Friday, July 8, 2016

25 Highlights from Nanjing

Sometimes we do crazy things. But when you have two helpers such as these, to carry bags and babies and strollers as needed, craziness becomes a little more possible. ;) So on Friday we left our home around 11:30 AM to head to Nanjing for a night. By the end of it, I told Ryan that we should NEVER attempt such a thing on our own with two children 2 and under... But with Danielle and Alex is worked and created memories to remember. I was able to get 300 pictures down to 75 to upload in a Facebook album, but I'm sharing my 25 favorites here.

 When toddlers get squirmy and tired of waiting in long lines to pick up tickets, cuddling in the Ergo with mommy seems to do the trick. I enjoy the closeness it provides! Seriously, I don't know how I would make it through China without an Ergo carrier. It is awesome for babies (Ellie took all her naps for 2 days in it!) and works well for toddlers as needed!

 Family on the bullet train! Thankful tickets only cost $21 one way to get 1 1/2 hours to Nanjing.

 Our glitzy hotel... The fanciest Danielle and Alex have ever stayed in! But when you're traveling in China, there are levels of hotels you don't want to stay in. And then when you require them to have beds for children, what you can choose from gets VERY small. But we were thankful for an online deal, and it definitely was nice and comfortable! And the elevator's mirror provided space for our only full group picture from the trip!

 It's really really cool to be traveling with my niece in China! Though, since we're only 9 years apart, it really feels like she's more a younger sister than a niece. I am really grateful for this opportunity to get to know Danielle and Alex better!

 The hotel concierge directed us to a popular Nanjing restaurant. Turned out to be one of the top ones on Trip Advisor (Nanjing Impressions), so we were especially grateful we got to go!

 Can't eat out without laughing at hilarious English translations!

 The food we got was really good, though. All but the tofu stew - thought we were getting chicken soup! Anyway, the famous Nanjing salted duck, fried dumplings, spring rolls, soup dumplings, and sweet pork were all amazing. We're finally figuring out how to order when at local Chinese restaurants!

 It was a very popular place. We were thankful we went to eat around 5 PM, because when we left there were at least 30 people waiting to get in!

 Back to our fancy place for the night! And thankful for two more umbrellas picked up at a convenience mart. That happened to only have "Hello Kitty" ones, but you take what you can get! ;)

Here's a super excited girl to be going swimming! This was definitely the highlight of the trip for this little girl. She was such a trooper as we made her miss her nap 2 days in a row and get dragged around to see sites in the rain... So we had to make sure we fit in something just for her! Her face says it all.

Some special stuffed animal friends enjoyed the pretty pool view too. Danielle is bringing stuffed animals of her younger siblings to be in pictures in China - such a great idea to make it more fun for them, as I know they're missing their big sister being away this summer and heading off to college in the fall!

 This hotel (Grand MetroPark Hotel Nanjing) had a play place for kids in the breakfast area. Best. Idea. Ever. And Ellie loved any opportunity to practice standing! That pleased-with-herself face is so adorable. :)

 Then we were off for the day! We got stuck in traffic in a taxi for 20 minutes before finally just getting out to walk. We saw more sites that way anyway!

 The ancient walls of Nanjing. Pretty amazing how they've been around for thousands of years... And umbrellas just add character to pictures, right?

 Feels a little like we're visiting a castle... and a place where the Youth Olympic Games were in 2014.

 We went to XuanWu Lake Park. Lilypads and willow trees... Willow trees will always bring back good memories of the peaceful places in China.

 And somehow mountains are just more beautiful on misty, rainy mornings.

There is a distinct look to Chinese gardens... peaceful.

 We made it over to the island and back to another gate! Thankful the rain wasn't too heavy - and it kept things cool on that July 3rd day!

 Ryan was amazing, figuring out which stop we needed to go to on a new subway system, getting tickets for us every time we had to go somewhere, AND often holding onto a squirmy toddler!

Then it was up the stairs to the Nanjing Mausoleum (after a stop at the hotel to nurse a baby and pack lunch and luggage). It was all the more colorful with all of the umbrellas, though the view wasn't quite as clear from the top as it would have been!
 We were grateful to finally find a bus (complete with open sides and no seatbelts!) to get back to the subway station after all of the walking to see the sites!

 Pretty wildflowers... There are always flowers in China, no matter what the season is - one of my favorite things about this country!

The Memorial Hall of the Nanjing Massacre was sobering. It was really impressive how much they had put into documenting the atrocities that happend. It's hard to picture that MANY losing their lives in a crazy invasion. But the memorial hall helped with statues and pictures and stories and art to give you a glimpse.  It was beautiful how they honored those that lost their lives. But it was also VERY LONG. With no exits until the end. And we had a train to catch! And two little ones... But in the end we're still glad we went. And then our train ended up being delayed over an hour, so though we were running back to the subway and through the station to get to our gate, we actually had more than enough time to wait around! It was definitely a memorable trip.

1 comment:

  1. So neat that you guys can travel together. And your pictures look amazing! The rain really gives them a special look. =)