Friday, January 29, 2010

Day 3, Forbidden City

Wow, one bit of advice for people coming to visit this country.
Actually start your diet and exercise your leg muscles- a lot.
Oh my goodness, one walk through the Forbidden City and one near face-plant saved by ringing myself around a tree and my legs feel like jello and I know they will feel 100 times worse tomorrow morning.  We are starting at 9 am tomorrow with a visit to the Great Wall and we joked on our way back that we'll step on the Great Wall, take lots of pictures and then get back in the bus.  We're definitely out of shape and feeling the effects of "fat America" syndrome.
The Forbidden City was impossible to imagine without actually visiting.  We looked at the satellite image on Google and commented on how big it looked but wow, it is amazingly huge.  And we were told that they did not use one nail in the entire thing because they were worried the nails would break in an earthquake.  YaYa knew exactly where we were when we drove in front of the gate.  She jumped up to the window and let out a long spiel in mandarin.  Our guide told us she knew what it was and read the mandarin on the front- Long live and prosper China.
We walked around Tiananmen Square and took Claire's picture with the national flag.  It is raised every day at sunrise and lowered at sunset.  It was her first time on daddy's shoulders and she did not like it--- at all. 
We learned that there were 24 emperors who lived in the Forbidden City, the last one in the very early 1900's, maybe 1904?  It was a lot of info in one day and exhaustion is making me lose some details.
After the Forbidden City we toured the Olympic village.  Claire loved looking at the stadiums and said she saw them on TV.  She particularly liked the Water Cube.
After all that we went to an acrobat show.  While it was amazing what the performers were able to do, I think we had mentally shut down and just wanted to go.  But, Claire loved it and watched very intently.
Other tid-bits from our day-
This little girl can eat.  I'm not sure where she puts it all but she eats more than I thought she would.
She may be tiny but she is deceptively heavy.  She wants to be carried often but she doesn't know to be carried.  Other children will straddle your hip, distributing their weight and making it easier to carry them.  She doesn't know how to do that; almost like she's never been carried.  So when you pick her up it is like carrying dead weight.
We took her swimming today before going on the tour.  She liked swimming and we were in awe with the amount of trust she placed in us.  She wanted to be carried around the pool and would just lay back in our arms and let us support her.
Learning mandarin at home was next to impossible but in two short days I have learned quite a few words and
wah I nee: I love you
lay: tired
now now ma: do you need to use the bathroom?
ty how la: wonderful
jum pow: wonderful/great
dway boo chee: I'm sorry/ excuse me
shay-a shay-a: thank you
boo yaw: I do not want (we used this a lot today with the street peddlers)
shway: water
Several others but that mental exhaustion thing is setting in again.
When I said wah I nee to her this morning she looked right at me, paused and said I love you.  Wow, just wow.
I'm uploading a sneak peak of the photos from today.  We took a ton; I think enough to fill the card. 


  1. Congratulations on your new daughter! I hope you're all settling well and that it'll become easier soon. She's so sweet and pretty in the pictures!

    Isn't the Forbidden City just HUUUGE!! Clearly it was designed to intimidate the people. I remember wandering through courtyard after courtyard, one even more magnificent than the other.

    Cuddles for Claire/YaYa. Ni shi hen mei li!!

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