Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mighty Fine Design!

It may not be a surprise, but I absolutely LOVE design. I also have to say that thanks to Pinterest, I've lost many more hours each week "pinning" all of those great designs that I see. Well, a friend of a friend launched a great new design blog called The Rustic Alley. Allison is truly talented and it as quickly become one of my favorite blogs to stalk. You should check it out. Oh, and while you're at it, check out the AWESOME giveaway she has going this week. I know I want a 3 day, 2 night stay in a great condo in Tahoe. How about you?


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Final Weekly Wrap-up In Pictures: Week 8

Monday - Praying at the center of the earth

Tuesday - Michael at the Forbidden City

Wednesday - Smoking over my food? Why thank you.

Thursday - Shopkeeper

Friday - An original Chinese garden entranceWell, I had an amazing summer that I will NEVER FORGOT!! I'm so happy that I was able to document all of our adventures and blog about them, even if it is mainly for myself. Thanks for reading along. And if you ever have a chance to go to China? GO!! It will change your life!!!

Wangfujing Market and FRIED SCORPION!!!

Yes, I ate a fried scorpion. I decided when I got to China that I was going to eat something outrageous and not long after, I decided that it was going to be a fried scorpion. Lucky for me, when my parents came to Beijing my dad decided that he was going to eat a fried scorpion as well. I had heard a lot about the Wangfujing market and I knew that it would be the PERFECT place to eat my fried scorpion because they fry pretty much EVERYTHING there from scorpion to rattlesnake to seahorse.

We started out by trying a few "normal" things like seasoned lamb on a stick and some strange fried seafood, then my dad and I decided we were ready.

I got some great pics of him eating his fried friend, but sadly there was a camera malfunction and I didn't get mine on camera. My dad offered to buy another one so I could eat it on camera, but there was NOTHING that could get me to do that EVER AGAIN. It tasted just like it sounds in case you are wondering...
We decided to finish off with some candied fruit which was AWESOME and really took that gritty taste out of my mouth.
Over all, I'm glad I did it, but I would never do it again. :)

The Forbidden City

Michael and I never really got the chance to visit the Forbidden City until my parents came into town. It was amazing, but unfortunately the weather was not in our favor. It would have been even more impressive I'm sure if it had also been a beautiful day outside. The Forbidden City was actually forbidden to anyone outside of the royal family and his servants. It is unbelievable how HUGE the forbidden city was!! We walked the entire length of it from south to north and wondered if it would ever end!

My parents inside of one of the squares. There were about 5 total.
Michael and I at the entrance.
Just outside Qianmen Gate.
Another one of the huge Forbidden City Squares.
At the North Entrance to the Forbidden City, where we exited from, had an amazing Chinese garden and was really neat to see. It was packed, so we could hardly get a good picture, though...

I'm so glad I got to finally see the inside of the Forbidden City since I had passed it atleast 10 times while living in Beijing. :)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekly Wrap-up In Pictures: Week 7

Monday - Inside the Bird's Nest at the Olympic Village

Tuesday - at the Lama Temple

Wednesday - I don't know what this sign says, but it is entertaining nonetheless...

Thursday- me and my mamma

Friday - Houhai Bar District at night



Qianmen, Allie and Chinese Candy

I loved having a friend in Beijing that I could get together with and I loved that Allie wanted to see all of the same city sites as me. On this particular occasion, we decided to stroll around one of the busy tourist markets just south of Tian'anmen Square called Qianmen, and test out some Chinese candy. Unfortunately, we were not too impressed with the Chinese treats but at least a couple of them were good. :)

Harry Potter 3D Asian Style

Just because we weren't in the States for the premiere of Harry Potter doesn't mean we weren't going to be part of all the Harry Hooplah! We actually went to see the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at the big "Western-Style Movie Theater" for a midnight movie and it was soooo worth it. It really made me miss being home for the premiere of a great Hollywood movie, but having the experience in Beijing was worthwhile, especially since they have THE BEST movie theater popcorn! It was actually caramel corn and it was super yummy!! Oh, and did I mention the movie was in 3D? Awe-some!

Mutianyu Great Wall and Factories

Close to the end of my trip, my parents came out to visit and see some of the sights. I was excited to take them to see the Great Wall and this time we decided to go to another section a little closer to Beijing called Mutianyu. It was beautiful as well but had many more tourists. We had decided to take a private tour and this also included two factories, one to a silk factory to see how they make silk blankets and another to see how Chinese cloisonne is made. Both factories were really interesting and the Great Wall as once again spectacular. I'm glad I was able to show my parents around Beijing, as well.

My Parents on the Great Wall. Aren't they cute? :)
Another Gorgeous View on the Great Wall
Riding up to the Great Wall
Cloisonne Factory

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ancient Observatory

Another great site! This time I went to see the Ancient Observatory. It was located right in the middle of a modern city area and I found it incredible, even though it was pretty small. The site is home to numerous Astrological devices dating to as early as the 15th century!

798 Art District

We had the chance to go to an amazing area in Beijing called the 798 Art District. It was incredible with hundreds of art galleries and museums and most of them were free. It was also fun to go with Allie and Steve and see another side of Beijing.
More Art gallaries

Bell and Drum Towers and Chinese Yogurt

Hi friends! I'm back with the last few weeks of our trip to China so expect a lot of posts recapping the final destinations and sights from our final days.

Bell Tower

Michael and I had an afternoon to spare and decided to see the Bell and Drum Towers in the Old part of Beijing. These towers were really amazing and used to notify Beijingers of the time until 1924!

Bell Tower
View of the surrounding Hutongs from the Bell Tower

Funny bathroom sign. I'm so glad that I was able to use a 3-star toilet but to be honest, I didn't really notice much of a difference... LOL!

Staircase up to the Drum tower!! You can't really tell, but it was LONG and STEEP!
Drum performance

We also finally tried the Chinese yogurt we'd been seeing all over town, and it was better than I thought it was going to be. It pretty much tasted like Greek yogurt. What you do is buy the yogurt at a small store and use a straw to drink the yogurt right there. After you finish, you leave the ceramic container and it is recycled for you. I'm glad I tried it at least once, and it was great to sit and enjoy it outside of the Bell and Drum towers, too.