Monday, May 12, 2014

Day 4/5 - Great Hall of the People

We had seen better days on Friday morning when we woke up after the Great Wall party and then our Chinese clubbing experience.

But, we jumped on the subway and headed to the Beijing Zoo.

They all say, "Mind the steps.  Mind the gaps.  Mind your hand. etc."  It's never "Watch your step."

So we got to the zoo.  Finally.  It took about 40 minutes on the subway.  A cab wasn't even an option.  Traffic in Beijing is unreal.  There are 21 million people.  It's a privilege to even have a car and when you have one, you can only drive it on certain days based on your license plate.  There are THAT many people there.

These willow trees were the biggest I've ever seen.

Had to see the panda.

And that was about it.  We were beat.  The zoo was HUGE though.

Kevin and I headed back to the hotel to chill and get our act together for that evening.  We had a fancy night ahead!

They bussed us to The Great Hall of the People.  On the way we saw their service at Tianenmen Square.  Chinamen come from all over and have a ceremony at their flag.

Back to the Great Hall of the People.  This is from Google:  It is used for legislative and ceremonial activities by the PRC and the Communist Party of China. It functions as the meeting place of the National People's Congress, the Chinese parliament.

Basically, it's a special place and had top security.  They don't allow liquids but thankfully after careful inspection, they allowed my hand sanitizer.  Thank goodness! 

Our friends Charlotte and John.

It was a special thing to be invited to this place.  Kevin called it kind of like our White House.  It's not every day you get an invite.  

Hello cute husband of mine!

Of course they had the red carpet out.

They gave us each one of those masks.

It was a gorgeous room.  Lots of details and very ornate.

They had local performers play for us.  The kids were extra cute.

Then the 7 course meal begun. I'll spare you all of the food pictures but these appetizers were over the top.

And Kevin didn't eat any of his so I got to have two servings.  And my scale told me so when I got home.

The MC for the evening. She was stunning.

Kevin with the guard on the way out.

Day 5 begun (Saturday, April 26th) and we all left Beijing to head to the airport.  Of course they had the proper goodbye!

All of the sweet friends from China World Hotel.  My favorite guy was the one in the brown (two people to the left of the panda).  He pushed the elevator buttons for you every time.  

We arrived at the Beijing airport.

And boy was it interesting getting 800 Americans to Shanghai in one morning on one airline.  Keep in mind, this was a domestic flight on China Eastern Airlines so of course none of the ticket agents spoke English.  Of course Kevin's company had thought of that and had an assistant for us at each counter.  And we had our own check in counters as well...wouldn't want to have to stand in line with the regulars.  CRAZY!

So down to Shanghai we went.  2 hour flight was cake after the 14 hour one! 


  1. I'm exhausted already :( LOL! For real, I bet you needed a vacay from your vacay by the time you got home!

  2. I'm so happy you are sharing your trip. It's so cool to see. I wish we could have a panda to eat all the bamboo in our backyard!

  3. Glad you saw the panda!! That's probably one of the few animals I haven't seen in a zoo!! Such a cool event!!! Glad y'all made it to Shanghai I'm sure it was crazy at the airport!!

  4. loving the recaps.... My friend just moved to China and told me about the toilets...... UGH. We plan to go over there next year and to Hong Kong.

  5. I love the single white slice of bread with all that amazing food!

  6. Those weeping willows are breathtaking and you and Kevin looked so great on the fancy night. What a night they put on!

  7. Such an incredible trip...y'all have been really fortunate to travel so much! I love the dress you wore and Kevin is looking great, too!