Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Last day in China

What a busy, busy day trying to pack in all of the last minute things we wanted to do while in Beijing (shopping!)  We stayed at the same hotel that we stayed at before, just a different room. 

Brad had wanted some American food so he took us to a restaurant called Grandma's Kitchen.  They had lemonade, milk shakes, onion rings, and huge burgers - called American Burger. (I think he was trying to prepare us for arriving back in the U.S!)
Yum - biscuits with sausage gravy at Grandma's Kitchen

On the right, above is Brad and Kevin digging into biscuits with sausage gravy.  I snuck a bite also - it was really good and disappeared way too quickly.   The milkshake glass in the left corner was Tyler's.  That disappeared really quick also!  I have a picture of the burger that Carissa got, but it turned out blurry.  It was a HUGE burger, and she ate every single bite.  I was shocked that she could eat that much! 

I had a really good sandwich and onion rings.
After a filling meal we went on to do all of our shopping.  We had Renminbi (Chinese currency) burning holes in our pockets and we still had a lot of gifts left to buy.  We ended up back at the same market we had gone to before, which is good because we knew our way around.  We negotiated for and bought a lot of tea, a tea set, chop sticks, Chinese decorations and many other items.  One of the items I really like is a box designed to hold chopsticks.  Back home, I have all our chopsticks wrapped in a rubber band and stuck in a drawer and this holder was one of the items I had set out to purchase, that and a tea set I got to pick out myself.  There was one section of the market we hadn't went into the last time we were there, and it was filled with tea cups and tea pots.  It was wonderful!  I had a hard time deciding on just the right one, but I managed!

Laurel in the street lights.
Some of the other great items we bought were tea tumblers - you know how there are coffee mugs?  Well, these are for your loose leaf tea and they are great!  I was so excited to discover them because we really like loose leaf tea.  We ended up getting three plastic ones and two glass ones.  It's a good thing we bought the plastic ones!  Not very long after we were back to the states Laurel knocked one of the glass ones over and broke it and then about a week later Kevin knocked the other one on the kitchen sink and broke that one.  They were really good quality glasses, we just happened to knock them in the right places...

Oh... Lyric was a big hit at the market.  When you first walk into this market there is a tea "shop" set up on the immediate left.  One of the ladies here gave Lyric a gift, it is called "pee-pee boy".  I know.  Strange.  It's a little ceramic boy about 3 inches high.  When soaked in water he will go potty.  Really.  After being given this "wonderful" gift Lyric played with it for just a bit and then broke it by dropping it.  The lady who gave it to her was wonderful about it, but it was still a bit embarrassing... 

Later, when we were picking out the tea pot Lyric was given a few more gifts.  Paper folded into the shape of a gun (it was just for fun!), a squeaky toy mouse, and another pee-pee boy, except this one wasn't a boy, it was a mouse.  Pee-pee mouse successfully made it home with us without breaking and is now hiding in a drawer somewhere...

After spending almost all the money that was burning holes in our pockets we headed out for our last dinner with Brad and Jieying. We voted to go to one of our favorite restaurants and had a great meal and a great time.

At the hotel, Kevin ended up going back out with Brad for one last "night on the town" together.  After getting the children tucked in for bed (with Chinese cartoons on to help them settle down), I began the daunting task of packing and repacking all of our clothes, gifts, and souvenirs.  By the time I was done, our backpacks were very stuffed and pretty heavy!  To be honest, I really like the challenge of packing a bunch of suitcases or even packing luggage into a car.  I look at it as a puzzle that has to be figured out.  I can happily announce that not one item broke on our way home from China!

Looking back, I don't even remember sleeping that night, but I'm sure I did...  I do kind-of remember that the morning came really, really fast...

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