Today was a big day of tours. But before I get to that, let me tell you that my prediction came true. My prediction being that Melissa would be awake before me because she went to sleep so very early. At about 4:00a.m. she QUIETLY WHISPERS, "Do you mind if I turn a light on and make some coffee because I want to get up at 5:00?" Or, it was something basically like that. So, by 6:00a.m. I was in the hotel excercise room watching traditional Chinese opera and desperately searching for something I could understand. Which lead me to CNN China, which lead to the sports segment, which lead to the "World Play of the Day". Imagine my shock when the announcer indicated the "World Play of the Day" involved Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays! The twist, however, was that Ben hit a foul ball down first base and cracked a lady in the noggin. To add to the drama, they showed Ben then hitting another foul ball down first base and the same lady fielded it like a professional! To cap it all off, she then stopped another line drive from Carl Crawford shortly thereafter. So, in reality, they announced that she was the "World Play of the Day". See what I have to write about when Cole, Shelby, Piper, Bill and Linda are not with us?
First, let me say that the buffet breakfast was as fabulous as ever. Even though we are in a totally different city, the meal really did not change. Or, perhaps I cannot change. I chased a bowl of cereal (oats, bran, sunflower seeds, raisins, no milk) with white toast, 4 pieces of bacon (limp), a side of fried rice, steamd carrots and celery, and a bulbous green vegetable of unknown name and origin. Massive amounts of pineapple juice and cofee as thick as maple syrup--which was good because my head was pounding from lack of caffeine and lack of sleep.
We then spent the day on tours. Just imagine Melissa (or little Bill as I think of her) networking with every family in from our agency and every family from an entirely different agency. By the end of the day, everyone knew who the super-friendly gal was and I actually heard one lady refer to me as the "quiet one--off to the side there". I am not totally positive, but I think she already has us travelling to California to visit new acquaintances. We spent the whole day touring with our group, starting in the Hutong Village. The village is really some of oldest existing living quarters in Beijing, basically 8 dwellings surrounding a common area with a well (think of a pound sign). The fun part was riding a rickshaw to get in-and-around the village. Our guide was number 0231 and I am pretty sure he could have dropped Lance Armstrong like hot potato. We then made a brief stop at a silk shop where silk worms at work, thread being produced, quilts being made, and lots of bedding, carpets, and clothing on sale. From there, we had a traditional lunch and dance show for one of the ethnic minorities (Dai, I think). Food was good, dance was okay, and highly confident the lead girl dancer was not a girl--no girl has abs that solid. From there we headed to Tiannamen Square (political capital) and the Forbidden City (think Mulan). Someone pegged our day at 8 miles of walking. It was good, but we are very tired.
Right now, we cannot read any of your posts. So, please do not think we are ignoring you.