For two days we enjoyed tours of all the must-see sights. The sights were stellar, the obligatory sales stops at a pearl market, tea shop, jade shop, etc. wore a little thin by the end of the 2nd day. But we tried to be a gracious captive audience. OK, the grace factor wore a bit thin at the end--who knew my girls could say "no. thank you. no." with such steely-eyed determination. By the time we got to the silk store, they simply glided right past the sales staff and made for the exit.
On our last day there, we were relieved to get back to our Get Lost-Eat-Repeat routine. Who knew that our hutong exploration plans would go amok because Tianamen Square was closed due to a China/Africa conference? Certainly not the hotel staff who helped us with directions. Alas, this is China.
I suspect that one more day there and the taxi companies were going to put an alert out to avoid the 3 of us. We seemed to constantly make them upset. ??
Here's some of my favorite pics:
Our 1st attempt to locate a great restaurant
The hour + Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was worth the disappointment of finding out the restaurant is closed. We had Hagan Daas instead. And took a taxi back to the hotel
Happy Horse! found him in the Temple of the Horse tucked away by the Great Wall. I was wandering while the girls climbed. :) Did that twice in my late 40's. Check.
Note the glazed looks as well as the body posture. And the sweat. It was hot and humid.
Sales Resistance Personified.
Our tour guides with whom we spent 2 10-hour days.
Our Best Buddies in the Lounge Restaurant. Despite many valiant efforts, we ended up here pretty much every night for dinner. Hot, tired and waving a white flag. The last night, the cutie with the glasses told the girls "we were waiting for you!" They even started replacing Michael Bolton with Jack Johnson. I think they liked us.