When your daily activities are in concert with your highest priorities, you have a credible claim to inner peace. – Hyrum Smith


Beijing, China

In March, the kids went on spring break.  It was the perfect time to travel, and it coincided with one of Aaron's business trips in Taiwan.   It's always good and bad when we can join him on a business trip.  Good because we save on a hotel room; bad because I am alone in a foreign country with four kids all day and often into the evening.

The first part of our trip we were together.  Thank goodness!  Traveling in China is tricky.  Unless you stay for less than 72 hours, you are required to purchase a visa.  Visas for six folks are pricey.  We decided to make it a whirlwind trip, visiting Beijing and the Great Wall in 72 hours.  Not as easy as it sounds.

We flew into Beijing, and settled into our hotel room.

This is how we roll.
It was great...only it didn't have any cartoon channels or pool.  Yikes!  So, we wrestled, built forts, played, and read.  It was actually great!

We decided to take a stroll.  We were constantly surround by groups of people.  They simply stopped and stared.  Then they counted and recounted the kids.  Shaking their heads they shouted, "Suh!"  At least that's what it sounded like to me.  Apparently that means four.  Four kids?!  In a country where folks are restricted to birthing one child, four made us an official circus.  Lots of pictures.  People posing by the kids, forming peace signs with their hands.  Maddie striking poses.  Good times.

Caleb slept; Jack hid.

We visited the hutongs (narrow streets or alleyways formed by lines of traditional courtyard residences).  We shopped in a small art gallery for wall hangings.  Thankfully, there was a street magician outside amusing the kids while Aaron and I took turns looking inside the shop.  

We walked on and entered the Forbidden City, the largest ancient palatial structure in the world.  Layer upon layer of walls with massive doors enclosed throne rooms and grand halls.  Every ceiling was intricately decorated and bursting with vibrant color.  The buildings had the massive curved roofs I had always associated with ancient China.  It felt like stepping back in time.     

The next day we woke and boarded a van to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall.  

Any description I attempt to write will surely be inadequate.  My mind could barely comprehend the height and length and breadth of the wall.  It stretched on and on, weaving back and forth across the ridges of the mountains like a great stone snake.  I could only imagine the amount of planning and manpower and organization it took to complete such a wonder.  We rode a gondola to the top of a peak

walked along the Wall…

then hiked down, down, down.  By the time we reached the bottom we were carrying the little ones and all of our legs were wobbly. 

The next day we explored more of Beijing, hiking around the grounds of the beautiful Summer Palace (which is actually a group of lakes, gardens, and palaces).  Cherry tree were in full bloom, their delicate pink blossoms swaying in the breeze.  The sun shone off the lake as boats carved in the shape of dragons carried passengers from the shore to an enormous palace.  

We left the grounds and headed toward Tiananmen Square.  I had really hoped to enter the Square, but with the clock ticking on our 72-hour visas, we snapped some photos and headed back toward the hotel and then on to the airport.  We sure know how to pack it in!  Next stop: Taipei!


  1. Ahhhh, LOVE! So glad you were able to squeeze all of that in to your trip. I love China so much and I love to see you guys enjoying it too!

  2. Ahhhh, LOVE! So glad you were able to squeeze all of that in to your trip. I love China so much and I love to see you guys enjoying it too!

  3. Cherry blossoms and the Great Wall wow! I am in awe!