a mini-TB meet-up

Beijing Travel Blog

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TravBuddy Nalie (TravellinChic) and I exchanged a few messages about Beijing, and agreed that we should definitely meet up.  So our TB meet-up of two was arranged via messages.  The day came and I actually got up early.  I know, miracles and such.  I took a bus to Tiananmen since the Line 1 is only a last resort, and why not, the 37 goes right there.  The last (and only other) time I'd been to the Forbidden City (which I will now call Gu Gong b/c it's shorter) was more than a year ago when my parents were here.  So, unlike Tiantan (Temple of Heaven), I could look at this with fresh eyes. 

I had to walk a bit west on DongChang'An, and as predicted, so were many other people.
me and Nalie
  After a phone call from Nalie, we found each other on the bridge, and proceeded to head into Gu Gong (after walking under Chairman Mao's picture, surrounded by green tarps and scaffolding).  We didn't get bothered like I had my first time, I attribute it to not being alone. 

Inside Gu Gong was the same as I remember.  Maybe less scaffolding inside, but there were still crowds and crowds of people.   We got to one part where I was almost crushed by idiots who have no consideration for other people.  I wasn't even interested in whatever it was that they absolutely had to see, I just wanted to cross to get to the other set of stairs.

Moving on, we wound our way to the Gardens.  And again with the crowds... it's a recurring theme! 

But this time we were sidetracked by art.
  Not bad, some even tempting.  But then I realized two things:
1.)  I'm going home soon.  And I would need to pack that.
2.)  At home, where in the condo am I going to put it? 

So I just said no to art, and we went back to the garden.  We'd been looking for a specific tree where an emperor and empress had their wedding picture taken, and we finally found it.  We had our picture taken there for fun, then we decided to head back to the southern entrance of Gu Gong since I had no idea what (if anything) was at the northern end.

Once out of Gu Gong, we headed back east to see if we could find food.  We managed a restaurant with kinda lousy food, so we continued onto Wangfujing since we were only a block away.
  So I Starbucks'd it, and managed to find out I got a pretty nice sunburn with the sun not being out. 

Oh well, a few more freckles to add to the massive collection.  After Wangfujing we took the dreaded Line 1 west to Muxidi, only to find that we couldn't get inside our desired destination- the Capital Museum.  Apparently, it closes at 5, but stops selling tickets at 4.  We got there around 4:30. 

So we sat and had a lovely conversation, then met up with a friend of hers (with a colleague).  From there, hot pot!  Chicken this time, but they were eating nasty mushrooms.  I did not consume any of those vile fungi.  (Right about now, Mom's rolling her eyes and making a snarky comment).

The good night ended there, as I was on my way home to nurse my sunburn.  Nalie and I parted ways at Dongdan since she was heading back to her accommodation.    The rest of my trip home (GuoMao, then on foot) was soundtracked by O-Town.  I know, I went cheesy old school there.  But whatever, I was the one listening to it and I happen to like their songs still.  Though it is quite the contrast to Linkin Park and Nickelback, but that's for another blog on another site...
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me and Nalie
me and Nalie
wedding tree
wedding tree
wedding chair
wedding chair
photo by: Eric