A Visit to Beijing Part 1

Last weekend, my family traveled to Beijing while my Dad participated in a teacher conference there. Saturday was our first full day in Beijing, and Mom took us to a famous art district, full of fascinating, little art galleries. Bright, vibrant graffiti covered brick walls lining the streets. I am a personal fan of graffiti, so it was especially fun for me to see it everywhere. After spending the morning walking through streets full of art, Michael, Jessie and I went on to a place called the “Zoo Market”. Taxiing there, we arrived quickly and then spent the afternoon shopping, and eating cheesecake-Oreo blizzards at Dairy Queen. In conclusion to the fun that we had together, we had to fight to get home. By fight I truly mean, “fight”. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of leaving at the busiest time of the day, rush hour. In China, rush hour is more like crowd, push and tumble hour. That particular metro line was closed, but I don’t know why because we could not read the sign. As a result, there were hoards of people everywhere, so we decided to bus home.  However, after watching the back of the bus drive away three times, and running after it at top speed down the road only to find it too packed to accept any more people, we decided to take one that was headed to Tienanmen square (from there, we would try to take the metro). While standing (more like continually falling) in the bus, we saw that it would take no less than TWENTY stops to arrive. At this point we made a very unwise decision to get off at a random intersection, in order to find a taxi. We thought that because we were in a less crowded area, taxis would be more common, this was very naive thinking though. Our hopes were peaked thrice before a long awaited empty taxi finally agreed to take us. Our journey took two long hours from start to finish, it was an adventure to remember!

This was the entrance to the art sreets. (Michael, Jessie, and I are holding up the hand motions for each number)




Isn’t that the cutest little fat guy ever?!



Megan did a good job imitating their expressions!







The start of our journey home…


“What? Is that American food!?”

In America I never thought eating a pretzel or a cheez-it would ever change my whole day but in China it does. I think so many people in America take for granted everything you can get there. For example food. When I went to America this summer I was overwhelmed of all the amazing things you could get there! I ate my first String Cheese in two years this summer… and it was so yummy. Well I guess my point of this blog is that you shouldn’t take for granted all the things that you can get in America. And remember we always love to get care packages 🙂

Almond Joy Pieces! My Favorite candy EVER!


In a store in America… you can just tell by our faces… YUMM


We do have a Dairy Queen in China but not with these perfect ice cream bars


Double Decker Bus

I have lived in China about two and a half years now. 90% of the time I use taxis to get around (not including the bus I take to school on week days). As of late, I have been wanting to save more money and take the inexpensive buses, that cost about 30¢ a trip. So, when Mom and all of us girls went shopping at Bing Jiang Dao I insisted we take the bus home. I was so happy to find that one of the buses that drops us off near our apartment is a double decked bus! I know that it sounds a little childish, but I was ecstatic to be saving money and get to sit in the very front row seats of the second level of the bus! I very much enjoyed the whole ride home and hope to ride more buses instead of taxis.

Me and Rachel on the Double Decker Bus in the front row.



Here’s my view in the front row!


Mango Queen

In Tianjin we are just now starting to get more Western stores and food places such as Subways, 7 Elevens, H&M clothe store, and Dairy Queen. My siblings and I were excited when it was finally Friday and we were able to go the Bing Jiang Dao, a popular shopping street in Tianjin, to the newly opened H&M clothing store. Unfortunately, because it had just opened there was a waiting line to get in! So instead we just walked down the shopping street, mainly window shopping. It was getting late and as we started to head home I spotted what I first thought was a Dairy Queen, but actually turned out to be a Mango Queen. The sign was in the same font, colors, and size. Though I didn’t try their food because I hadn’t eaten dinner yet, I’m pretty convinced that the menu was very similar to that of Dairy Queen. The whole experience left me wondering… “Can companies protect their trade’s mark here?” …

If you look at the menu in the background you will see that it is very similar to that of Dairy Queen’s.


Great Wall Camp Out

On October 1st China celebrates its National Holiday (like July 4th in the States). The kids were happy to have a week off of school. Some teachers invited us to a camp out on the Great Wall. Fortunately, the weather that week was very nice. However, the night time air got a little chilly. We arrived on the Wall around 5:30PM, just in time to scope out a guard tower roof to camp on and get our sleeping bags layed out before the sun set.


Family picture before the sun went down


Ms. Ackerman was smart to bring a candle, which became our only light after darkness came. We had a candle-light picnic dinner of Korean kimbap and tortilla sandwich rolls. The kids went for a night time walk with their flashlights, then came back and told stories around the “candle”.  We settled down to try to sleep. The ground was rock and very hard and the night air chilly.  I brought a yoga mat to put my sleeping bag on.


Waking up


From a distance


Early morning foggy picture


Group shot with all our friends


Girls in their photo shoot in the distance


Village pictures on our way back home


Teacher Conference Banquet

During the October Holiday, Sean attended our school’s annual teachers’ conference in Beijing. On the last night of the meetings, I accompanied him to the banquet. We heard an update from all the schools in our company throughout China.


Middle School Fall Camp

Before our October Holiday Middle and High school had Fall Camp. During our camp the Middle School competed between houses. These houses are made up of all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. There are four houses and I’m in house 2. In the end House 2 got in 3rd place 🙁 Although it is a bit sad we didn’t do well I still had bunches of fun.All of the Middle Schoolers play games and did lots of fun things such as worship time, and relay races. I had so much fun getting to know more of the 8th and 6th graders and I enjoyed this Fall Camp so much!


All of my cabin mates.


Me and my friends in a Paddle Boat.


my friends waiting to get started on an activity.