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    Beijing Eats & Other Lovelies

    Wednesday, July 6, 2011

    After our morning spent in the Forbidden City, we headed to another historical location. This one, though, was made famous for a more recent event.

    Most know the story behind the protests and tragedy within Tienanmen Square.

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    Taking place in 1989, it's one of those events that marked peoples lives around the globe. You can ask them where they were and more than likely, they will be able to tell you. Much like 9/11 or the day that the Sendai earthquake shook the earth, it made a great impact on both young and old.

    Eldest wasn't familiar with the story behind Tienanmen Square, so quietly, I gave her the cliff notes version. For years, Tienanmen Square, an extension of the Forbidden City, had been a place where political events and protests were held. But in 1989, protesters, mainly comprised of students vying for economic change and liberalization, were massacred. Nearly 400-800 people died. And from what I hear that number is a conservative guess. Many innocent people lost their lives, medical professionals included, as they raced towards the square to assist the wounded.

    I'm pretty sure that's not how China wishes for Tienanmen to be remembered, and in a way, I can understand why. Until June of 1989 there had been many other important events that occurred in this space~peaceful ones. This includes the day China was declared the People's Republic by Mao Zedong. You may know him from here:

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    Hello Chairman!

    Interesting little fact, Tienanmen Square is the largest city square in the entire world. This can accredited to Mao's sweeping vision for his reform of China. In 1950 he tore down the Gate of China so Tienanmen Square could expand and hold up to 500,000 people.

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    Judging by the scores of people that visit the Square daily, I'd say he accomplished his goal. On television it looks large, but until you're there in person, you simply don't see how grand the expanse truly is. It's incredible!

    That said, we didn't stop to walk through the actual square. If you'll remember, we had hot adults, tired children, and a sleeping scallywag. Jamie ushered us past the main site of the Square, and down a beautiful pathway lined with trees.

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    We walked past the building housing the main part of the Chinese government, watched solders march past us in uniform fashion, then sighed in relief as our driver, Mr. Jow, arrived to bring us to a lovely little restaurant. Do I know the name? No. What I do know, however, is that the food was first rate!

    We're never going to be able to eat Chinese in America again after being so spoiled.

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    The scallywag woke up to marvel at the delicious food that appeared before us quickly (then disappeared just as fast).

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    Among the dishes served were tofu noodles, cold spinach with peanuts, vegetable, pork, and shrimp dumplings, vegetable fried rice, chicken, and cool, refreshing watermelon.

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    We were in heaven! The food was gone in record time, and Jamie, as gracious a guide as he was, offered to take us across the street to a silk factory. And why wouldn't we?

    We were refreshed, re-energized, and thrilled to have the opportunity to see how top-quality silks were fashioned.

    Touring the factory, we were taken through the life cycle stage of the silk worm, then the area where the silk worm pods and silk were separated. From there, we were taken to where the silk was made into bedding. It was so interesting! We even assisted in pulling silk to make a silk duvet insert.

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    The great advantages of silk inserts~and pillows~is that they will always retain their shape, bouncing back easily unlike down or cotton filled. Also, they're washable and hypo-allergenic. They didn't really need to make a hard sell to us Westerners. Anything that helped with allergies and didn't require dry-cleaning was up our alley!

    We all purchased the pillow and duvet inserts, then shopped a little more within the factory. We spent time looking at their gorgeous bedding, dressing gowns, and scarves. But we had a dinner that evening and didn't want to be exhausted, so we all headed back to our hotel, The Grand Hyatt, for the day.

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    In true scallywag style, our little guy was not interested in a group picture upon our arrival at DaDaong Roast Duck Restaurant, but it wasn't a big deal.

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    The food, on the other hand, was.

    Rated the top restaurant in all of Beijing to dine on Peking Duck, we found ourselves filled to the brim with many Chinese culinary delights.

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    The children were very adventurous, filling their plates and happily munching away~especially on the hoisin flavored duck. Then scallywag stunned us all by diving into a plate of prawns...and eating them!

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    I wish I had the photographic evidence to back it up, but I don't. You'll have to take the word of my eight plus eye-witnesses. The scallywag enjoying seafood was a game-changer since our little family of four don't like things that come from the ocean.

    I'm a New Orleans girl born and raised, and I don't like seafood. Don't bother to ask what's wrong with me, we don't know.

    What I do know is this: Jamie, our tour guide extraordinaire was worth his weight in gold. In one day he had taken us from the most wonderous sites within Beijing, to the most delicious ones. His generous spirit and good sense of humor made our first day a wonderful one. Without him, who knew where we'd be or how we would be faring.

    Thanks to him, it made day two all the more bearable.

    Why? Here's a clue as to our second day adventure...

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    It was an awesome and "Great" day for us all!

    Come back for Day Two of our Beijing trip.

    My best to you all!

    2 Responses to “
    Beijing Eats & Other Lovelies

    Ally Garner said...

    Oh my gosh, this looks like the trip of a lifetime! Y'all have such a beautiful family and i love the Ole Miss t-shirts :) SEC pride!

    The food. Goodness that looks delicious. I've always wanted to try authentic Chinese. My hubs is an avid duck hunter-wonder if i could master peking duck?

    I didn't think another series could top Museum week, but you've out-done yourself my friend! Gorgeous photos and a lovely trip journal. Thank you so much for sharing! Can't wait to read the next entry :)

    Ruth said...

    What a fun day! I am glad you are sharing these adventures. The group picture before dinner Sam's pose is cracking me up.