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It was a surprise to arrive in China and find Blogger blocked. In fact, there are many websites, including Facebook and Wikipedia, that Chinese citizens do not have access to. I am more thankful than ever to be an American. Drinkable water, toilets that aren’t “squatty potties” and toilet paper, clean air, room to move and breathe (the cities we were in were Beijing, pop. 22 mil, Xi’an, pop. 10 mil, and Guangzhou, pop. 20 mil, and all had horrible pollution), the opportunity to worship God and practice my faith as I choose, freedom to express ideas and disagree with the government  – these are all things I see are not a given for much of the world.

 
We did enjoy our trip very much! Aside from returning home with a precious daughter (more about that later), just experiencing China was fascinating and worthwhile. I’m glad we got to see three very distinct and different parts of China. We were definitely ready to be home after 15 days though. I am a girl who needs to see wide-open spaces, who needs to drink in nature and beauty and clean air occasionally. There was none of that to be had where we were.  
 
The highlights that don’t relate to Rosalie (because she was THE highlight):


Beijing:

Climbing to the top of the Great Wall on a rare crystal-clear day



Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City











Being celebrities because we are Americans (these people wanted their picture taken with us) and comical signs:








We felt like we had the green light.
The Tourist Bureau rated these bathrooms in
The Forbidden City 4 stars.  
Believe me, 
these were hard to come by!

















The ancient city of Xi’an (from where 13 dynasties were ruled):

The Great Goose Pagoda and the intact, 600 year old, 9 mile wall around the city

 












The Terra Cotta Warriors (210 BC, discovered in 1974)












The best meal of the trip at a very local dumpling restaurant

 















Guangzhou (near the Eastern Coast, tropical and lush  – it felt like we were on vacation):

Shamian Island – a very small island in the middle of the Pearl River, under 4/5 British control and 1/5 French control for 100 years. The architecture is plantation style, brick with huge shutters on the windows and verandas. There are gorgeous green spaces everywhere. We went here four times because it was so peaceful and lovely (and lots of shops for sourvenier shopping).

 

 

Starbucks!


















That is a summary of the “tourist” part of our trip.  I will get to the heart of the matter, the Main Event, in my next post.  

Here is a preview:

Don’t you just want to eat her up?

 

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