Yesterday was our first full day in Beijing and boy did they keep us moving. After several failed attempts to Facetime one of our family members or friends we headed out to the big bus for our day of adventures. Our first stop was the Hutong section of Beijing. We all took rickshaws over. We were quite the site with about 20 rickshaws driving through the streets! We received a fascinating history lesson about a Hutong home and was able to visit a gentle men's home who is a local artist. From there we took the rickshaws back to the bus and headed to The Silk Factory. We saw how the silk is unraveled from the cocoons and Will and Anna we able to stretch some of the silk to show the strength of the silk and how it is used in making the stuffing in duvets. After the demonstration, we were escorted to a huge room filled with silk shirts, robes, gowns, traditional wear, etc. I was able to get some nice souvenirs.
Lunch was next. We were taken by our guides, Michael and George, to a nice restaurant where they ordered for us. It was a great meal and gave us a chance to visit with a couple families. There are 11 families on this trip... a large group compared to usual.
After lunch was Tianeman Square and The Forbidden City. It was really starting to get cold as it was late afternoon by now. Anna and I were feeling really cold and both of us are feeling a little under the weather. That's why you'll see us huddled together in most of the later pics! : ) For about 3 weeks before we left on our trip, I had been teaching the children an overview of Chinese history from the time of the ancient civilizations to modern time. When we were in The Forbidden City, I was asking Will what he could tell me about the City and some of the emperors who lived there. I was pleased by all that he remembered. Gotta love homeschooling!
The grounds in The Forbidden City are extensive. You just keep going through one gate and then through another. It was an amazing site and I feel privileged to have seen it.
Well, I better wrap this up as I keep getting booted off the VPN and it is very difficult to reconnect. The Great Wall and acrobat show today! 2 more days to Isabel!!