Blu's 35th birthday was definitely one to remember! :) We slept in (because hey...it IS vacation!), and then we were ready to hit the streets of Beijing to celebrate Blu!
Chinese money - check! Phone with Chinese phrasebook - check!
Our first goal of the day was to learn the Chinese subway system, because we are not about to pay for taxis for 5 days! Apparently, not many foreigners think this way, as we saw maybe TEN other foreigners on the subway the whole week! We talked to a Chinese man who said, "You take subway?? Not taxi?? You very good!" ;)
For 50 cents a ride, it was definitely the easiest way to get around, and we got the hang of it fast! I was thinking, "Yeah...I got this!"
Until I came out of the subway and this was the line to get into Tiananmen Square... So you remember how I said the Chinese have a system down to organize the massive throngs of people? Well, not here. Just one moving mass pushing you along...
Blu enjoyed it...
Once we got through security, we were into the square and enjoyed looking around! (I fully admit to knowing very little about Chinese history...)
Blu at Tiananmen
Darbi at Tiananmen
The Memorial Hall of Mao
The Chinese National Monument - Blu was like, "What is this thing??"
Blu LOVES museums (seriously...), and since it WAS his birthday, I appeased him and we went into the National Museum of China...for about 5 minutes. Everything was in Chinese. ;)
We continued walking and made our way to the Forbidden City.
At this point, can you see the jet lag all over our faces??? My feet were DONE looking at old Chinese buildings!!
So we made our way to a little Chinese cafe for lunch - they were blaring country music!
Not quite the noodles he had in mind!!
I loved buying souvenirs on the streets!
Blu bought a $4 selfie stick that came in VERY handy the rest of the trip!!
And then...as a birthday treat for Blu, we hopped back on the subway and went to the Chaoyang Theater for a Chinese Acrobat Show!
Ready for it to start! (We sat next to a couple from Dallas - haha!)
And some more souvenir shopping inside..
At this point, I had planned for us to go to Da Dong Roast Duck Restaurant for the best roast duck in Beijing for Blu's birthday. We had quite the adventure finding the place (does NOBODY speak English in this city?!), and were then told it was an hour long wait. No worries though, we waited for an hour and a half and were still smiling!
We were still smiling until we got to our table and saw the novel/menu and the prices of the food...
At this point, I looked at Blu and could tell he was miserable! Neither of us wanted to spend big money on a meal, so after 30 minutes of picking out a few things we could afford from the menu, and nobody had come to our table, we snuck out!
I was a little disappointed about his birthday meal being a flop, until we stepped outside and found this..street food!
$1.50 for a bowl of noodles and a wrap? Yes, please!
Blu made a friend (the ONE English speaker) who was wearing the same hat as him, and he followed us around for awhile insisting on calling us a taxi...
We finally convinced him we would rather take the subway and we hungrily shoved our food into our mouths at the subway station!
At this point, WE WERE EXHAUSTED. We had about 1/2 mile walk to our hotel from the station, but when we stepped out of the subway, we saw THIS... It was like a beam of light from heaven was shining down on this rickshaw!
We gladly paid $1.50 for the ride back to our hotel and went to bed - ready for the Great Wall of China tomorrow!