Friday, May 5, 2017

China, you're beautiful

The weeks and days leading up to our impending travel left us excited, anxious, and an array of other emotions. With all the nervous energy, our sleep dwindled each night preceding our departure. We tried our best to get some sleep on our long flight here, but didn't have much luck.

Last night, we fell asleep quickly and soundly. But woke up bright eyed and bushy-tailed at 5:30 a.m. after a mere 7 hours of sleep! I guess when your body is used to working on 4-5 hours of sleep, 7 seems like a lot.  Being worn out and sleep deprived has probably helped us quite a bit with jet lag.

This morning we meandered downstairs to enjoy breakfast in the hotel's dining room.

I decided to stick with the more traditional options for breakfast. A few pastries, fruit, and coffeeCoffeeCOFFEE! Surprisingly, the coffee is DELICIOUS in China and easy to find!

After breakfast, we met up with our new compadres and fellow adoptive families. One thing I love about our agency is that they orchestrate adoption trips so that many families travel together in a group. There are 2 other families here in Beijing with us. Because of different arrival times, we didn't have a chance to connect yesterday. Today was a sweet time of getting to know each other and seeing the beauty of Beijing.

Our first stop was the Great Wall. And OhMyLanta. It is breathtakingly beautiful. Mountains flourishing with green paint a picturesque backdrop for the Wall. 

We climbed quite a ways. The stairs are mostly varying heights, and narrow in some spots. I started the trek up, and made the mistake of turning around. In my mind, all I could see was myself tumbling down the stone steps. Carefully gripping the railing, I made my way back down very slowly. Matt continued on though with a few others from our group. We both came to the conclusion we are way out of shape and will be feeling the aftermath of lots of flights of stairs in the morning.

To fuel up for the next stop, we ate at a beautiful Chinese restaurant. Our food was served family style with a wide variety of dishes. It was all so very delicious!

We spent the next several hours touring the Beijing Olympic Park. Beijing hosted the Olympics in 2008 and is set to host them again in 2022. For now, tourists have the opportunity to explore the grounds for a nominal price. I'm so glad we did. It's not likely we'll ever be in the general vicinity of a park, much less make it to the Olympics as spectators. It was pretty great walking through the Bird's Nest knowing so many amazing athletes had competed there a few years ago.

Tomorrow holds more adventures, bonding time with our new friends, and fun distractions from the anxious energy we're all feeling leading up to meeting our sweet China babies for the first time on Monday.

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