The hotel breakfast buffet is ahhh-mazing and it was so fun to show the girls what Chinese people eat for breakfast. There is also a large assortment of American food so we were well fed.
At 8:30 we were met by a friend of my mom's -- an American whose husband is headmaster at a school here. We took taxis to the school. Unfortunately, there is a law here now that only 4 people are allowed in a cab so we have to take 2 cabs everywhere. Molly and I went with my mom's friend and the others left before us with a cab driver who supposedly knew where he was going.
He dropped them off a ways from the school and they began asking people around them for help. (They had a brochure with phone number for the school). Eventually a kind taxi driver insisted on taking them where they needed to go (it wasn't far) and wouldn't take any money. So thankful God took care of them!
The school was beautiful and the kids adorable. It reminded me of how our kids looked when they were little (sob).
After that we headed to the Temple of Heaven by ourselves - thankfully our taxi drivers got us to the same place at the same time. It was so interesting to see the place where the God of Heaven was worshipped centuries ago. It is in a park-like setting that is so peaceful compared the hustle and bustle of the city. I have never been to China in the spring and I think it is now my favorite time to come. There are so many flowering trees, lilacs and forsythia. It's beautiful. I wish I could get some pictures of them but they are next to the highway and all I get is a blur or a big guardrail in the foreground.
Then for the part of the trip that the girls have been saving their money for...the Pearl Market. I was dreading the bargaining but a star has been born. Chloe LOVED the challenge and had the time of her life bargaining down to the bottom dollar. She was frustrating the shop keepers because she wasn't moved by any of their usual tactics. haha After seeing her in action we will be delegating the rest of it to her for the remainder of the trip. The shop keepers told me that Chloe was 'very clever' and 'a hard one.' ha. I'm sure they were still making a nice profit. We are now happy owners of a North Face jacket and several pairs of knock-off Converse shoes that say "Made in USA." I'm sure they are authentic. ha Chloe and Jillian also bought a purse and wallet and my mom bought a boatload of pearl jewelry. They had a blast.
The bridge over the road to the Pearl Market. So thankful not to play Frogger with our lives over the busy road.
Grandma buying pearls and Shu Shu, our Panda looking on.
Bargainer at work....
This is 'best price.' It's is 'very cheaper for you.'
Shu Shu rides in the taxi.
Our taxi driver....
Shu Shu had fun at Pizza Hut for dinner and riding in the taxi on the way home. We found a taxi driver who had a slightly larger car and could take 5 passengers. Yay! He was hilarious! He asked us if we wanted to hear some good music. Cringing at what he might put on, we smiled politely and nodded. He put on some 'really good American music' and started dancing in his seat. I smothered giggles and briefly joined him. The "American music" was some raucous knock-off American CD but he really enjoyed it.
Tomorrow is the Great Wall. The girls are already asleep so I need to do the same.