Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Being tourists in China

While my parents were visiting Shanghai we decided that we wanted to take a few side trips in China to see the sights. You can't come all the way to China and not see the Great Wall, right?! We flew on a discount airline where the seats are made for small Chinese people bodies. We were packed like sardines but we were excited to go on our little vacation. 


                


 We flew to Xian to see the Terra Cotta Warriors. Need a quick history lesson? Let me provide.  The Terra Cotta army is a collection of warriors that are depicting the armies of the First Emperor in China. These were buried with him in belief that they would protect them in the afterlife. I wonder if it worked. The army was discovered in 1974 by local farmers (One of which we met while there!) and the project has been digging to find more soldiers and to preserve them since then. There are 3 pits of soldiers that have been discovered and there are about 8,000 individual life sized army men. What is so amazing of this site is that pure vastness of these discoveries. Can you imagine digging and finding that there are thousands of terra cotta people beneath the surface? Scientists and archeologists have been working on preserving these sculptures for years. There has only been ONE that was uncovered that was already in one piece. It is truly one of the greatest discoveries. 






We really enjoyed looking at all of the warriors and learning more about its history. We took many pictures and many people took pictures of Samantha. I have learned that we cannot go anywhere without someone stopping us to snap one. It has become our new normal. When we move back to the states this poor girl will either trust every stranger in the world or she will have complete social anxiety from them. Only time will tell! 


We were also able to go visit the Chinese City wall of Xian. Pictures don't show how incredibly hot this place was. I don't think I have ever felt heat like this before. It was about 95 degrees with 90% humidity. We were drenched in sweat, tired, hot and crabby. Doesn't this sound fun?! 




After we visited Xian for about a day we hopped on a 5 hour train to go to Beijing. Taking a train there was fun because we got to see the countryside and travel in a different way than by plane. When we got to Beijing we were able to go see the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Once again it was uncomfortably hot and Samantha was a celebrity. The forbidden City is the Chinese Imperial palace from the Ming dynasty. It housed emperors and their families and it is now used as a museum. (Cool fact- Building Started in the 1400's. It took 14 years to build and used about a million workers!) Crazy!!! 


One of these days we will teach my Mom to look at the camera. 



Peyton and my Dad also acquired quite the fan base, also. Two tall white males!!!! My child! Get with them, I will take your picture!




The next day we were able to go see the Great Wall. This was high on my bucket list and I was so glad I was able to go with my Family. The walk (hike) up to the wall is quite difficult and the heat and humidity didn't help matters. We took it slow and finally made it! Samantha was such a good traveler. It is crazy to think about all the places she is experiencing and will never remember. It makes me a little sad. She'll have to go back when she's older. Without us. I can't handle that heat again. 







I can't believe we crammed this all in one extended weekend. It was definitely a go go go vacation and my parents were great sports. I feel fortunate that we are able to see such amazing things in China while we live here. I am also so grateful that I was able to see them with my Family. It was a great time!