Monday, February 18, 2013

Pat and Rich Come to China! Part One

For the past 7 months I have wondered,
            “What would my parents say if they could see ___________?”  That question was answered when they came to visit for 11 days over my winter break.  Here are some of the highlights of their visit. (Thanks Dad for letting me steal some of your pics!)

My mom's first priority when heading to China was to find the perfect pearls, so we set out to Hongqiao Pearl City.
While she found many lovely strands, she wanted to shop around to find the perfect necklace.
On Saturday night, we celebrated my Dad's birthday at Mr. and Mrs. Bund.  He had no clue his desert was going to be so explosive; his birthday was in November.  Even at my age, punking my Dad is fun!
After almost 40 years of marriage, it is nice to see my parents are still happy!
On Sunday morning we went to mass at St. Ignatius Cathedral.
Then, we continued our search for the perfect pearls at the pearl market under the Science and Technology Metro Stop.
On Monday morning we headed to Beijing for some sight seeing.  At lunch Chris trained Mom how to use chopsticks.
She's a fast learner!
After lunch, we took a stroll through Tiananmen Square.
Despite her smile, Mom was not looking forward to eating Beijing Duck at our favorite duck place.
I think the duck hearts on the table grossed her out.
I managed to capture one of the three bites of duck that Mom ate.  Dad was a big fan of duck!

Mom was still hungry after dinner, so we headed to Hagen Dazs for desert!
Tuesday morning, we made a trip to the Juyongguan section of the Great Wall of China.  We were scheduled to go to a different section, however snow closed the roads.  

Mom and I take time to greet each other on the wall.

Mom celebrates her climb.

Mom wanted a "romantic" picture on the wall. 
Chris and I take a rest from climbing the steep, uneven stairs.

After lunch at Jade City, we headed to the Ming tombs.
Dad poses with a statue of Emperor Yongle

After the Ming Tombs, we headed to Dr. Tea for a Chinese Tea ceremony.

Dad was not a fan of the fruit tea.
After dinner and a good night's sleep, we started Wednesday's activities at Tiananmen Square.
Then, we took a quick tour of the Forbidden City.
Female Chinese soldiers patrol the Forbidden City.
Then we took a frosty trip to the Temple of Heaven.

This is the Temple of Heaven.  I don't remember too much about the temple, because I was freezing.  It was at this point when we decided to cut our tour short so we would not become hypothermic.

After a rather lousy lunch, our tour guide took us to a pearl store/ pearl trap where we shopped for overpriced pearls. Our guide at the pearl store showed us where pearls come from.

Our oyster had 23 pearls in it.
A salesperson showed Mom some "Hong Kong" diamonds.  After the hassle, we were ready to head back to Shanghai.
On Thursday morning, we hung out with the puppies.  Ditka and Leia LOVED having Grandma and Grandpa around!

After days of searching, Mom finally found the perfect pearls!  However, she will not be wearing them until her 40th wedding anniversary.

Part Two will be coming soon!!!