Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

DAY 1 and 2: The looooong airplane ride

We made it!!! Vivi and Toño are asleep here in our hotel in Beijing!!! I am already LOVING this trip and it hasn't even begun yet.

Today (Thursday in China) actually started yesterday (Wednesday central standard time) when we woke up early, (did we sleep?) and left for the airport at 9am. Thank you mom and dad for the ride:), for stopping at Walgreen's on the way, for waiting for the backpack that never showed up, and of course for taking care of our precious Maya!! I already miss her- please give her lots of hugs and kisses!!!!

Our trip was direct to Beijing, and coincidentally we had several other families on our flight with us (2 who will be traveling to Urumqi with us!!). I thought it would be longer, but it "only" took 13 and a half hours to fly the 6500 miles. It's funny to leave in the morning, cross over the international dateline, and land the next day at 3pm. My dad's been doing this for years as a commercial airline pilot and I was always confused as a kid when he would come home on a Sunday morning, and tell us he already had eaten breakfast on that Sunday morning.

Anyway- the flight seemed really short- probably because I was so excited, and Vivi was an excellent traveler. I think 3 year olds get a bad rap- she was really awesome, and had a blast playing with another little girl who is 4 (also going to Urumqi with us). Get these kids traveling when they're young, so they get used to it:). She also slept about 3 hours, even though the only light on the whole airplane was our "wall," which was broken and could not turn off.

The Beijing airport is one of the cleanest airports I've ever been in, and very modern- in fact the terminal we landed in just opened, in time for the Beijing Olympics this summer. Last week was the first week United used this terminal!

We were told to look for our coordinator, holding a CHI sign in front of the KFC, which is next to the Starbucks. Apparently the line between communism and capitalism is slightly blurry? There are KFC's everywhere, and we actually went to 2 different KFC's before returning to customs and finding our group there. So we got all together and took a bus to the hotel.

Vivi loves our big bed, and the fact that she'll be sleeping in the same room as us! There is a little tea set that she already was playing with (with water and her animals)- so she's in heaven.
Our hotel is in the downtown. Some rooms overlook The Forbidden City, and we can walk to Tian'anmen Square, and the Beihai Park. Tonight we took a walk down to the "walking street," meaning it was only open to pedestrians.

Lots of neon signs and elaborately decorated storefronts, lots of construction EVERYHWERE, getting ready for the Olympics, lots of bicycles and people walking..

Here is the restaurant we ate at:

We had no clue what was going on (I wish we spoke Mandarin!) and so we were disappointed when we didn't order the Peking duck that we thought we were ordering. Instead I had a huge plate of celery, kidney beans and walnuts stir-fried with soy sauce (very tasty, but it wasn't duck:), and Toño had duck gizzards with some kind of root veggie and green peppers- and we just gazed and salivated at every single other table around us. Interesting combo of food we ordered (the waiter looked confused at our choice), and the gizzards were a little tough. Next time we will ask for some guidance.

I really should be going to bed, since I have only slept about 6 hours in the past 48 hours. Here are some pictures in the market we wandered through on our way back to the hotel, carrying an exhausted (sleeping) Vivi....
Lots of meat on sticks. Can you see the squid hanging down? Look 2 flavors to the left and you have shish-ka-worms, and then chicken livers. Toño was so mad I wouldn't let him try street grub!! I told him to wait to get parasites until later on in the trip.

This looked delicious- lots of fresh fruit-ka-bobs glazed with a hardened-brown sugar.
Noodles are everywhere. Didn't Marco Polo bring noodles to Italy? Or is that an old wives tale?

Check out the picture below- sea horse- ka-bobs and we think to the left they are little lizards?
Bon appetit!! I hope everyone is doing well and we get to talk soon.:)


Anonymous said...

WOW!!!Que increible que estan cumpliendo su sueño. Me da muchisimo gusto que hayan llegado con bien y Vivi se ve muy tranquila y contenta. Disfrutenlo mucho. Por cierto, yo no me comeria las lagartijas... prefiero KFC, jajaja, cuidense mucho, bye.


Anonymous said...

Maya says hi and she misses her Mommy and Papi! She's being great. Mom and I hope everything goes well. We'll keep Skype on and check email and the blog frequently. Good luck and eat hearty! love, dadxxoo

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised Tonio wants to taste all the food, even from street vendors! We were thinking about your trip and am glad that it went uneventful. Vivi looks like she's having fun! What a world traveler! We love all the pictures you posted! Maya is taking a nap and is doing great! Get some sleep Becky! Love, Mom

Anonymous said...

Hi Becky,

So happy you arrived safe and sound and that your flight went well! Just a few more days and your little guy will be in your arms.....say hi to Urumqi for us.

Vickie Goalen, mama to Grace Tiana (Xin Xiao Yue) home 11/1/2007

Yvette said...

Thank you for sharing your journey! We are hoping to leave the states May 8 to bring our daughter home (Jan WC list). I loved your photos of all the amazing food! I'm looking forward to following the rest of your journey! Hope you are able to get some rest!!

Anonymous said...

It's great that you have landed safe and sound. God Bless!
--Tía Didi