China · 10 Days · 28 Moments · June 2017

Verna's voyage in China

18 June 2017

I found McDonald's while the kids were at the pool. I was still in search of Alexandra's pig blob to no avail. I had to venture beyond our neighborhood as only cellphones and accessories were for sale. I return empty handed. Our last night so we had intended to be out on the town. I get back to hotel and no one wants to leave. I'm off in search of eats in the adjoining mall. I return with Burger King chicken sandwiches, pastries from bread talk and made to order cut fresh pineapple. The day before I was able to get mangosteen and fresh cherries. I'm sad to be leaving. The hotel and the staff are so nice and our time was too short . We will have to return. The ride was provided by the hotel complete with wifi, portable tissues, mint and water bottles. Bye bye Chengdu.😭

16 June 2017

McDonald's specials:
Back to the hotel because we're hungry again. We enjoyed a lunch a made to order lunch buffet at the hotel. So yummy. We had duck, seafood, pork, mapo tofu to start. Lets just say we closed this restaurant down. Then the kids went to the pool as usual. These kids are having too much fun.
We made it to LeShan. We took a little boat to view its enormous size. Too bad the sun was directly behind it. Still pretty amazing!

15 June 2017

The reason we're in Sichuan Province is...

14 June 2017

Yay! We made it to Chengdu. Imagine our family arriving the hotel in an airport taxi with us piled in with 4 big luggage roped in the trunk. So very ghetto of us. It was all with it as they welcomed us with a plum beverage and great service. The room was huge and they gave the kids their own robes, slippers and treat (panda cookie and strawberry marshmallow). Noah especially loved the Toto toilet functions. He's been washing and drying his bottom on the warm toilet. (The air china flight was decent and the food was yummy, some fried rice with pickled vegetable, a carrot slaw, warm dinner rolls and peach yogurt).
We found this little toy in the hutongs. We were so ready to get to the hotel I didn't even bother to haggle for a deal. We also did just pay 5 yuan each. Unfortunately, Alexandra injured hers and we had to set her free. 😥. We're on a mission to replace her lost friend.
We need some sustenance. Picked up these Manila mangoes for 6 yuan. There were 6 of these and their the size of Alexandra's palm. So sweet!
Waiting for Adam as usual with the kids: Alexandra drew some pictures for me and we sang karaoke from YouTube (we have access).

13 June 2017

Respite from the airport, Langham Beijing Airport We rushed out of the hotel to go to our next destination, Chengdu via China Airlines only to find our flight was cancelled. Imagine our horror as we have gave a 3 day plan set and paid for, panda reserve, Mt. Emei and LeShan as well as accommodations at the St . Regis. Boo, weather. After finally recognizing the weather situation was nothing we can change, we pulled ourselves together and contacted the above groups as well as our travel insurance. We sacrificed Emei as we had one less ga day and done your money. St. Regis was great as we were not charged anything. And we booked the Langham by the Airport.
Forbidden City, take two. Gotta get in and out really fast so we can catch our flight!
Macau Taste's baked goods (baked meat pie, salted egg nap and egg tart). So yummy even for takeout breakfast!

12 June 2017

Wangfujing take 2: No night market with grilled scorpion or other bugs. Just the usual Miniso to get Tea's Tea peach green tea and APM restaurants. The tea reminded me of our last visit as it was the beverage of choice next to bottled water. I believe it is the same one Myra and I craved regularly. Miniso is like a Daiso but smaller. So many cool reasonably priced items.
The family has got to eat ! We stopped Wangfujing area again to our favorite mall food court in APM to eat at Macau Taste. We had some steamed Chinese broccoli, steamed milk,custard bun, baked pork meat bun, egg tart, pork chop sandwich and dumplings of course.
Sucks to be a royal in pre-Qing era...Not! This property offers a 540 acre man-made Kunming Lake, some pavilions, temples, palaces and bridges. So tired after the Wall excursion, we rushed through in about an hour. Still neat to explore but too tired to leisurely wander.
Strolling the well restored part of the wall in Mutianyu. Maybe not a 10+ mile outing but a more difficult more strenuous start even though We ropeway-ed up and tobaggened down. It was fulfilling nonetheless. Priceless memory. Afterwards, we had a good lunch overlooking parts of the Wall at Schoolhouse/Brickhouse. It was an inn with a restaurant at the foot of the Wall. Alexandra had some pork belly fettuccine carbonara; Adam had fish and chips with Dian slaw, Noah had grilled tofu/cabbage bowl with tomato chili relish and I had some pork dumplings and sautéed Chinese greens.

11 June 2017

The rain sprinkles forced us out a to a different route which fortunately led us to a nice little walkway, the hutongs, a mom and pop grocery store wth the cheapest-price gallon (13 yuan) water bottle and the cutest pig blob toy. I didn't bother to negotiate since I was too tired and only 10 yuan. Today was the second day of a 10+ mile outing.
Tianamen, Forbidden City and Jingshan Park visit
Believe it or not, after stuffing our faces for breakfast, we went on to pick up some Din Tai Fung dumplings for snack and eat this enormous snow ice at Ice Monster . This pix show a half-eaten portion (strawberry ice cream and sorbet with steamed milk custard, strawberry compote and condensed milk). We walked to the night market during the day time. There was quite the assortment of creatures to be staked, grilled or deep fried, from the normal to the exotic. There were some crickets, scorpions, roaches, stinky tofu that I can identify. The traditional included crab, squid, dumplings, sticky rice assortment, fresh fruit smoothie and Beijing yogurt. I also tried a fruit I had never seen before. It looked like a redder blackberry but it tasted like a grape. It's called a red Bayberry (Myrica rubra).
Lounging in the W Lounge before breakfast at Grandma's Home. We enjoyed some stewed cabbage, braised cauliflower with pork belly, beef noodles,squid salad, fish and twice prepared rice soup, pork pan fried dumplings. This language barrier still exists. Had to be ghetto and drink our own bottled water after they gave us some sort if water with lime after I tried to order bottled. The Meal was cheaply priced and the assortment was varied and tasty! Two thumbs up!
The kids are enjoying a morning swim before our outing (loving the look of mandatory hair cap). I had to buy these caps at a whopping 220 yuan. What a ripoff! Hotel pricing is so great...Not!

10 June 2017

We walked a long 360 degree circular area to see the Temple of Heaven. It's still as beautiful as we remember it.
Checking out the hotel facility before we bail to Tiantan Park
A leasurely breakfast at the hotel ( too lazy to even search for local eats).
Starting the day out right with the breakfast buffet at the W's Kitchen Table complete with congee, dim sum, noodle soup, omelet, gelato station and western offerings.

9 June 2017

We're in finally in Beijing! It's been a long day of travel and we're tired. We had to wait in a long line for the taxi, much more organized. At least we didn't have to worry about getting gypped. The airport looks so different from our last visit, 12 years ago. The airport is massive, must have been redone/ beautified for the Olympics.
Someone is enjoying his spicy beef ramen.
After leaving LAX via the American Airlines Terminal (not even Bradley International Terminal), we thankfully make it a decent airport. Yay, Narita!