March 20


Today we went to the Great Wall of China. On the way we stopped to go to the Jade factory and market, which required that we buy something, of course. Emily enjoyed sitting in the back row of the big touring bus. I think she's remembering the summer of 2003, because on our first trip that was her favorite place to be and mostly the only place she'd sleep.

Stephanie likes the bus too, and just like Emily, she tends to fall asleep once we're in motion. She was the beneficiary of the jade shopping this time. Last trip, daddy bought Emily a piece of jade, and this trip, he bought Stephanie one. They're both really lovely and they'll make great keepsakes for the girls.

When we got to the Wall, it was cool but not cold and really nice and sunny.
We went to the exact same section of Wall that we saw in 2003. Some other second time families were commenting that it was much steeper than the section that they had been to their first trip, so I guess that's why our legs hurt in 2003 when we tried to climb. This time, with the two girls, we really didn't go up much at all. Stephanie was a daddy's girl again, clinging to daddy most of the day, while Emily preferred mommy, as she usually does. Emily would have liked to have climbed much higher and didn't balk at all at the uneven steps or steep incline. What a little athlete she is!! Stephanie was happy to sit in her stroller and bask in the sunshine.

After enjoying our trip to the Wall, and making sure that we had ample photos for the girls, we were taken to a Friendship Store for lunch and shopping. The lunch was very western and not very good, and the shopping was expensive. Most of you will know what I mean when I say we needed to drink lots of beer to ensure tummy safety given the condition of the restaurant!! All I can say is, it's a good thing beer is cheap in China!
Needless to say, we didn't buy anything and when we got back to our hotel, we went to the Dog Hot Pot restaurant and got dumplings to go!!

The whole family was tired and ready for bed early, but little Stephanie had other ideas. Unfortunately, since we all sleep in the one room, none of us got to bed at a reasonable time, so sleep was long overdue by the time we were all enjoying it.