy Hopp's car in Zootopia.

See the resemblance? 


These two were the same age and just hit it off like old friends.


And these two girls were so sweet to Ebby Lee.  Right after these pictures we went to have a real authentic lunch at a local restaurant.

After lunch we stopped to grab a picture in front of the Olympic area.  The building behind me to my left was used for all kinds of events.


And then a visit to the Forbidden City.

As we were walking around a group of students stopped us.  They were working on their English and wanted to read some papers for us.

That little guy talking had no accent.  If I didn't know, I'd have guessed he was from America.  The school kids loved it and we did too.

Two Mama Bears ready to get their baby girls.  It's crazy how life events can bring you close to people you'd never met prior.  This sweet mama and I instantly bonded.  She was absolutely precious.

A family of five pic


It was getting HOT outside.  We were no match against the ice cream guy.  Ice cream for EVERYONE!

And again this little guy hung in their with the big kids.  :)

The little boys were over the walking and sightseeing, but Tab still wanted to try to see Tiananmen Square.   Our guide walked he and Ebby Lee over to get some better views while the boys and I chilled out in the hotel room.

Ebby Lee is always down for an adventure.  They rode the subway and she had a blast getting a little one on one time.

The next morning we were up EARLY!  We had to be all packed because later this afternoon we flew to Kunming (where Britt was)!  The plan was to visit The Great Wall and then go straight to the airport.

Again, I was super impressed with the flowers!


We took a gondola up to the Great Wall.

The scenery was gorgeous.


We made it!


I was a little surprised by all the big steps, little steps, tall steps, deep steps....they were all a little different.  It wasn't super easy in my opinion to walk around up there without falling.  #ormaybeitwasjustme  #tabmightagreewiththat


I'm afraid of heights...not in a roller coaster sense but in a if-i-lean-over-too-much-I'm-gonna-fall-off-the-side which is exactly what this was!  haha!

What an adventure!  Granted I haven't traveled with many others, but this guy right here loves to immerse himself in other cultures.  By the end of this trip, he was speaking a little Chinese.  (Remember the Mexico vacation?  By the end of the trip, he had our kids ordering meals in Spanish?) 

There was a big group of women who took pictures here and they all posed like this....we thought we'd try too.

This little building/fort was built inside the wall and you walked up these really steep steps.  Our kiddos loved it!


Three cuties rode in the gondola across from me.  :)


Then Grace helped us get all our tickets before our flight to Kunming.  I'm so glad she stayed with us because all the Slaughter tickets were wrong.  Grace got it all straightened out.  She hugged each and every one of us.  I'll never forget she got down on Bowen's level after hugging him and said, "You are such a good boy, Bowen".  My mama heart just about burst hearing her speak good, kind words into his little life.  Grace will always have a special place in our hearts.  (And as I'm typing that I'm crying...MAMA HORMONES!!!!  HAHA!)


Then we boarded the flight...all twelve of us headed straight to Kunming!  It was a pretty quick three hour flight.  We landed, met our new guide, and went straight to the hotel.  The next day WE MET BRITT!

Can't wait to tell you all about it!  

In case you've missed it, I shared Part 1 and Part 2 of Bringing Home Britt.

Don't forget bloggers-Wednesday is our Workin' It post for the month...we're sharing how we work at keeping our kiddos busy all summer long.  Please join us!

Thanks so much for reading today!

28 comments:

Meagan @ The Clanahan Fam said...

Oh my goodness. I just teared up about the Grace talking to Bowen part, too. God bless unexpected blessings. I bet he will always remember her!

Sheaffer {Pinterest Told Me To} said...

GREAT POST Erika! I totally felt like I was there, which is great, because I'm thinking this is the closest I'll get to actually being in China!!!!

Narci Dreffs said...

Aw, I loved reading about this part of your trip and all of the pictures! So fun, mama!

Laura Darling said...

Wow, you packed so much into your days! I am loving learning about what you saw through your posts! Can't wait for the next one! :)

Brenda Inskeep said...

Loved this! Thank you!

Megan @ Letting In The Light Blog said...

The rickshaw ride, the Great Wall, all so much fun! The cricket guy cracks me up. We ate lunch in the home of a family that raised pigeons! Keep the posts coming!
http://www.lettinginthelightblog.com

Alex said...

OH MY GOODNESS! So much sweetness in one post--I have no momma hormones nor do I know your family but I teared up reading about Grace speaking to Bowen. Thank you so much for sharing!

Laura at Fantastically Four said...

LOVE all the pictures! It looks incredible! What an amazing time you guys had together. Can't wait to read more! :)

Britt Hensley said...

I love these posts, and your trip looked so good. I mean, if you go to China, you might as well see & do as much as possible. Also those grasshoppers can stay there. They are too big!

Kathy Lang said...

I don't have the excuse of mama hormones, but I teared up big time when I read the part about Grace telling Bowen he was a good boy. So cool seeing all the pictures of your trip to China and hearing about all the things your seeing and doing. Can't wait to read all about meeting Britt for the first time!

Marla Slaughter said...

I've read your post at least 3 times! I love the fact that you just immerse yourselves in the culture and soak up so many adventures that will become precious memories for the kids. Love sharing your journey!❤️

The Luna's said...

Erika!!! My mind is blown! I grew up with Liz and Cary in a small town in Washington! When I started seeing their kids in your blog post I couldn't believe it! What a crazy, small world! I have read your blog since your Disney cruise last year, and already felt like we were friends! Haha. The best family to have spent your days with. So happy for you all! Heidi

Angela Ellingson said...

Loving these posts!!! What an adventure for all of you!

Laci Murray said...

Oh my goodness you have me crying! That Bowen must be one special boy. Can't wait to keep reading your China post!

Morgan Fritz said...

I love your commentary and pictures. You take great pictures and it's great to see the scenery in the background too.

Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said...

I'm crying too!! What a sweet moment! Loving your recaps, friend! Such an adventure!!

That Inspired Chick

Rebecca W said...

What a great experience for your family. I love learning about different cultures too. How lucky for all of you to get go into Mr. Liu's house. Can't wait to read about the icing on the cake. (Getting your sweet baby Britt.)

Emily Harrison said...

Your China posts have been some of my favorite posts of yours. All 5 of you look like you are having the time of your life and all of you are radiating such joy. So excited to see the rest of the China posts.

live compassionately said...

I love everything about this! It sounds like you guys had such a wonderful time and I love that you immerse yourselves in the culture!

Kari said...

I was in Beijing over 20 years ago and my favorite part was wandering through the hutongs (the alleys where people lived) which I think is what you guys did in Old Beijing? I loved glimpsing everyday life. And so many kids were playing Chinese jump rope which for some reason really surprised me! The elastic rope we played with for hours as kids was called Chinese jump rope for a reason--it must have come from China!

Paula said...

What a sweet guide.
Crickets....you would have "thunk".? Hmmmm interesting & neat.

michele said...

Wow!! Great pics! Great read. Liz is a very dear friend of mine. I love how your exciting adventure happened together.

Adrienne Brady said...

I look forward to all your posts- thank you for sharing! I am following from New Zealand. God Bless you and your precious family. Xxx

A Gal Named Al said...

The anticipation is killing me! I just watched an Imax yesterday and they said builders of the Great Wall added sticky rice to the mortar to keep the wall slightly elastic- crazy!

Ann Marie said...

EEEEE! This looked like a blast! I love how you built a relationship with that sweet family. Bet that made the trip so much fun! Those CRICKETS!

Unknown said...

Wonderful pics and I am so inspired by your beautiful family. May God continue to bless you all. I look forward to seeing more pics! Your trip looks like a ton of fun!
-Rebecca
www.everypiecefits.com

Perfectly Port said...

Oh my goodness love this recap too and how awesome to have such a sweet family to go through it all with. Your guide was so sweet and the Cricket tamer - wow! Can't wait to hear more, just love following along! xoxo ERIN

Allie | LunaVida said...

My mom is headed to China in a few days and I am so jealous! It looks like so much fun.

Allie | www.lunavidablog.com