Spring in Beijing

Don’t call them Pekinese. Those are little dogs. Call them Beijing people instead. The wind has kicked out all the smog today, leaving skies blue and hordes of tourists chilled. I cannot imagine this place with even more tourists but come they will in August for the Olympics. The weekend found us climbing the wall, literally, in the resort we were staying in. It was a bit dicey but we came down from the summit intact, including my father. Crazy, his climbing up there. As was Thing 3 climbing up there with a broken foot in a walking boot. We went on to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall later in the day. As advertised, the toboggan run was a big hit but even the tour guide, TY, said he didn’t like going over the trestle bridge on the way down.

I don’t like being on the road for Easter, even though we were vacationing in exotic locations. This was our 3rd one on The Road: the Pantanal, Rio, and now Beijing . The EB left the baskets of chocolates at home and there was no church. We had a lovely lunch at a restaurant called The Orchard. Dinner, by forfeit, was at a wacked out, beyond tacky, Thai restaurant called The Banana Leaf. The food was excellent and the entertainment: a group of singers serenaded the restaurant and individual birthday revelers with song and dance. Who wrote the song Whoa, Whoa, Hey, Hey? Leo Sager? Is that even his name? It was like turning back the clock to the late Seventies/early Eighties. This might qualify as my most surreal Easter.

The red flags were flapping in unison at T Square this morning. There are a lot of incidents and stories in the news we are not discussing at the moment. You can read about them in your newspapers but we cannot. I can’t access hotmail either or make international phone calls from Mr. U’s concubine, the dreaded crackberry. Lunch today was at a fantastic restaurant, Baijia Dayuan which is also called Dazhaimen. We ate like the emperors, even though we steered clear of the fried donkey with peanuts. Outstanding items: almonds coated in sesame seeds, sandwiches with roast duck, and braised beef medallions in birds nest noodle baskets. The waitresses wore traditional garb, including platform shoes and dangly headdresses. They have a food hot-line which I might dial for the almonds seeing as how I forgot to order extra to take home, they were so tasty.

We are off to the Temple of Heaven tomorrow. We’ll send our prayers upwards, in thanksgiving for avoiding the flu for some of our family members, for safe travel, and longevity. The Lord is risen indeed.

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Filed under Family, Fine Dining, Travel

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