Saturday, April 23, 2016

Terracotta Warriors

 I got to go see one of the things I have always wanted to see...the Terracotta Warriors!  So, my mom, myself, and my best friend here, Xiao Jun, hopped on a plane and spent 3 days in Xi'An.  It was so much fun for all of us.
 You always need some kind of flying into the city shot, right?
 This was the first of many selfies were taken on this trip.  We were visiting the Bell Tower.
 At 6:00 am and at 10:00 pm, you could here the bells going off from our hotel room a few blocks away.  I had no idea that they still used them, but it was fun to hear.  I'm not sure if they go off other times during the day or not, but we heard them at those two times every day.
 You can't be tourists without doing some of the crazy things that ONLY tourists do :)
 Here is a picture of the Bell Tower.
 One of the things I really wanted to do was go to the Muslim Quarters.  It is famous for all of their wonderful food and lively atmosphere.  It did not disappoint.  We actually ended up going there the first night and then again our last night.  It was so much fun just to walk around and try all the new foods. This was basically french fries on a  stick....that's my name for it anyways.

 The market opens around 6:00, so when we first arrived they were still setting up.  Here are some guys preparing meat kabobs.  I'm not positive which meat this is...some were lamb and other were beef.
 These guys were all over the place making their candy.  I have a video of it.  It's quite amazing that it never touches the ground.
 This was my favorite of all the food.  We will call it a meat's one of those things that you just have to try.  It was so good and juicy, but impossible to explain :)

The Drum Tower was built around 1360 AD during the Ming Dynasty.
 It got it's name from all the drums around it that they used for telling time.
So, I thought this was not going to be worth my time, but it was really cool.
 Looking through the telescope and seeing all the details of the craters was pretty fun. I was even more impressed that I was able to get a picture with my phone of what I saw!  How fun!  Too bad it wasn't a full moon that night :)

 I didn't realize that I would still get to see them working on digging up the terracotta warriors.  It's amazing how much they have uncovered and even more amazing how much more work they still have to do.  I was impressed...I can only imagine what it will look like in another 40 years!
 not a single one is alike
 Happy me :)  I finally have seen it!

 Here you can see where they are still working on some of them.  When they are discovering them, many of them are broken...some are in a million pieces...but they tag them, document everything, and then piece them back together.

 So, we had a good laugh in the field of "blow flowers"  :)
 We also went to see the Botanical Gardens.  The tulips were in bloom.
 We had a hard time keeping our eyes open for the picture ;)
 How can you resist not taking a picture of a bunch of cute kids eating their snack on newspapers at the gardens?  On little kid was so cute.  He came and gave me a paper flower he had made and asked if he could have our picture together.
 We went to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.  It was a beautiful place, but it was so sad to see that the people worshipping their false gods.
 Before entering, we had to go through security.  I made it through fine, but Mom and Xiao Jun had to drink water from every bottle of water in their bags to prove it was not poison.  They are both doing fine, so I am going to assume it was just water ;)
This is actually the first pagoda I have climbed.  Most of the ones I have seen/been to are closed and you can only view from the outside.  We climbed all 13 floors to the top.
 The view from the top of the pagoda
 I don't think I will get the story just right, but apparently two ashes of the guy that wrote "The Journey to the West" has crystallized inside and people come from all over to see it.

 This tree fascinated me.  I have never seen a tree where the tree trunk blooms.  It was called a Chinese Cherry Blossom.  It is now officially one of my favorites.
Here's a smaller one of the same tree.

 Did you ever wonder what I would look like if I were Chinese? :) hahahaha!
 standing at the entrance of the south gate to the city wall
 This is the ONLY complete city wall still standing in China.  It's original and old and has many cracks (see above) but was really fun.

 We rode double bikes around it.  Actually, it started out with me and Mom on the bike, but half way through we took a rest and traded.  Xiao Jun rode for a little ways with me and then we came back to pick up Mom.  I have a picture of me and Mom on the bike, but it must still be on my friend's phone. I will have to add it later.
They should have warned us about long clothing getting caught in the wheel.  so sad.

 While we were gone, Regan got to go out with a friend of ours for some special girl time as well.
 Soey took her to a restaurant and they had a really good time.  I'm so thankful for good influences in my girls' lives!
 I brought all the kids a little souvenir back with me.  Hudson is such a goofball.  I think he liked it ;)
 Benjamin said he like his this way.
 The girls all got hand made flower things.
 yellow....her favorite
 and teal....her favorite :)
 We went to a park to fly a special kite.  It was actually 20 small kites put together.  It was fun, but word to the wise, if you have more than one person doing it stay far apart!  They are nearly impossible to get untangled! :)
 One of my five monkeys who likes to climb trees.  Yes, she really was that red.  She had been running and playing and had gotten pretty pink all over ;)
 Benjamin ran and jumped up to this branch.
 Hudson and our friend, Melody
 We rented a boat for 30 minutes.  The kids were so excited that they were all going to get a turn to drive it!

 I think this little guy was the most excited.  His dream job is to be a bus driver or a taxi driver, so I guess driving a boat is the next best thing!

 our friends at the park
 Mom was treated to a special pigeon lunch.  Katherine loved it.
 Well, here we are again.  At the hospital for another breathing treatment.  This time it didn't work as well, so we now have an inhaler that he takes 3 times a day.  He is started to sound much better!
 This is where you wait for your medicines.
 It would be our luck that the kids run into a lady selling her puppies for $15.00 each!  They were so excited.  "Yeah!  We have enough money and there is enough for each of us to get one!"  Uhhhhh...NO.  Sorry kiddos.  Not happening.
 They were cute though and we weren't the only ones looking at them :)
 We went to a new mall.  I like it because although it's a mall, it's actually still outside, but you feel like you are inside a mall.
 These two...enough said.
 The fountains outside the mall...
 I guess we wore Grandmommy out.  The kids couldn't help but imitate her in the back of the taxi and Benjamin was so tickled that I took their picture :)   (sorry Mom)  ;)
 Regan and Katherine came across a Zootopia display.  They had quite the time at each little section...

 Katherine and Lauren got to run in a giant bubble floating on water....
 ...while these 3 drove a small boat (since they were too big or too small for the floating bubble)
 The beach!

 Benjamin was not thrilled about having his picture taken

 Hudson pretending to sleep with Grandmommy :)

Katherine, the cat whisperer ;)

 We went to see The Jungle Book movie.  It was really good (but a little scary for Hudson)  I guess I still and the cartoon version in my head.  He just said he wanted to sit in someone's lap most of the time.