Thursday, July 31, 2014

China: Day 1 In Beijing

 After a ridiculously long morning waiting for the rest of Beijing to wake up, we decided to venture out to find breakfast.  It was our only day of being on our own for breakfast and we weren't feeling terribly brave, so we ended up at McDonalds.  I've never been a McD's fan, but when I lived in China, it became a guilty pleasure.   I swear their food in China is better than it is in the States... or at least that's how I remembered it.  This McDonalds disappointed, BIG TIME!  First of all, the only item on two items on the "breakfast menu" were fish sandwiches and french fries.  No egg McMuffin... no pancakes!  With no backup plan, we decided a fish sandwich would have to do.  Oh, and "orange juice" that was more of an orange drink, kind of like Tang.  

 The girls survived fish sandwiches for breakfast, although the girls were not thrilled.  Then we went to use the restroom.  We walked in and BAM... squatty pottys!!  What?!?  When I was in China before, I learned that McDonalds was a safe haven with flushing toilets and air conditioning, but there we were, in a McDonalds with a decision to make... to wait, or not to wait.  Maddie's need was too great to wait, so after we were able to stop laughing (me at the girl's reaction, and them at how hard I was laughing) I got to demonstrate how to use a squatter toilet... that's right, we're making some memories on this trip...  although, they may want to forget this image of their mom sooner rather than later.  Then Maddie took a turn.   Let's just say, her first squatter experience was a mess.  Her aim wasn't helped at all by her hysterical laughter.  (jet lag was still making us giddy)  Luckily the stall took the hit and Maddie made a clean break.  Kaitlyn wisely decided she could hold it a little bit longer. 

 Then, with some time to kill, we decided to take a walk and explore the streets around our hotel.  

 Then our BIG event for the day... we visited Little Flowers, the foster care center that Jordan lived in for the first year of his life.  We were given a tour and were able to take pictures of the different rooms, his crib, some of the nannies that cared for him and get a better idea of what his life was like for that first year.  We are so grateful he was so well cared for.  Of course they told us that Min Jia (Jordan) was a favorite among many of the nannies.  I'm so glad we were able to fit this visit in to our trip.  I felt like it was important for us to document all of this for Jordan.  Unfortunately, we were asked not to share the pictures on social media, so all you get is a picture snapped on the say back to the hotel.  We played I Spy With My Little Eye... I chose grey and the girls both guessed "the sky" right away.  Yes, the air is terrible!!  Really, really terrible.

 We went out for a late lunch and I'm sad to admit, we decided on McDonalds once again because it was close by, we were all completely exhausted, and just wanted something fast.  McDonalds disappointed once again by telling us that, the fish sandwich was still the only option... not just for breakfast.  They weren't selling anything else for about a week.  Meat shortage?  I don't know.  But I did know that, we just could not tolerate another fish sandwich.  So, we went to the 7-11 we had spotted earlier, hoping for a hot dog, or at least a Slurpee... but that was just wishful thinking.  We were striking out left and right and really dragging at that point, so we got brave and went into a restaurant called "The Merry House".  It was smokey, stinky, and insanely hot inside and we were the only non-Chinese people there.  But the food looked good so we stayed.  Right away this woman (the one in blue started talking to Maddie... going on and on.  We couldn't understand her, but she kept on talking anyway and convinced Maddie to sit down next to her while we ordered.  She went on beaming at us and talking to Maddie.  When Maddie tried to get up, she insisted she stay.   So when our food was ready, we all sat down and ate lunch with her while she just kept on talking to us and we kept on smiling, nodding and occasionally shrugging.  I wish we could have understood what she was saying, she was so happy to just talk to us.  When I help up my camera and asked her if we could take a picture with her, she was thrilled.  She pulled a scarf out of her bag and pulled a friend into the picture.  Then she had Ryan take a picture of the girls and me with her.  She even had one of the girls sit on her lap... I'm so tired, I can't remember if it was Maddie or Kate.  But it was awesome.  So much more fun and memorable than McDonalds... if you don't count the squatter toilet experience. 

 I looked over and thought Ryan was shedding a tear, but between the spicy noodles he ordered and how very hot the restaurant was, he was just pouring sweat.  Did I mention that it is hot and humid and any building without AC is brutal!  But the food was actually good and very inexpensive.  

 After dinner we explored the shops around our hotel a little more then Maddie and Kaitlyn convinced us to take them swimming to cool off.  Ryan and I were just trying to do anything to keep us from falling asleep.  We didn't want a nap to keep us from sleeping through the night again.

Apparently swim caps are a requirement... so, much to the girl's joy, we had to buy them their own caps.  

And now, it's after 8pm, Ryan and the girls have been asleep for at least an hour, and I am done holding out.  I'm going to bed!


  1. Hot tang!!! I was loving your squatter story and everything else! Only serving fish sandwiches for a week?! So China! I hope everything is going relatively smooth. It's almost Jordan time and you are on my mind constantly. Love you!!

  2. Sounds like you are having some fun adventures. Congrats for making it past McDonalds. Keep the info coming. :) Hearts, Julie