|Left at O'dark thirty or 3:30 am|
|Got to the airport with plenty of time.|
Good thing too, because we were at the furthest terminal.
|Alexander gave the western breakfast on the plane a thumbs up.|
|Off the plane and onto the airport express subway|
|Switched to the yellow line.|
It was really empty in the middle of the day.
|Friends told us the way to go see the Great Wall on your own|
was to take the subway to the new train line that takes you right to
|It was a very nice ride and definitely seemed like the way to go.|
Especially since there are so many of us regular taxis are hard to use now.
|They are building more walls on the way to the great one|
|Starting to see it!|
|Off and walking|
|We stopped for ice cream and cold water because everyone was warm and tired.|
|Really though, we couldn't have asked for better weather.|
It was just a little on the warm side, but sunny clear skies outside of the city.
|We made it!|
|The only really troublesome thing we had on this trip was|
Abigail took kind of a bad tumble on what we thought was a easy part and got really sad for a while.
Nate and I took turn carrying her the rest of the way.
We're so thankful that she's OK though.
|Big and steep!|
|The boys really did love it|
|So Andrew noticed first that the defense side is much different than the other side.|
I think he liked imagining he was an archer.
|Up, up, up!|
|On the hardest part Nate carried 2 of 3 backpacks and Abigail,|
while I walked behind Alexander to make sure he didn't fall.
|Andrew and the camera are straight up, the staircase is almost.|
|Big boys and dad hiked to a really high guard tower|
|Mom and the two littler ones stopped to rest and drink water here.|
The steps in this part were so steep they were almost to my knees.
|Abigail fell asleep for a little bit and was much happier when she woke up again.|
|Going down, down, down|
|Ice cream and cannons make everything better|
|It ended up being a really good day to go,|
because there were no crowds.
We really didn't get stopped for pictures much more than around town here.
|Andrew liked this might warrior|
|The little sign says room for rent.|
Looking for a place to stay close to the great wall?
|We let Abigail choose the video for the train back.|
Watching Care Bears Movie II.
|Getting off the S2 train and walking to the subway.|
Abigail says, "This is not pinker!!!"
|Starting to feel the crowds|
|We found downtown rush hour|
|Overall our impressions of the big city were much better than the last time we were here.|
Subway at rush hour with overtired kids would still be better avoided though.
|Off the subway and walking to our airport zone hotel.|
|This was a really nice place.|
Kids were excited for carpeting.
|We had to rent two rooms because the max persons allowed in each was three.|
But these beds listed as singles were about the size of a queen bed in the states,
so it worked out really well.
Our first day was completely packed.
|They gave us a complimentary breakfast, saying they were trying to encourage good reviews.|
Boy will we give them one!
|Alexander discovering his very favorite thing: yogurt with fudge sauce.|
|He gave some to Abigail and it was her favorite thing too.|
|You can still see the little bump on her head, but now she won't stop smiling.|
|Chocolate waffles, bacon, sausage, and eggs!|
|One thing we didn't try. Not quite authentic I think.|
|They also had lunch meat, cheese, and bread in different places, so Aaron ate a sandwich.|
|Been about three years since any of us had waffles.|
They even had good coffee.
|We ate so much|
|They even had a salad bar area, so Nate and I each ate a big salad too.|
|I think we each ate enough for two or three big meals compared to a regular day.|
I can only imagine all the stories that were told about us at the end of the day.
|Kids thought the elevator was kind of cool|
|View out the window.|
The second day was a mix of city smog and thunderstorms.
Good thing we were able to make it out to the wall during the good weather!!!
|Reminder where we are|
|At the airport...|
I think Toilet Drinking Water should be separated by more than a coma.
|Because of our last trip experience, we scheduled our return flight for later|
on the second day, to give us a second chance to get out to the wall if the
first day didn't work out.
But since it did, we just got to the airport really early.
|We all watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang together|
|Waterfree might not always be better|
|We did find a little play place for the kids|
|And of course the kids got hungry again|
|We got them McDonalds since is isn't usually an option for us, and they were thrilled.|
|Unfortunately, the thunderstorms delayed our flight.|
And then we ended up sitting on the tarmac for even longer.
|We finally made it all the way back at 1am the second day.|
We made it all the way to the Great Wall and back (without a tour!)
in about 46 hours.
And now we're tired.