- 9/3/2007 7:41 PM ET
You are as American as apple-pie! Glad they have Coke over there. Sounds like Day 6 was a little less stressful than those previous. The landscapes and temples there sound delightful.
The whole group decided to go to the Summer Palace. Jesse and Iris had already gone with his friend Ken and Christa who had left for home already so they opted not to go. I figured they needed a break from being tour guides anyway. We had our usual breakfast at the hotel and then took taxies to get there.
The summer palace was the summer home of the Emperor and Empress. There were beautiful gardens, buildings and a walkway surrounding a lake. You could also take boats onto the lake. As usual on the grounds, there were lots of places to buy souvenirs. I bought a parasol to keep the sun out of my eyes and a Coke.
First we went through several buildings with displays inside of different artifacts. That is not something I take a lot of time in. Iím more interested in the natural surroundings. It was too hard for the group to stay together. Daveís mom and dad are in their eighties so Daveís sisters got wheelchairs for them because it is a long walk around the lake. The sisters stayed with the mom and dad. Kilah, Judah, Dave, Abraham, Emily and I took a paddleboat onto the lake. It was very peaceful and much cooler out there.
Then we proceeded to walk around the lake. It was as usual very hot that day. Suddenly the sprinklers came on the grass by the walkway. Judah and some of the local kids were having a good time playing in the sprinklers. It was fun to watch them. It was nice to see that kids are the same wherever you go. Some people approached us with their kids to have their pictures taken with Judah. This happened often when we had Judah out and about. Even Dave and I have been approached to have our pictures taken with the locals. I didnít mind and even joked about being a movie star. There was a big boat that looked like a dragon that you could take across the lake. I kept bugging everyone to take the boat. No one else was as enthusiastic as me. I was more excited by the dragon boat than Judah. They all went along just to humor me. It was just Kilah, Judah, Dave and I by then.
At the other side there were more shops with souvenirs and food and the Coke I had been craving. I wasnít hungry. But the long walk and heat did make me thirsty. There was a place where you could dress up as an Emperor and Empress and have your pictures taken. Kilah and Judah had theirs taken and then Dave and I did. Kilah and Judah looked cute in their costumes but Dave and I looked just plain ridiculous.
Next there was a long walk up a hill to the Buddha Temple. Halfway there was another store where I had to have another Coke. That was my third for that day. Up at the top there was a spot where you could stand on some rocks and take pictures of some ancient buildings of the summer palace with Beijing in the background. We took several pictures there. The Buddha temple had a huge Buddha inside of it. It was beautiful. Of all the things Iíve seen in China I think besides the Great Wall I like the temples best. On the way down there were quite a few spots where you could sit and see the ancient buildings in contrast to modern day Beijing.
That night Jesse took us all to a Brazilian restaurant including Irisís step mom and dad. There was a buffet with all different kinds of foods but they would also bring meat on skewers to the table for the group to share. There was turkey wrapped with bacon, pork, beef, lamb and many other kinds of meat that I donít eat. One kind of beef was very tender but had a funny taste to it. Jesse asked if I liked it and I said it was ok. Jesse laughed and told me it was tongue. He knows Iím a picky eater.
It was late by the time we got back to the hotel. I went to bed and watched Chinese TV until I fell asleep.
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