~ With our guide ~
Our guide, Rui, took care of us like little ducks :) We just followed her everywhere! We boarded a small bus with a couple and headed for the Poly Plaza Hotel ~ it was fun meeting this couple and learning about them. I remember them having picked out two names for their daughter and not being sure what to name her; one of the names was Mia (and they did choose this name for their daughter too) !
We had a beautiful room and I remember we unpacked a bit and then layed down ~ exhaustion!! We were late meeting our guide and travel group in the lobby, we were to go to a local store to buy lots of water!! We were in the lobby like two lost puppies ~ we are rarely late for anything and this had to be a late-moment?! Nerves set in - we could not communicate with anyone and we could not read signs - it was a scarey feeling! All ended up working out and we had one of the hotel employees call our guides cell phone (after some sign language and begging!) - our guide took just the two of us on a walk down the streets of Beijing for our beloved water. We soaked in all of the sights and smells - it is just so different there - memories you just never forget and feelings that come back to you. . .
That evening we were on our own, said our guide...what?! already?! She said there were some restaurants in the hotel and pointed to one across from the lobby - easy enough! When we entered the restaurant I remember thinking how "quaint" it was. It was seperated into tiny rooms that were surrounded by bamboo, and each little "room" had a beaded door for privacy ~ adorable! We had a bit of trouble ordering and wished that someone (like our guide) was there to point out what we should order - the little ducks needed help! We did manage (well, hubby did ) - I made a bit of a spectacle out of ordering and eating dinner. I had practiced using chopsticks and thought I was pretty good at it; until a giggling waitress ran and got me a fork and then proceeded to mix my meal and show me how to eat it! All along Ed (my husband) was eating expertly with his chopsticks! Boy, did he show me up!
Big chopstick man !
I really don't remember much after eating our yummy dinner - we must have gone back to our room for some much needed sleep - knowing the next day was a big sightseeing day! Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and The Great Wall of China!! Was this a dream?!