We got into Beijing late Saturday night (early Sunday morning). Our first place to go was the Panjiayuan market, in Southeast Beijing which took quite a while from our hotel in Northwest Beijing. We still got a good amount of shopping done at this market that's only open on weekends. After a few hours of browsing and bargaining, we saw one vendor who had a McDonald's cup. This was our first day in Beijing, so I was all about McDonald's since we don't have decent hamburgers in Yanji. (Laura and John Mark were all about it too, but their interest in McDonald's didn't wane the rest of the time we were in Beijing. We ended up going everyday.) So, we got directions and found that glorious airconditioned mecca of cold drinks and familiar tasting food.
That same day, the Temple of Heaven (where the emperor used to go to ask for a good harvest) and more shopping at the Pearl Market.
We overall had great luck with transportation, but the first night found ourselves in the right area without more than a general idea of how to get to our hotel. Here we are trying to figure out the little hotel map that was only in Chinese.
Day two was a lot of rain in the morning and the Forbidden City in the afternoon.
Day three was the beach.
Day four was the Great Wall. You've seen those pictures, but not the picture of how we got down the Great Wall...by sliding on the toboggan chute! That proves we didn't go to an isolated section of the Wall, but we had a great time.
Day five was the Summer Palace, where we met Rachael (a friend of mine who taught at YUST last year) and her sister Bekah. Rachael and I had been there on New Year's Eve last year, but we had missed a lot of the sites because it was cold and one of the friends who was with us was sick. So, we enjoyed seeing it again in the not too unbearable heat.
Day six was the Lama Temple, a Tibetan temple in Beijing. It was interesting, but sad to see how people give such devotion to the statues there.