Our first full day in China… Well, it's been okay. We had to meet our guide (finally caught her name- Sue) at 10 am. We were up for the day around 6 am. It was a difficult night to put it mildly. Xandra & Matt are dealing with the jet lag the worst. Matt hasn't slept well in nearly a week, so with the time change added in… well, he's really not been in a good mood at all. Xandra is just having a really hard time adjusting on all aspects. She didn't eat or drink much of anything in the entire 20-hour travel time. Plus that lingering cough is just awful. She ended up waking several times through the night, with unbelievable energy, just to crash a short time later. The combination of Xandra & Matt has been wearing, at best. They're currently each other's worst enemies.
So, we all got up, had a few snacks, and got ready for the day. We met Tommy around 7, and made our way down to the hotel café for breakfast. It was a good breakfast buffet, though not quite the amount of food I've read about in other families' blogs. There was a variety: cereals, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruits, breads, congee (a kind of Chinese porridge/oatmeal), spring rolls, "tea" eggs (still trying to figure that one out), and a number of other things. It all tasted good, but just ever so slightly "off" from what we're used to at home. Oh, and the items you would expect to be hot (eggs, bacon, sausage) were served cold. And the items you expect to be cold (drinks) are served warm-to-hot.
We decided to be brave afterward & explore a block or so around our hotel on our own. We found the most beautiful temple, which we could actually see from our hotel rooms. It's all gold. And it's plopped right smack in the middle of all this "new" construction (high rise apartments & businesses) – it's gorgeous.
Sue took us around a small park area, which was also gorgeous. I don't have pictures of it yet, because she walks really fast & we were just trying our best to keep up with her. But we saw people doing all kinds of dancing & exercises (tai chi, fan dance, etc). And the landscaping was just incredible! I wish I could have some of that at home!
She also took us to the market, which we were desperate to get to. We got LOTS of water, and a few snacks (cheetos, goldfish, Pringles – the essentials). It wasn't easy to get things because obviously, everything is in Chinese. So we had to do our best with looking at the pictures on the packages (thank God for good marketing).
And finally, it was back to the hotel for a rest. Since it is Sunday (& we're technically supposed to be having a free day), Sue was only with us for a couple hours. We, of course, took the opportunity to nap again J It's nearing dinner time now, so we'll go out exploring a bit more to find a nice restaurant (BTW- we've found Subway, but are still looking for KFC & Papa John's). Tommy & I would love to try an authentic Chinese restaurant, but Matt is concerned about what Xandra will eat. I'll fill everyone in later on what we decide & hot it works out!
***I'm having some difficulty in attaching pictures to my emails. Hopefully, I can get this worked out by tomorrow, when we'll have TONS of pics of Milo to post! (Internet is painfully slow here, so that may have something to do with it.)