Friday, January 27, 2012

The Summer Palace

Ever since we arrived back from the US to China, food here has been a little more appealing than before we left. It may be because I ate anything and everything I wanted back home so I am not missing it as much right now. Also, I think I just may have turned a corner (which everyone said I would about now) to stop recreating America and just embrace China. In result, we have been eating a lot more chinese food. 

This outing began at one of my favorite restaurants here in Beijing. I had been there twice before, this was the first time for my family. It is Baoyuan and they are the ones that specialize in colorful dumplings. I really cannot eat enough dumplings here, it is one of the things I have come to LOVE, yes LOVE.
 E has not yet embraced chinese food. She still only usually eats rice.
Near hubby is an example of orange and purple dumplings.
This restaurant uses fruit and vegetables to dye their skins.
 D is a little tired of chinese food, as you can see in the picture above. When we order food at a restaurant we usually order WAY too much. We usually order two vegetable dishes, two or three meat dishes, rice and dumplings. This time we let E order the main dishes and she did great! These dishes were the most like American chinese food that we have anywhere.
A little girl of one of the employees spends all day out in front
just swinging on a swing.
 The Summer Palace
Remember when I said I didn't feel like I lived in Beijing until a saw a few things? Well, this is place number two. I had heard how beautiful it is and have been really anxious to check it out. Sadly, we had amazing pictures all around the grounds that were lost :( These iphone snapshots will have to do and we definitely will be going back as it warms up!
 The Summer Palace is an enormous park that the Empress Dowager had for her own pleasure. The large lake is completely frozen, but in the summer you can boat around the lake.
 These men are flying kites on these contraptions.
 Despite signs saying to stay off the ice, you can see many people using the ice for different sorts of entertainment.
 This man blows sugar, similar process to glass blowing. He makes the shapes of all the zodiac animals.

As we were walking around the lake, we decided to sit down and take a break. One of the things we have learned is that when Chinese people speak a little bit of English they really like to come up to us to practice. We feel flattered and think it is refreshing. As we were sitting a small boy, about D's age (ten), sat down next to me and said, "what a day, what a day, what a day". It was so cute that this is what he chose to say to let us know he spoke English. Of course, we struck up a conversation for about ten minutes. He was happy.
We made it to the far side of the lake where a monastery sits high upon the hill. By this time we were extremely cold and ready to call it a day. We are looking forward to visiting The Summer Palace many more times.

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