This is literally down the street from our apartment. I’ve had good intentions of going here for months and we finally made it today with some families from church (total: four moms, 15 kids -Ws, WIs, and Bs). It was super nice of all of them to brave the subway to come to our neck of the woods. And the weather and air were gorgeous (especially after yucky air blew out with last night’s storm).
Leaving Walmart the other day, these guys walked past.
B and I have discussed getting a bike, and we’d need a seat for a passenger in back, but one that would accommodate Squirt (sides so he wouldn’t just tumble out) but also me if B was riding me around (and I can’t really squeeze into most of the seats with sides). Then I saw this. This woman has a back seat, and a baby seat strapped to her handlebars (?) somehow.
While we were waiting for friends by our subway stop, this woman stopped in order to pull the net cover over her dog stroller and then doubly secure that with a blanket/scarf (on a beautiful weather and air day).
For purposes of this blog, I’ll just say that my husband and kids put on a birthday extravaganza for me the weekend of my birthday. This included making me breakfast, a shopping spree at H&M, dinner at Ganges Indian Restaurant, a night in a hotel, lunch at Home Plate BBQ, shopping for (and purchasing) a pearl at the Pearl Market, and a Dairy Queen ice cream cake.
(French toast recipe he found on Pinterest called Light & Fluffy and involved dipping the bread in a pancake like batter before cooking, potatoes with sausage and different spices, eggs and OJ.)
H&M dressing room.
Dinner at Ganges Indian Restaurant (at Wudaokou stop, line 13).
Lunch at Homeplate BBQ (at Tuanjiehu stop, line 10).
Hongqiao Pearl Market (at Tiantandongmen, line 5).
There’s a train museum out by the airport that we hope to visit, but this one was close by, near Tian’anmen Square at the Qianmen subway stop off line 2.
We met up the the usuals: Ws, WIs, and Ss.
As you can tell from the last picture of the museum from across the street, the air was gross, hence an indoor field trip.
B texted me on his way to work to tell me how beautiful the air was and suggested I go up to the top floor of our building and take pictures. It was gorgeous!
Most of these pictures are towards the west, further outside of Beijing but the bottom left picture is toward Beijing (you can sort of see the CCTV tower poking out from behind the skyscrapers).
It arrived too late for today’s adventures, but here is Simon on our maiden voyage (across campus to B’s classroom building) using the Boba carrier that Amazon.cn delivered today while we were out and about at the Drum and Bell Tower. This should improve trips up the steep staircases at places like the Drum and Bell Towers, the Great Wall, and other adventures around China (like the subway) that aren’t always stroller friendly and are tiresome for Squirt’s little legs. And tiresome for my arms.
With three other homeschooling families (the Ws, the WIs and an Australian family, the Ss) we met at the Shichahai Station (line 8) exit A2 and explored together. Mrs. W has coupon books she bought, so each kid over 1.2 meters (everyone but Squirt) got in both towers for 15 yuan and the grown-ups got in for 17 yuan (10 yuan for the Drum Tower and 7 yuan for the Bell Tower).
The Drum Tower was first. After climbing the steep, narrow staircase, we were just in time to hear the “concert” that is supposedly only once an hour. Squirt sort of liked it, but also thought it was way too loud.
The views: we could see the tallest building in Beijing and in the other direction, the CCTV tower.
Then, across the courtyard to the Bell Tower. (With view of the Drum Tower.)
I let the kids do a silly picture (Squirt refused to be in the picture of the kids) so then I picked up Squirt for a selfie with him and the bell. I didn’t know it, but he was doing a silly picture.
Then we walked over to the Houhai Lake and Qianhai Lake areas and found a spot (with plenty of spectators to watch our group (4 moms, 14 kids) eat lunch and play.
We like when we can see down the train cars forever and ever. This only happens on certain types of train cars, and when the train is relatively empty. So… rare.
When we got off at our subway stop, I bought the kids ice creams from McDonalds. There’s a new yellow kind that when I translate, all I come up with is “yellow.” Now we know, it’s a coffee flavor. Oh well. The kids enjoyed them.