Saturday, August 20, 2011

day 6

The highlight of yesterday was The Great Wall. We drove to the Mutianyu section. It was about an hour and half outside of Beijing. Beautiful drive. Breathtakingly beautiful views. We picked this specific area to see because it was different than the area we saw two years ago and this one featured a cable car ski-type lift to the top and a toboggan slide down. Sounded all fun and exciting and I was really looking forward to it. But somehow it never crossed my mind that my fear of heights may come into play in the whole situation. Like never crossed my mind until we were standing on the stairs about 10 people away from the cable car and I realize there is no way I can get on it. Andy looks at me like I have two heads and at the time I felt like I did too and they were both spinning. Do you know how high up the Great Wall is? It's on a mountain. It's high. And the cable cars looked like matchbox cable cars going up the string, I mean cable. Not that those exist but if they did they'd look like these. And I almost throw up. And I made myself not. And I put one foot in front of another and I pretended I was getting into a taxi. And it worked. Our guide advised us against going down the toboggan because people had been injured on it before. He said he wouldn't go on it himself. I was kind of bummed but after riding up the cable car I realized there was no way I would have ever been able to go down on a toboggan. So I was glad it was unsafe. Whew. Saved me from another near panic atack. I never asked about how safe the cable car was because it was the only way up. And I really didn't want to know the answer anyway. If he had told me it was safe, I wouldn't have really believed it and had he told me it wasn't, I would have missed out on a great day at the Great Wall.

Hope, on the other hand loved the cable car. It was probably like a Disney ride to her. She was all giggles and screams and laughs. She was hilarious to watch on the way up and down which served as a great distraction for me. Once to the wall, though, she only enjoyed it for about 3.5 minutes and then was done. Andy got a workout carrying her and dragging her along the wall and back. We have a ton of great photos but, again, photos never tell the whole story. You can't hear her whining or see her legs go limp when Andy tries to make her walk on her own or see her fall nearly on her face as she tries to escape from his grasp or how she fake limped her way up the stairs after she fell with enough drama thrown in that she probably deserved an academy award. The girl doesn't lack in drama. It makes our days pretty entertaining. As is with most hours of our days we're either laughing at her and her cuteness or going crazy in our heads. I won't even bore you with the details of the 3 hours in the car. It was basically torturous for us. Hope acted as if we had overdosed her on caffeine and was literally, like literally, bouncing off the van walls. And seats. And floor. And any other space in between those.

We got her "home" and she took a nap. Then it was out for dinner and a walk. I took tons of photos of all the crazy food that they sell at the famous night market that is just a block or two from our hotel. Most of it is on a stick and it is worth traveling to China for just to see. Snake on a stick. Sheep heart on a stick. Beetles on a stick. Bee cocoons on a stick. Silkworm on a stick. Centipede on a stick. Starfish, crickets, and too may icky things to even list. But it's all beautiful in a sick-to-your-stomach sort of way. I couldn't stop taking pictures. Maybe one day we'll muster up the strength to actually taste something. I got splashed with juice from some squishy sea monster of some sort when the vendor waved it front of my face. That may be as close as I'll get to any of it.

See pictures from today here

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures. Hope probably needed the physical outlet; sounds like she's precocious AND energetic! And the best part, of course, is that at least this day didn't look like every other day, right?