Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City

Another beautiful sunny day in China.  We did see the sun but there is definitely a pollution haze covering over everything.  You do hear a lot of clearing the throat and spitting when out in the city and it's all the black pollution that gets in your lungs.  It is kind of scary to see a portion of the population with medical masks on their faces.  Just as spring is blooming at home, it is here as well but the leaves are all out on the trees.  There are also white fuzz balls that almost look like snow flying all over the place.  They remind me of that speck from Horton Hears a Who.  They fly all over the place and often end up in your throat.  
The buffet breakfast is the same every morning.  There is sushi, traditional chinese foods, fried eggs and thankfully belgium style waffles.  I've become a fan of their yogurt.  I've been sticking with the waffles, bacon, yogurt and fruit.  Russ has been more adventurous at breakfast. 
We met our guide at 8:30am again and loaded the bus with other Holt families to drive to Tiananmen Square.  That place is incredible in size!  It is HUGE but the amount of people there is just unbelievable.  We thought it was busy because it is a Saturday but our guide said it is busy like that EVERY day of the year except when it is very cold.  They built the square to hold half a million people and I feel like that's how many were there.  I held Abigail's hand so tightly I'm sure it hurt by the end of the day.  We walked through the square and into the Forbidden City.  The Forbidden City is where the emperors used to live.  This place is beyond huge.  It has over 5000 rooms and multiple buildings, gate systems, gardens etc.  The intricate details on the buildings was sensational.  I can't imagine how much money was spent building that.  It's quite the typical tale of the emperor that had so much excess and the commoners outside the walls had nothing.  It is called the Forbidden City because it was forbidden for commoners.  No one could enter into the city.  It really is the size of a city.  We spent two hours walking through it.  
After leaving the Forbidden City, we all had lunch together and went to the silk factory.  We saw how the silk worm makes silk and how it is separated, weaved and stretched into blankets etc.  It was interesting to learn how that works.  
We headed back to the hotel around 3pm.  We had to then make specific photo copies of documents that we will need when we get to our province tomorrow.  All the details of what we needed was in the red book we received yesterday.  Thankfully I had all the paperwork required.  
For years now, when Russ and I would walk around and see a little asian child, I would always joke to him, "I want one of those."  Well now today, of course I saw so many of the cutest Asian babies and realized... I'm going to actually be getting one of those.  I'm starting to get very excited to finally get to see Rachel in a day and a half.  I'm not looking forward to how she will grieve or be very emotional but I know that is all part of the journey to a healthy attachement and that it's all temporary.  
We saw split pants officially today.  Children who are potty training wear pants that are split in the crotch.  We saw some cute little toddler bottoms today through the Forbidden City.  Google split pants if you want to see a picture, it's just so funny to see.  Especially when the child is sitting on dad's shoulders.  
The Chinese people must have a different body temperature than us.  Most of the adults in our group had either shorts and short sleeve shirts or light pants and short sleeves.  The Chinese people had on pants, sweaters, coats and some with hats.  Some of the kids were dressed in multiple layers.  It was 73 degrees and sunny out today.  We've been told to be prepared for the friendly Chinese grandmothers to harass us about the clothing choices we have for our children.  If they are not in at least three layers, then they are not in enough clothes.  We'll see what happens next week.  It's supposed to be in the 70's and 80's in Nanjing this week.  

Thanks so much for the continued prayers and emails.  They are so appreciated.  I'm starting to feel the anxiety more about meeting Rachel.  We're praying for a smooth transition.  We know it won't be easy but hoping for her to adjust to us, that we can communicate effectively, praying for protection of Abigail's heart especially if Rachel does not like her right away and for all of us to stay healthy and get sleep.  Also, I'm missing my boys a lot but it's been good to check in with them and know they are having a great time back at home.  

In Tiananment Square with half a million other people!

In Tiananment Square with half a million other people!

A glimpse in one direction of the amount of people... unbelievable!  People from all over China come to see this area and of course all the tourists come too.  

A glimpse in one direction of the amount of people... unbelievable!  People from all over China come to see this area and of course all the tourists come too.  

Waiting for Lydia to get our tickets into the Forbidden City.  

Waiting for Lydia to get our tickets into the Forbidden City.  

The entrance to the Forbidden City!  Many of the buildings all look the same in there but served different purposes.  Many for ceremonies, for seeing government officials, the throne room, buildings for all the emperors wives.  The place goes on forever.

The entrance to the Forbidden City!  Many of the buildings all look the same in there but served different purposes.  Many for ceremonies, for seeing government officials, the throne room, buildings for all the emperors wives.  The place goes on forever.

Outside the throne building.

Outside the throne building.

All those similar looking buildings in the background are all part of the Forbidden City.  It's immense!

All those similar looking buildings in the background are all part of the Forbidden City.  It's immense!

Lunch!

Lunch!