Today was the day ResponsiBoy got to cross the Great Wall of China off of his bucket list. He was RIDICULOUSLY excited when he woke up this morning. I haven’t seen him that excited since he discovered United’s in flight personal entertainment system.
I had hired a nice air conditioned van to take us to the Mu Tian Yu section of the wall. It’s a two hour ride each way from our hotel in Beijing, but it had everything ResponsiBoy would want to see. I had been there before when we were adopting Dolly, but I skipped a lot of the touristy stuff because I was alone. Not this time!
We arrived to find a newly renovated visitor’s center. Gone are the quaint little villagers selling knick knacks along the side of the road you used to hike to get to the entrance of this section of the wall. This has been replaced by bus service to the entrance. I have to admit, I was a little sad about that.
My son, not so much. He was thrilled with everything. He even let me take over a hundred photos of him throughout our visit. We chose to ride the ski lift up. Last time I was here, it was November and freezing cold. This time was beautiful, mild and not at all crowded. Our guide was shocked by how deserted it was. We got lucky, I guess.
It was a gorgeous day for picture taking. As I shot all my photos, my dad chatted up Angela about the history of the wall and ResponsiBoy literally skipped, hopped and ran to explore.
Before we knew it, we had been up there two hours. It was time to go. And, the way we would get down turned out to be ResponsiBoy’s favorite part of the day. The toboggans. You can’t do these in the winter either, so I got to try them for the first time today too. You get on and, literally, toboggan down the side of the mountain.
He laughed and grinned all the way down. Only once did the attendant have to ask him to slow down. I may have gotten asked once as well, so I can hardly blame him.
We ate a lovely, family style, Chinese lunch and then headed straight for the train station. Oh my gosh, bullet trains are where it’s at. We sat in a nearly deserted first class with lovely attendants and SO much leg room. We even made a friend.
This little guy, who is maybe 5, spoke NO english and was so curious about ResponsiBoy. He kept grabbing his dad’s tablet and taking pictures of my son who would patiently look over and smile for all of them. Then the little guy would go back to his seat and scroll through all them. He showed us his ninja moves in the aisle for about 45 minutes and told us LONG stories we will never understand, all in Chinese. And, at one point I fell asleep and woke up to him stroking my hair…with the same fingers he had just picked his nose with not twenty minutes prior.
Y’all, it felt like home.
–FullPlateMom, who will meet Poppy in just 11 hours and 52 minutes, not that she’s counting or anything.