I had completely and totally planned to blog during our trip but trying to find an hour during the day that I wasn’t entertaining kids, eating, being a tourist or snuggling our new addition was almost impossible. So here I am trying to remember some of the details, share a bit about our trip most importantly about our adoption.
How does one even start a story as crazy and involved as two adults taking three kids to the other side of the world? We left on a Thursday morning from the Columbus, OH airport. We started our international journey via United Airlines from Newark, NJ. Our flight to China was 12.5 hours and even though I thought that was the longest day of my life, I assure you our trip back took the cake. I may never get back into a car again.
Our adoption agency chose the Novotel Beijing Xin Qiao . If I could have a do over this would definitely be one of my choices. The hotel pictures looked lovely but the actual hotel was very dated and really not something I would ever choose for my family. We were very disappointed in this hotel. The rooms were small and cramped, we didn’t have the adjoining rooms that we needed. The restaurant was also outdated but the morning buffet was excellent with a ton of choices. My husband said the coffee was the best he ever had. The location was nice but since we had a guide the whole time we were there, we didn’t depend on it as much as we would have otherwise. I would have loved to stay down near the “Times Square,” area where we could go out and walk around on our own. If you have a few extra dollars, I would not choose this hotel.
On our first day, our guide Candy met us and took us on a great adventure. We took the subway to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. We got a million stares as we maneuvered our way through the city. We had been told that people would want to take pictures with him but we had no idea that Lulu would also be famous. She loved it and Ezra was none the wiser that people were taking his picture.
Here is one of our paparazzi shots:
The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square were very interesting and our guide knew every detail about the history. She has so much pride about her country that it really challenged my assumptions about the Chinese. Truly almost all the people we met or interacted with her friendly and seemed very happy.
After our tour of the Forbidden City, Candy took us to lunch an area called Hutongs. This is a little area surrounded by water where cars are not allowed. The lunch was phenomenal. Our guide helped us choose a few different items and we ate family style around a big table. Lu learned how to use chopsticks and all my kids were adventurous eaters.
After this we made a quick trip through the famous “snack street” and then stopped at a local place for noodles. This was my favorite meal in China. For like $1.50 a person we had an amazing noodle bowl. I will be craving these for a long time.