Hello again, friends! This is Crystal updating the blog again, and I'm posting from our Yahoo email once again. Of course we can't get Facebook here, we didn't think of that before . . . the Chinese government blocks Facebook in China. However, I thought that Blogger would still be available but we can't seem to connect to it, so maybe that's blocked too. I believe I can post to our blog from email, but I'm not quite certain if it's working or not. If any of you are able to read this post or my post from yesterday (titled "In Beijing"), could you send us an email that says you can see it? Thanks!
Here's what we did today: we got up at 5:45 and got ready for the day, then headed downstairs and ate breakfast at the hotel's breakfast buffet. There was some Western breakfast food, but also some interesting Chinese foods that we did not recognize. We enjoyed our breakfast. We met Cindy, our guide, at 8:00 along with three other Wacap families and rode in a van to the Great Wall. The weather was perfect today - sunny and clear, and not even much smog. It's pretty hot here though, so the climb up the great wall was kind of sweaty. We had the choice of going up the steeper, more strenuous part of the Great Wall, or going up an easier part. Jeff and I, along with another woman who happens to be from Walla Walla, chose the steeper side and we're glad we did. We took lots of pictures and I'll try to post a few if I can figure out how.
After the Great Wall, we went to a jade factory and got to see how jade is carved and looked at some amazingly intricate statues and jewelry. We bought a small jade tiger statue for TongJie, since he was born in 2010, the year of the tiger. We had a family-style Chinese lunch at a restaurant. It was nice because we didn't have to try to figure out what to order. After that, we drove through the Olympic Village, where the 2008 summer Olympics were held in Beijing. Then we went to a tea factory and got to sample some different teas and learn about all the different kinds. We got back to our hotel around 4:30 pm, and we're getting ready to have some soup for dinner.
Tomorrow we check out of our hotel at 1:00 here in Beijing and go to the airport for a 5:00 flight to Hangzhou in the Zhejiang province. We will be traveling with another family who is adopting a girl from the Zhejiang province, but not from the same orphanage as TongJie. This family is a mom with her 11 year old daughter and a sister-in-law - they're really nice. We spent some time telling jokes with the 11 year old girl during some of the more boring times today. I'll try to add some pictures of today as soon as I send this email update. We're thinking about all of you guys and hope everybody is doing well!