Christa tagged me to do my fourth photo from my fourth folder (which, by the way, is a tongue twister)....I am so happy to oblige......
That's right! This is Teague when he was in my tummy. It was early January 2003 and we had just found out he was a boy, now the hard part.....coming up with a name.
I tag; Candice, Jill and Demaree (because it will be neato to see what the sisters come up with), and also Marisa!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Christa tagged me to do my fourth photo from my fourth folder (which, by the way, is a tongue twister)....I am so happy to oblige......
Saturday, November 29, 2008
This is another one that I stole from Jenny. It looked like fun, so I thought I would play along and invite you all to do the same.
To participate just copy and paste in your own blog, and bold all of the things you have done. Happy discoveries!
1. Started your own blog - and it has been so fun.
2. Slept under the stars - on Wilderness Trek, we were so close to them, it was amazing.
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland - hopefully we will be there again in the Spring.
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo You may remember this post. Not my only solo, but by far my worst.
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning - I actually got it at The Olive Garden on West Temple.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - When I was 16, and I had a knee brace on.
18. Grown your own vegetables - Cucumbers, Squash and Tomatoes about 3 years ago, but I only got a couple of Cucumbers. I guess only one of those is a vegetable.
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train - Just recently, from Shang Hai to Beijing.
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping - In the Pacific Ocean....and other places. It feels so nice.
27. Ran a marathon - something I've always wanted to do.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - this is one of my dreams....hopefully soon.
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - There's nothing quite like a Utah Sunset.
31. Hit a home run - believe it or not! It was during a Young Womens game.
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - I remember my dad looked like Paddington Bear in the raincoat and hat that were provided.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language - Pig latin? And the language that a mom has with her kids.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke - I got a karaoke machine for Christmas one year. I still have it.....somewhere.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance - Anyone remember the last stomp of the year in May 1991?
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - Loved it, but my ears hated it.
52. Kissed in the rain - honestly....I can't remember.
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China - Let's remember this post.
57. Started a business - Does Pampered Chef count? And being a Doula?
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - Ginger. My Madame Alexander baby doll. I LOVED her. She is in storage under my house.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job - Washington Mutual Bank! I won't tell you why though.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible - Um...not cover to cover, but through the years probably.
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox - I was 3 and it was miserable. Am I the only one with Chickenpox scars?
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury - I've been 'called' about 6 times, but have never had to.
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club - I want to, just trying to find the right one.
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby - Two of the most fabulous experiences in my life. See this post.
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake - Swam? I've floated in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee - I stepped on it on purpose, but I forgot that I was barefoot.
anyone else want to play???
Posted by Gus at 11/29/2008 02:12:00 PM
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
I have white skin, it is no secret. In Junior High, a boy, who will remain nameless (but if you really want to know, his initials are M.B.), came up with the nickname 'Al,' short for Albino. I still can't believe how quickly word spreads! Before I knew it, all the boys were calling me Al, and some of the girls. I didn't realize how white my skin really was until this horrible time in my life. However, isn't everybody's life horrible in Jr. High? Anyway, back to the point.
The summer after that school year, I didn't wear shorts. I'll admit it, I didn't wear shorts again until I was 16 and well into my Junior year in High School.
I remember telling people that it didn't bother me, but it did! I would secretly cry in my room. I remember trying to defend myself by saying that white skin was 'in.' Really, who was I kidding? I remember one girl laughing hysterically at me and saying, "White skin will NEVER be 'in'!" My Mom always told me how beautiful my skin was and that I should be proud of it....that was my Mom, like I am going to listen.
After years of begging, My mom finally gave in....I started tanning! I literally went tanning EVERY SINGLE DAY, because... the more I went, the quicker I got tan and the tanner I got, the better. Sometimes, when I could go to two different salons, I would go twice a day. Boys that I dated always told me how good I looked when I was tan. Some of the boys I dated told me that I looked better tan, so guess what? I went more! Then, in 1996, I met Aaron, and guess what? He said that he loved my white skin! WHAT? I haven't been tanning since.
I look back at pictures of myself when I was tan and I cringe. I don't look like Karlyn. I look like some processed teenager. My blond hair didn't even look natural, and it was. I am embarrassed.
I look in the mirror now and I see fair skin with lots of freckles. Freckles are not a bad thing, however, I didn't use to have them, I only had them on my nose. I also see wrinkles..I am only 33, I shouldn't have this many! I see years of skin damage because of the tanning bed. I don't see the beautiful milky white skin that I should have. And, I think of how lucky I am that I haven't gotten skin cancer.
I wear shorts now, and short skirts and I don't care what anyone says. I do notice people staring at me, but I don't know if that is because of my white skin, or because of my beautiful looks! :), but it doesn't bother me. Aaron is still (13 yrs. later) constantly telling me how much he loves my skin, and it still means more to me than he'll ever know. How I wish he were there with me in Jr. High.
As far as Mr. M.B. goes, I don't hold a grudge. Looking back I don't think I ever did, in fact, I remember having a crush on him even though he called me Al. We were in Jr. High, we all did mean things.
Now, for the real reason I am doing this post. As most of you know, I have been back in the Theatre because of my kidlets. I have met some of the most wonderful people, and surprisingly enough, most of these people are in High School! There are two girls that I have met that I admire so much, they both remind me of myself when I was that age, not only that they love the Theatre and performing, but they too have very fair skin!
One of the first times I met 'A,' in February, she was wearing shorts, and her beautiful fair skin was gorgeous. I nearly began to cry, I thought of myself when I was that age, there was no way I would have been caught dead wearing shorts! I wished so much that I would have had her confidence when I was that age. I said something to her about it and she said, "Are you kidding? I love my skin!" I also told her to never go tanning, she said she wouldn't. I hope she doesn't....ever.
I remember the first time that I saw 'E.' She was literally glowing, her skin is so beautifully flawless....and fair....like mine use to be. I would see her around and she was always wearing, not only shorts - short shorts, but tank tops! I was instantly jealous....seriously, why didn't I have that confidence? The first time I talked to her I complimented her skin. She graciously said, "Thank You." What the heck? You mean she didn't feel like she needed to explain why her skin was so beautiful?
Seriously what was wrong with me? Why was I so ashamed? Why did I care so much? But, then again, why are teenagers so cruel? Through the years, I have learned to love my skin. Both of my kidlets have a darker complexion than I do, I don't think they will get a cruel nickname because of their skin, but I don't ever want my kids to feel the way I did and go to an extreme like I did all because of peer pressure. I want them to be proud of their looks and personalities, like 'A' and 'E.'
Thanks 'A' and 'E!' They will probably never know how much I look up to them, or how proud I am of them, not only for their confidence and their amazing talent, but for what they are helping instill in my kidlets.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I'm not sure exactly why I am choosing to do this post. It isn't a fun or pretty one, in fact, it is down right embarrassing and mortifying. A little sad too. I am hoping that I am not the only mom that has done what I did. I am also hoping that if you have done something similar, you will let me know, so I don't feel like I really am the worst Mom ever. But if you don't comment, then I guess I will know, I made a really HUGE mistake. And, just so you know, I will NEVER do this again....
Any of you that know my little Teague know that he is not of the shy sort. You also know that he was blessed with "The Hyde voice." This is not always a bad thing. He is a very rambunctious five year old, always running, jumping, hollering, doing little boy things. Teague, however knows when to calm down, when to be quiet, good and respectful and all that, but sometimes he still does it at church. That's okay.
So, yesterday Aaron, Teague, Grammie Annie and I were watching Piper's last performance at Kingsbury Hall. When it was over, I told them that I was going downstairs to the dressing room to help Piper change out of her costume so she could hurry upstairs and talk to Grammie. As I was walking away, Teague said to me, "I wanna go with you!" So, I reluctantly said, "Okay, but if you come with me, you have to stay close to me, you have to be good, listen and not bug the girls!" So, he came.
We went down into the dressing room, I helped Piper change and she ran upstairs to the lobby to talk to Grammie. Since it was the last performance, I made sure that the dressing room was cleaned up. I gathered all of Piper's stuff and put it in her rehearsal bag. I put her costume on in the hangers and in the garment bag and put it on the the big rack out in the hall. Then, I ran upstairs and cleaned up the girls mess that they had made backstage, they had paper, pens, markers etc. to keep themselves entertained while they were offstage. This probably took about 15 - 20 minutes total. Then I went out into the lobby and started talking with Aaron and Grammie, we talked for awhile, five minutes at least. Then I noticed that Teague wasn't with us, I looked at Aaron and said, "Where's Teague?" Aaron said, "I don't know, he was with you!"
I totally forgot Teague! I didn't even remember he was with me until Aaron said so! I handed all of the stuff (purse, rehearsal bag, bag of pens, notebooks, book etc.) that I was holding to Aaron, looked at Piper and said, "Hurry, let's go back down to the dressing room!" Piper took off like a bullet, I was right behind her. We went through the Theatre, down all the flights of stairs and as we started going down the long hallway, we saw a cast member and her Grandma, I ask them, "Is Teague still in the dressing room?" In unison, they said, "yes." Piper, again, took off like a bullet, I wasn't so fast this time, because I knew he was in the dressing room. Suddenly I heard a blood curdling scream, "He's not here! Teague, Teague, Teague, Mom! He's gone, he's not here!" I went into the dressing room and the lights were out and Piper was sobbing, continuing to tell me he was gone. I went into the locker room that is connected to the dressing room while yelling his name. Piper was also screaming his name, he was not there. He was not in the dressing room or the locker room, the green room or the long hall that runs the other direction. He was not in any of the other dressing rooms or the rehearsal hall. Nor was he in any of the restrooms or other rooms on that floor.
Trying to gain my composure while calculating in my head how long it had been since I left the dressing room (awhile), I said to Piper, "Let's find him!" Piper, still sobbing said, "Okay!" We went out into the long hall, the stage manager was there, I ask her if she had seen Teague, she said no. I ask her if she could say something over the intercom, right then, I think she realized that he really was missing, she took off like Piper did (a bullet), up the stairs and onto the stage, Piper and I following closely behind. She had picked up the microphone when Jordan, another cast member, saw me and said, "I have Teague!"
My heart sank and I ran over to her and she was watching Teague play on the grass outside. Piper was close behind me trying to compose herself. I gave Teague a huge hug and he looked at me and said, "I was worried about you."
My little Teague was being SO good in the dressing room! He was sitting on a chair, being quiet and not bugging the girls. He wasn't even snapping (which, by the way, he is great at and does often...with both hands), humming, singing or kicking the chair. He had actually, for once, listened to his mom! He was being so good, so good in fact, that I forgot about him! How in the world could I forget about Teague?
This little experience has taught me something, well, I already knew it, I just had to be reminded. I am so thankful that Teague is Teague! Even though it is SO annoying sometimes, I am so thankful that he is loud, that he snaps ALL THE TIME, that he talks constantly, that he sings inappropriate words to songs....loudly...that he makes fart noises, that he stomps his feet, that he jumps, that he runs, that he growls, that he always making a noise of some sort!!! I would much rather him be this way than the opposite, because if he were the opposite, I would forget him all the time.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Let me start by saying that the night before we went to The Great Wall, I started feeling a bit crappy, like a cold was coming on. A tickle in the back of my throat, sinus pressure, runny nose, watery eyes etc....
I took 1/2 an Ambien so I could sleep and hopefully feel better in the morning. Well, needless to say, I woke up with a FULL BLOWN COLD! Luckily one of the ladies that was with us (a fellow spouse, there were 5 of us) is a nurse, in fact she has a PhD in nursing (that's something to be envious of!) And she had some non-drowsy cold pills! THANK YOU LAURA! If it weren't for her, my experience at The Great Wall would have been much worse.
We took the bus, that by this point we were all sick of, up to The Wall, I felt like I was back home in Utah! The mountains on the way up were gorgeous, and the mountain that the part of The Wall - that we climbed - was on were also absolutely stunning! It was amazing.
Before we started climbing it was decided that we would meet back at the bus at 12:05. I can't remember what time we started, but it gave us plenty of time to get the whole effect of the wall, so we weren't worried.
We started climbing. The stairs are very interesting, Some were about two inches high, but some were like 18 - 24 inches high, and of course there was all of those in between sizes, so it was kind of difficult to maneuver them, you had to keep looking down at your feet so you wouldn't trip. Every once in awhile there would be a little building or level area that you could stop and take pictures from, or rest. It was at one of these areas that a few people, including myself, decided to be done. Not only was I not feeling well, but I have one of those knees...you know the type...the ones that are okay going up stairs, but going back down stairs it sometimes freaks out. Aaron wanted to continue with some of the other guys, I was totally okay with that because by this point all 48 of us were friends and I didn't have a problem hangin' with anyone. Aaron said something to the effect of, "Okay, you stay here and I'll pick you up on my way back."
When Aaron continued climbing, something told me to just go with him anyway! I had done really good, and I really felt like I could continue, but I decided to stay put. After awhile the people that I was with decided to start back down, so I said bye and told them not to fall and stuff. I actually had a fun time all by myself on The Wall, it was then that I became a celebrity! I posed for pictures with about two dozen people! They really loved my blond hair and blues eyes, and apparently I am really tall (I'm only 5' 7", very average in America)! This was when I tried to get the Chinese people to do the 'rock' sign and stick their tongues out....they weren't so sure about this, but they did think I was pretty funny. I did however get a few people to do it. I called the kidlets, because of all the things we were going to do, this was the most interesting to them. We had incredible cell reception in China, quite cheap. They thought it was pretty awesome that I was talking to them while I was on The Great Wall. I hope they always remember that conversation.
At about 11:35, I realized that people from our group were coming back down the wall, so I kept my eye out for Aaron, whenever I would ask one of them if they had seen my husband, they would say yes. Then....I ask someone and he said, No!! I thought that was kind of strange since everybody else I asked had seen him. So, I decided to start asking everyone that came down, guess what!?! They all said No! Now, I'm starting to worry. My brain was going crazy with horrible thoughts like; Maybe he slipped and fell off of the wall! Maybe he was taking a picture and stumbled over! But, if any of this had happened, of course I would know....right? Then....I was told that there was actually another way down. Aaron must have taken that route. But...why didn't he relay a message to me, so I knew to go back down with someone else? So I figured he just hadn't left the area where everyone else from our group was yet. I decided that the people that hadn't seen him weren't actually 'looking' for him.
Taylor, one of the guys in our group, said that he hadn't seen Aaron, but offered to stay with me and wait (I have to point out here, that Taylor also waited with me at one of the Airports while Aaron was in the restroom and the rest of the group had already started going - he's a really good guy), he also suggested that I walk down with him, that Aaron was probably already down at the bus. But I told him that I wanted to wait a few more minutes. I was scared to leave, because I didn't want Aaron to worry about me, after all, I told him that I would stay put! While Taylor and I were talking, he said to me, "He's the type of guy that will come back up looking for you huh."
YES HE IS!!!!
At 11:55 when I ask three people that were coming down, they told me that they were the last ones from our group up there! What the crap!?! I knew that Aaron was okay, I just knew it, but I couldn't figure out where he was. And again, if he did go down the other way, why no message? I mean there were 48 of us! So now, I was a little angry with my husband.
Let me point out here, in case you forgot....We are in CHINA, climbing THE GREAT WALL, and I am hanging with some dude that I have only known for a week, I don't feel good, I'm scared, angry, frustrated and my knee is starting to hurt. ARGH!!
Finally at 11:55 Taylor convinced me to start walking back down with him. It felt strange not having Aaron with me, and my knee didn't like it either. You know when you are about to cry and you are trying to hold the tears back you get that strange headache and sore throat? Well, that's what was happening. Taylor got ahead of me quite aways because my knee started freaking out so my leg was doing the Elvis (shaking). I was hanging onto the the railing (which, by the way, is gross) and watching my feet as I was going so I wasn't looking up too much. When I was about halfway down to where we started, I looked up...........
There was Aaron climbing up towards me, he was at the same place as Taylor. Taylor pointed up at me and Aaron looked at me and I BURST into tears. Taylor kept going (I think he sensed that Aaron and I needed to be alone).
It ended up that Aaron did take the other route, but he didn't realize he was. Any of you that know Aaron's sense of direction, know that this wasn't a surprise. This is why there was no message relayed to me. He said he kept asking the guys he was with if they were sure that they were going the right direction, they would say yes. He said that he kept asking people if they had seen me, they would say no. When he got back to the bus, he had asked people if they had seen me, they said that I was still up on the wall waiting for him. So, we were both going through the same emotions. It wasn't even a miscommunication between the two of us.....just bad luck.
We didn't get back down to the bus until about 12:30, but at least we were together.
That is my Great Wall story....in a nutshell.
Posted by Gus at 11/19/2008 10:17:00 AM
Monday, November 17, 2008
*Piper is in rehearsals for Captain Bree (link on sidebar).
*My Kiosk opened, so I'm at work a lot.
-I needed to find employees
-I needed to get everything in order with the kidlets and home (actually this still isn't done).
*We pulled the kids from their Psycho Private School.
-A hard decision that was a long time coming.....you can only put up with so much for so long.
*We had to register them in the neighborhood Public School (our options are few, but we feel VERY good about this decision).
- I am so amazed and appreciative. The school's faculty and staff have been fantastic, they are making this transition much easier than expected for my kidlets. In fact I have gotten much more communication from this school in one week than I got from their old school in over three years!
*Aaron is either at work, in school or studying (this is a constant, but it will all be worth it....he's done in April!).
*Not to mention everything else that goes on in the everyday life at the Salazar home.
So, I'm pretty sure that isn't all of my excuses, but it is enough for you to get an idea of our crazy life!
I thought that I would give you a quick rundown of China, then since we have over 1,000 pictures, I would give you a link so you can look at them. Then, if you have any questions....let me know and I will do a separate post with the answers!! That is if you have any questions!
And, this post will be long since I am covering our entire trip. So, if you want to skip down to the end and just look at the pictures, that is totally fine with me....you will however miss out on my outrageous sense of humor, and my keen ability to describe our many adventures.
We left on Oct 16, we had to meet at the Salt Lake International Airport no later than 6:30 p.m.. Everybody was so excited, the energy was so high. We had a really nice flight to LAX. Once there we had to go to the other side of the Airport (we literally walked for about 20 minutes), to the Korean Air terminals, our layover felt like it was forever, I think it was over 2 hours. We finally boarded our plane, and guess who was on it.......DAVID HASSLEHOFF...not that I am a fan, at all, it was just kind of cool. The kidlets thought it was awesome! They know 'The Hoff' from SpongeBob.
After our 12 hour flight, we landed in Korea. It was about 5:30 (I think) in the morning. We were able to get an Internet connection, so we got to talk to the kidlets, we even got to see them because they were borrowing grammies Mac and we had Aaron's. That was neat. The Korean Airport had the most amazing toilets I had ever seen....little did I know how much I would appreciate that 10 days later.........By this time everyone was tired and cranky and our energy level was very low.
Finally we boarded our flight to Hong Kong and got there in the afternoon. Guess what! No resting time, we immediately started doing the whole tourist thing! And, might I add here that we still had on the same clothes (and underwear) that we were wearing when we left Salt Lake? Not just Aaron and I, but ALL 48 of us.
Things we did in Hong Kong;
*Took the 20 minute cable car ride up to see the Big Buddha on the top of the mountain, it was very cool. Aaron and I paid the extra money to hike up the stairs (I know, a shock to all of you that know me). I need to add here that is wasn't that hot, but the humidity was disgusting. I was sweating SO bad, probably more than the rest of the 47 people combined. I know that you are thinking I am exaggerating, but it is true. I had to buy a new shirt.
*We went to the Market. Very Interesting. This is where Aaron got a stamp, and we got some jammies for the kidlets.
*The city does a light show every night at 8:30. All of the buildings have lights on them. Music starts playing and all the lights start going crazy for about 15 minutes. Very cool, a little over the top.
*Victoria Peak, we went to the top of a mountain that that had an incredible view of the entire city, it was amazing.
*We went on a Boat Ride. It showed us all of the fishermen and the families that actually live on their boats a fish for a living. Interesting.
*Aaron and I had full body massages. I LOVED mine, however Aaron hated his. My masseuse actually walked on me. The following day I got a foot massage.
*We went on an entirely too long train ride that was suppose to be a tour of the city.......Our tour guide scheduled it so he could rip us off.
*One of the places that we ate at put some squid down on the table that was still moving! That is when I knew FOR SURE I was going to struggle with the food.
*Outback Steakhouse! I was thrilled.
We flew from Hong Kong to Xi'an, a nice short flight.
My overall thoughts of Hong Kong;
*Claustrophobic is the first word that comes to mind. So many people, so many buildings, so little room. I felt like I could reach out of the bus and touch the buildings...we were on the highway.
*If the land was not covered, it was green and beautiful.
*I loved that they drove on the wrong side of the road!
*I loved that there was no communication barrier. Everyone spoke English.
*It was pretty Westernized.
Things we did in Xi'an;
*We checked into the hotel and the first thing we did was get Aaron's haircut. Wow. It seriously too forever. And it was like 11:00 at night.
*Terracotta Warriors are pretty neat. The whole story behind them is pretty amazing. The old dude that discovered them 30 years ago was there, but he was a mean old man. We were there entirely too long, but it was still cool. We meet some High School girls from England there, they too were doing a business tour. They thought it was pretty funny that the students with us were all old (25-37) and still going to school.
*This is probably the only 'business' meeting that I will bring up because it was amazing. We went to this Beer Distribution place. Holy Smokes. Talk about a lot of beer. For a little Mormon girl like me it was pretty amazing. I have never seen so much beer in my life.
*We went to the city wall, unfortunately it was raining like crazy, otherwise we would have ridden bikes on the wall. This is where we learned about the Dragon Horse; what it meant, where it is suppose to be in your house, the direction it is to face etc.
*We had 'Chinese Foot Massage' almost the entire group had this done, it was quite funny. Again, Aaron hated his, but I LOVED mine.
*We went to one of the oldest Pagodas/Temples in China, it was eight stories (? I think). We lit some candles in front of it and blessed someone while we did so. And guess what? Again, we paid the extra money to climb to the top, and yes, I did it. There was beautiful views of the city.
*We went to a club downtown that was a lot of fun.
My overall thoughts of Xi'an;
*It was dirty, smoggy and stinky. We could not see the sky or the mountains.
*There were bicycles and scooters everywhere. And I mean everywhere.
*There were a lot of beggars, I thought that was interesting.
*I think everyone smokes.
Things we did in Shanghai;
*We went to the TV Tower, some of you may know this building because of its three balls. It was kind of cool, there was a pretty amazing view from the top.
*This silk factory had a pretty hysterical fashion show. But it was really neat to see how the silk was made, and of course we spent some money there.
*We went to some pretty amazing gardens (again, I can't remember the names. We do have the itinerary, but I'm at work, it's at home), they were beautiful and they lead to a market. We got a couple of things there.
*We went to one of the most fabulous restaurants that I have ever been to, and had one the most amazing steaks that I have ever had. We also went to a bakery that had the most amazing eclair. They were in a mall type thing that all American malls should strive to be like. Except for there was a picture of the Statue of Liberty with "Miami" written under it.
*We went to WalMart! I know, I know, I vowed I would never go, however, I didn't have a choice, everyone went, and don't worry, it was dirty, stinky, messy and gross. It may be the same as the ones here in the states.
*We met at a University that works closely with Westminster and went to lunch with some of the students.
My overall thoughts of Shanghai;
*Much cleaner than Xi'an, but still very smoggy.
*Still tons of bicycles and scooters.
*Again, everyone smoked.
*It seems as though they are trying to Westernize this city.
We took a Train ride to Beijing, and it was great, I took an Ambien and slept the entire time.
What we did in Beijing;
*We went to the worlds largest KFC for breakfast. However, they didn't serve any chicken! For breakfast at least.
*We went to Tiananmen square, however we didn't actually get in because there was a summit going on. There were tons of guards out so it was still pretty interesting. It's amazing to me that Mau Se Tung is absolutely everywhere. What an interesting man. We could have gone the next day, but it was closed.
*The Forbidden city is huge and very repetitive, we just kept going and going and going, but it seemed as though we were in the same place the entire time.
*Pearl Market and Jade Market. We all know I was excited about this! They weren't really that interesting except that I got new real pearl earrings and ring for pretty inexpensive and a pair of real purple jade earrings.
*I think it was called 'The Temple of Heaven' It was pretty neat. We only stayed at the actual temple long enough to look at it, but on the way up it was pretty neat, there was this area where people would sing, dance and play instruments, just for fun. There was also places you had to walk through to get there, one called 'Echo Wall.' Don't worry, it didn't echo, well a tiny bit, we were all looking forward to this boisterous echo, and....nothing. This place has NOTHING! We, have the Tabernacle.
*The Silk Street Jade Market was the most fabulous place to shop! Aaron is fantastic at negotiating. We left with so much crap, it was awesome. about 7 floors full of imitation EVERYTHING. I highly recommend this place.
*The Great Wall of China. Really, this should have it's very own post. This is an experience I will NEVER forget. In fact, I am going to do a Great Wall post. I will do it either tomorrow or Wednesday......I promise.
*We went to the dumpiest hotel ever to watch a gymnastics show. It amazes me how this little gymnasts can make their bodies move like that. It was pretty amazing.
*I know this is what you have been waiting for. We saw the birds nest and the water cube and the other Olympic stuff that was around these two most poplar sites. It was pretty surreal being right there.
My overall thoughts of Beijing;
*It was clean, I could actually see the sky!
*Not as many bicycles and scooters.
*It's pretty Westernized.
*Mau Se Tung is everywhere, and it amazes me that some Americans (that were with us) don't know who he is!
*Still, lots of smoking.
We flew back to Korea, then to LAX, then home. There is a 14 hour time difference, but we got home at about 7:30 Utah time on Oct.27. Jet Lag sucks, but it was so good to be home.
And, I want to share some overall thoughts of some of the things that were constant throughout the entire trip;
*Chinese people have no manners. They fart, belch and hack loogies wherever and whenever. They tell you exactly what they think of the way you look.
*The architecture in China is absolutely amazing! I think America should venture outside of the mundane sky risers and get some ideas from the Chinese.
*I am so incredibly thankful that I can sit on a toilet. I don't squat well, so I didn't! I would literally hold it all day so I wouldn't have to! And, I am so glad that I use toilet paper.
*I think it is interesting that the Chinese don't necessarily believe in a God, or Higher Power. It seems like everything is based on Chi, Numbers and Symbols. Everything has to be facing the right direction. You have to live on a certain side of the city. You need to believe in lucky numbers, like 8, etc....I'm not sure how this is actually working for them.
*They have traffic laws, but nobody follows them. Pedestrians don't have the right of way. When I say that they don't follow the laws, I am completely serious. It doesn't matter if the light is read or green or if there is a Stop or Yield sign, they just drive. I have never been so scared that I was going to die as I was in the taxi's.
*Negotiating is awesome. My life would be so much cheaper if I could only negotiate.
*The English Translators need to do a better job! It was very interesting what some of the signs said.
*I have never been so thankful for McDonalds in my entire life. It was hard for me to even look at the food, let alone eat it! And, they eat the same thing every single day. I can only handle so much rice. And...everything seemed to be fried, in what? I don't know.
*It seemed like most of the Chinese people we met, hated President Bush.
*Whenever you take a picture of a Chinese person they do the peace sign and tilt their head. I tried to show them how to do the Rock sign, it only worked a couple of times.
*Chinese children are the most adorable kids (besides mine...of course) on the face of the earth!!
Here are our pictures!!! Enjoy! China Pictures