Travel Day 4

I have no pictures of today, because all we did was travel.  Most of it was sitting around in various airports and vehicles, but there was some excitement in the Kunming Airport.  We were supposed to have a 3 1/2 hour layover there, but the flight from Beijing was delayed.  We ended up making it through the airport, from claiming our baggage (they wouldn't check it through) to checking our baggage, through security to the airplane - including a mad dash across the airport - in just about 40 minutes.  God was with us!

Lijiang is gorgeous, and our hotel the most beautiful I have been in.  I will post pictures later for sure.


Beijing Day 3, Hutong and Tiananmen Square

Today we visited a traditional Chinese neighborhood, called a Hutong, including a rickshaw ride.  We also we up into the Drum Tower that broadcast the time for hundreds of years from the center of the city.

After the Hutong Tour we had a little taste of home at MickyD's.  It was so good!  Of course The Man went down the street and got himself some Baotse instead.

Later we went to Tiananmen Square.  We explained a bit of Chinese history to the boys, and they played with their new toy - something like a combination of a Badminton Birdie and a Hackeysack.

Tomorrow we head to Lijiang.


Beijing Day 2 - Forbidden City and Great Wall

Today we got to see two of the most famous sights in Beijing - the Forbidden City and the Great Wall.  The Forbidden City was the home of the Emperors of China from the 1400s through the last Emperor - Pu Yi, in the early 20th Century.  It is a huge complex that was forbidden to anyone not in or serving the royal family.  We navigated the aggressive street vendors and even bought a couple things, and found a guide to take us inside.

No. 1 Son found some Red Bull, so he was happy.

Next our guide took us to a jade factory, where we learned how jade is carved.

Then we went to the Great Wall.  Wow was it steep!

The steps were very worn and quite uneven.  Climbing it was a challenge.

We all made it up to the first guard tower.

The guys went on higher.  Zander would have kept going, but it was time to get back to the van.

It was quite a day!


Beijing Day 1 - Travel and more Travel

We are in China!  13 hours is sure a long time to fly, but the seats were pretty comfortable and we made it without too much drama.  We even got a couple of hours of sleep here and there.  I must say, the smog in Beijing is intimidating - you have to see it to believe it.

After a 45 minute cab ride we arrived at our hotel near Tiananmen Square.  The boys were pretty much fried, but we still needed to get some food.  We ventured out and found a line of street vendors with interesting food like grubs on a stick and other questionable offerings.

No. 1 Son found some chicken he liked, and The Artist and Z-Man found something like pot stickers.

The Man found food easily :')

On the way back we stopped and watched 200-300 people line dancing in the square outside the Catholic Church.  It was a bit surreal.

We managed to stay up until about 9:00 (7:00 am in Chicago) and slept until 4:30 - not bad.  Lots of good tea should help us through the day - even Z-Man enjoys it with lots of cream and sugar.

We're off to see the Great Wall today - more pics later.


We're off!

Well, here we go.  We leave for the airport in an hour.  We will board a 13 hour flight direct to Beijing.  When we arrive it will be about 1:00 am our time, but 3:00 pm their time.  This should be interesting.

We will be updating the blog as regularly as we can - hopefully almost daily.

See you on the other side of the world :')


Happy Birthday, Dad!

My father turns 80 years old this week.  He's lived quite a life so far - especially for a man who grew up on a farm in Southeastern Nebraska.  I had the privilege of traveling with him through London to Mozambique and Kenya a few years ago.  He was an awesome traveling companion - always with interesting observations and comments about people and how they think.

Dad is an awesome grandpa.  He taught Drama Queen and No. 1 Son to drive a car in a field on the farm he grew up on.  He fixes tractors and has a shed Z-Man loves to explore.

He and Mom we able to go with us to the Grand Canyon years ago when Z was a baby.  It was cold!

Mom and Dad have three kids - my brother and sister and I, and soon-to-be 11 Grandkids.  They also have 17 Great Grandkids.  Dad pointed out today that it's not many men who get to have another Grandchild so near their 80th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Dad.  Any many more!!!

We love you!



Well, we've got our schedule ironed out, so I thought I would (finally) share with you all.

We leave this Saturday the 26th and fly to Beijing.
The 27th through the 29th we explore Beijing - Great Wall, Forbidden City, etc.  It will be cold there, so hopefully the weather will cooperate.
The 30th we fly to Lijiang to explore the city my brother-in-law lived for several years.  It is supposed to be absolutely beautiful.
We stay in Lijiang until December 3rd, when we fly to Nanchang.
The 4th is the day we MEET ZOE!
We stay in Nanchang for a few days getting to know her and taking care of various paperwork.
The 9th we fly to Guangzhou, the city where all adoptions are finalized.  We stay there until we have Zoe's passport on the 15th.
That day we take a train to Hong Kong, where we will stay for a couple days while The Man does some business and then...
HOME on the 18th!

3 weeks in China - Pray for us!


Travel Approval!!!

We got our Travel Approval from China today - a week before I started looking for it! 

More details to follow, but it looks like we will travel the day after Thanksgiving!

Hooray - Zoe here we come!