Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Friday, May 9, 2008

Beijing-Day 1

Today was a long and amazing day! We met our tour guide in the hotel lobby and three other families with our agency. Then we took a tour bus through traffic, lots of traffic, to the Temple of Heaven. There is a huge park area and several buildings as part of the Temple grounds. It was a nice tour and Chloe, our guide was very knowledgeable about the area.

In front of the Temple of Heaven.

This is a picture of seniors exercising in a huge exercise park at the Temple of Heaven. It was crazy how many people we saw at this park exercising. There were groups of people dancing, singing and playing instruments. There were lots of groups of people sitting around playing cards and dominoes too. We also saw men and women, mostly older, playing a game like hacky sack, twirling ribbons, dancing with paddle balls and umbrellas, and

This is in our rickshaw when we took the Hutong tour. Hutong means quadrangle and they were homes build around a central courtyard area. There are only a few Hutongs left in Beijing because most have been torn down to make way for modern high rise buildings. We rode in rickshaws through the area and stopped at a family home. We were taken in and fed a traditional lunch by the woman of the house. The food was very good, even if we didn't know what all of it was!

Our travel group in the "living room" of the Hutong house. This is the room where they eat and also her bedroom! You can see her mattress against the wall behind the table. The house only had two rooms, this room and small bedroom for the daughter and a teeny little kitchen area. The meal was delicious! Alex is just to my left. He is the 11 year old of the couple on his left, Yevette and Phillip, from NC. Then you see Amy and Scott and next to them you can't see Susan and Doug.

Part of our rickshaw tour was to go to the Drum tower. We had to climb 68 very steep stairs to get into the tower. The drums were used to announce the opening and closing of the city gates every day.

After the Drum Tower we visited a kindergarten where children from ages two to five or six live from Monday to Friday. We were all a little shocked when we found out that the children don't go home at night like in America!
One of the things I like most about today was watching all the people. It is so interesting to see how they live. So many people in Beijing ride rickety old bikes everywhere. It is not unusual to see a man in a suit or woman in a skirt and heels riding an old bicycle to work!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

maybe if we had someplace like that to exercise I would get off my butt!! looks like ya'll are having fun


ok that was a little something from casey, you figure it out!
lol see you soon!