We've ALL been sitting around saying, "I can't believe we are actually here in China!" Very surreal! We arrived as the sun came up, and while walking through customs my heart did flip flops at the thought that Hannah and I will be enjoying the same sun rise for the 1st time...All smiles!!! :o) It feels good to be in her home country, and to know we are only days away now from meeting her.
We did survive (and very well I must say) our long adventure here. It was quite a journey over. The boys did great on all flights, and I wish so bad I had had a video camera to capture the boys expressions when we took off from DFW. The pure excitement on their faces was just priceless. Charles even let out a little squealing giggle as the plane lifted off. The long plane ride across the Pacific ocean went well, yet hard on all of us...there is nothing like the urge to want to stretch your legs up and out when you sleep. :~/ The boys had a good 8-9 hrs each, and the rest of us got what we could when we could (except Kevin who seem to be oblivious to the fact we were even on an airplane, and slept most of the trip). I have to say it was a strange feeling to be on a flight 14ish hours, and it was pitch dark every bit of that time.
Did I mention the pilots let the boys come up to the cockpit?
On a good note, we were very thankful for the AA Admiral Club passes one of our sweet neighbors gave us the night before we left, as well as the premium economy seats we decided to spend the money on last minute. We all felt like kings and queens and gratefully enjoyed every little perk that came our way like little children in a candy store (free snacks, cookies, cheese and veggie bar, warm towel-lets, house shoes, eye masks, ear plugs, little cute bags with mini lotions, toothbrush, toothpaste, combs, and hot meals with linens). We just thought we were going to get an extra 10 inches of leg room...which we were all so thankful for.
On arriving in China we were greeted with yet another warm Chinese welcome, when a police officer in customs ran right up in front of me with his hand in my camera and said, "NO PICTURES" very sternly to me. Then he proceeded to tell us (after waiting in a long line) we needed to leave the line and not come back without a form filled out for every person in our group...reminded me of the good-ol Houston Chinese Consulate days...NO SOUP!
We did make it through customs (even with our "I am second" shirts on), and even had our first real Chinese meal in China (well, one of us anyway-note the spaghetti everyone but Charlie is having!).
Our last flight to Beijing also went very well, and we were all SO GLAD to finally be at our final destination (for now), and meet our guide for the next few days...His name is "David".
David took us straight to our 1st tour from the airport...Really, no hotel to freshen up??? He was not kidding! So, off to the Hutongs tour we did go, and it was AWSOME (just wish we all looked and smelled better).
Then we drug our tired bodies up 69 of the steepest stairs EVER! Did you know people have died coming back down these things? Just glad it wasn't us!
We are all SO VERY EXHAUSTED, and ready for a good nights sleep before we start our day of tours tomorrow morning at 8:15 am. :(
Goodnight to all our American peeps.Thanks for the prayers in getting us this far...God is good! Please keep praying for the health of everyone (the boys really need it)!
Charlie, Denise, Mark, Charles, Kevin, and Amanda
P.S. Sorry if these picture do not expand, or look grainy...too tired tonight to go the longer route to make them clearer. :(