Thanks to everyone for their prayers these past 2 days. We have reached our destination.
We wakened Megan early on Wednesday morning to say goodbye. She was so sweet, blowing us kisses all the way out of the house and asking us to give Jack a big hug from her. Stephen's boss drove us to O'hare (thanks, Ed!) and we were pleased to find out we had been upgraded to Economy Plus which gave us an extra 5 inches of leg room. It was a long (13 + hours) but pleasant flight. The service and food were excellent. We connected at the gate with another family from the same agency.
The airport in Beijing is well led out & easy to navigate. The terminal we disembarked at was built for the 2008 Olympics. A train took us to Baggage claim and our guide/rep, Cindy was waiting for us once we cleared Immigration. The ride to the hotel - The Jianguo Hotel - was about 45 minutes through crazy traffic. The hotel is beautiful. After we checked in (around 4pm) we decided to go for a walk with the other family to buy some bottled water (you can't drink tap water here). Our guide had told us not to buy from (or even acknowledge) street vendors as they give fake notes as change. Sure enough, we weren't 50 yards from the hotel until we were approached about buying various "goods" We found a small grocery store not far from the hotel and were able to buy water for the equivalent of 40 cents. The other family went to McDonalds as they have 2 small children and Stephen and I opted for Starbucks. We need to try and stay awake for another couple of hours to get our body clock to "convert".
Tomorrow we plan to go to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden city and do a Hutong tour (the authentic Chinese courtyard homes). It started to rain tonight and is supposed to rain for the next 2 days.
MEGAN. Mommy and Daddy are missing you already. We hope you had a good day at school today and fun with Granny and Granda tonight. Love you lots.