Saturday, May 31, 2008

Concluding Beijing

My calves hurt.

Climbing up those hundreds of stairs yesterday did nothing more than make my heart pound. Climbing down, with 25 pounds strapped to my back, made my calves shudder so that I could hardly stand to eat my ice cream cone at the bottom. Today, my climbing muscles feel fine. But every time I've walked down a step, I've felt a tightness in my calves.

Our last day in Beijing, and I've realized that I've broken one of my travel-with-children rules. We are not staying near the sights. We are not staying near any of the sights. I misjudged the size and layout of Beijing, and our commutes have been nearly an hour from the hotel to each site. The drive to the Great Wall was over 2 hours. So when we climbed into the car this morning to drive 1 hour to the Temple of Heaven, the girl made their displeasure known. And the Temple of Heaven is less the large park that I expected and more an historical site. Our guide stopped often with tidbits of information - interesting to an adult, I'm sure. The girls spent plenty of time circling trees, studying leaves and griping at us for not paying them enough attention.

They and I returned to the hotel for lunch, while my parents rode a rickshaw through the old hutong housing of Beijing. The girls napped well, and we walked to a local restaurant for dinner. We walked back to the playground while my parents went to an acrobat show. Walking and playgrounds was a happy ending to their time in Beijing.

We fly early in the morning, hoping to land at Shanghai Pudong Airport within a few minutes of Dave's flight from Chicago O'Hare.


Anonymous said...

Hope you all got home safely! We arrived in England a bit late due to weather conditions in New York and some equipment problems -- but had great seats on both flights and smooth trips, so that was great. It was so good to be with you Dave and we missed you Lynne and L & S .... wish you were coming here again! Love you all so much.

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to see all the pictures and hear even more about the trip.