China, post 10 – Great Wall

Wednesday afternoon was our trip to the Great Wall. And it was pouring. The section of the wall that we were going to is the Badaling Great Wall. It’s one of the closest to Beijing, if not the closest. It’s also the most touristy and for me didn’t really have the feel of the Great Wall. It was like Disney’s … Continue Reading →

China, post 9 – Yuanmingyuan

Hooray, we’re finally on to Wednesday! Wednesday was the big Great Wall trip which made me nervous because my stomach was not-so-good. I took it easy in the morning and then decided to get out for a bit. I took a stroll across the street to the supermarket to refresh our water supply, and since I felt ok, I decided … Continue Reading →

China, post 8 – Hou Hai

Back to Tuesday – after the morning at the Summer Palace, a terrifying bike ride, and a Mongolian Hot Pot lunch, we hopped on rickshaws and toured this old section of town, called the Hou Hai. (Hai means lake, fyi.) This area has a lot of hutongs, or houses built around a courtyard. We also visited one and talked to … Continue Reading →

China, post 7 – Temple of Heaven

And… we’re on to Tuesday! Tuesday was a long day. In the morning, we saw the Temple of Heaven, Tiantan – for like 20 minutes. Actually, that’s not quite true – there is a large park that surrounds the temple itself and lots of people hang out in the park and do tai chi or other things like that. We … Continue Reading →

China, post 6 – Olympic Park

So, we’re still only on Monday. After a morning at the Summer Palace and an enjoyable lunch, we got back on our buses and headed for the Olympic Park. Here’s some scenery from the drive:


The dahlias are attracting more butterflies and I was able to get this one to sit still for me while I snapped some pics!

Paul McCartney

So, we temporarily interrupt the China travelogue because of this: I saw Paul McCartney in Pittsburgh last night and it was *awesome*! He played for 3 hours! Our seats were really good – maybe 20 rows back – and I got the above pic from maybe 3-4 rows back because they were letting people go up to the front to … Continue Reading →

Hubble Gotchu

A crew from the Jimmy Fallon show came out to Goddard to film a new segment, and I got to follow them around all day. It was so funny and cool! I wrote up a whole blog on it with photos here: and a little followup:

A few misc pics

Bad Willow, sleeping on my Beatle blanket!

China, post 5 – Summer Palace

Monday morning, we woke up to a nice, smoggy day:

China, post 4 – Bei Hai Park

So, we’re still on Sunday, our first full day in Beijing. In the morning we did the Lama Temple – and then we headed over to Bei Hai Park (literally North Lake Park). It’s rather large park – and built around a lake. This is the part that’s publicly accessible:

China, post 3 – Lama Temple

One of things we did before going anywhere else, was find a place to buy water! You can’t drink the water in Beijing. The hotel provided us with 2 small bottles a day, which was good for brushing teeth and such, but wasn’t going to cut it for providing us with drinking water. Someone in the elevator told us about … Continue Reading →