Our first stop this day was at the zoo. What is a trip to China without seeing China's famed pandas!
We saw 5 or 6 of them include one neurotic one pacing his cage.
While at the zoo, Darren and I wandered for a bit and saw this huge pelican on the pond. I went in to get a picture right when he went to take off and fly. I think I screamed and jumped! When he landed he was very close to us. He was so big! About 2/3 my height!
Our big tour this day was of the Summer Palace where the emperor spent the summer months. But we started off with lunch where the waitresses were dressed like the Emperor's Concubine's. You can't see their shoes but they are these odd platforms with no platform under the toes or the heels.
The palace by the lake was much cooler than the super hot and humid temperatures we had grown accustomed to. This boat was made to look like the paddle boat's of the Mississippi during a renovation in the 1800's.
We took a dragon boat across the the man made lake but we didn't actually get to go into the palace.
The views from the other side of the lake.
In the afternoon we visited the Hutong area in Beijing. The streets are super narrow that many cars wouldn't fit.
But before our our, we climbed the drum tower just missing the drum show. Here is Darren posing with some of the men on our tour Harry, Bill, Sean and Grant.
No drums were actually hit in the making of this picture!
Then we met up with our riskshaw drivers who took us through the neighborhood.
A Hutong resident opened up her home and told us the story of her family. Most houses in the area are made up with four houses that surround a central courtyard. The four homes were occupied by an adult child, the child's parents, and both the child's maternal and paternal grandparents. Everyone under one roof basically.
Since this was our next to last night on the tour and our Peking Duck dinner. The food was awesome, the drinks flowed plentifully and we had a great time with our new found friends! Did I mention there was a lot of fire water??