Sunday, December 20, 2009


Sam and Shannon went to China

and ate duck

and bamboo...with chopsticks.

They explored hutongs

and saw a Ming gate

where Shannon sat on a throne.

They saw statues

and live soldiers.

They strolled through the expansive Tiananmen Square

and made friends

and Sam put Mao on his shoulder.

They entered the Forbidden City

and oohhed and aahhed at the beauty.

They climbed up to the White Pagoda at Bei Hai park.

They saw Chinese men playing games.

They did not ride in that...though they were asked to many times.

They saw Confucius

and the Chinese version of 5th Avenue

followed by an intense 5 minutes in a night market (they were offered fried scorpion on a stick, but they declined!).

They saw the Great Wall

and climbed it.

Boy is it steep!

and the views are exquisite.

They ate noodles for lunch (Sam was starving)

and explored the Ming tombs,

where they met the Emperor (Yongle) who built the Great Wall as we know it today

and they watched the sunset.

They saw stone dragons

and Mary

and the first Christian missionary to China (Matteo Ricci).

They went to the Temple of Heaven

and it was heavenly

and so cold!

and despite all this culture, they found they were still American, and nothing hits the spot like a Big Mac after a long, cold day of sightseeing.



  1. Pretty cool. However, Ricci may only have been the first Catholic missionary to China; it's arguable, since St. Francis Xavier had started work in Goa. And the Nestorians had many converts in the western part of China. You may have heard that Kublai Khan asked for a lot of missionaries to his realm to accompany the Polos; they only got two and they wimped out before they even got close.

  2. I'm sorry, that should have been Macao, not Goa, that Francis Xavier was working from.

  3. I'm delighted to finally discover your posting about your amazing trip to Beijing. Wonderful photos. What an adventure you have to remember. I look forward to talking with you more about it in detail to learn what your impressions are from all you saw and experienced in a communist country.

    Now for the rest of the intriguing topics to come: Christmas caroling in the desert; going postal and the storm of the century. Can hardly wait!

    Miss you guys. Love, your blog fan, Mom

  4. Hi Aunt Shannon & Uncle Sam,
    I loved the pictures. Brodie and I read a book about the Forbidden City.

    Love you,