1st Day in Beijing

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October 31st 2008
Published: October 31st 2008
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The day started off great. The sky was beautifully blue. All the clean air processes in place seemed to have made a difference. After breakfast, we went to the Summer Palace about 30 minutes outside of Beijing. The Dowager Empress, also know as the Dragon Lady, made this famous when she spent all the treasury's money on creating things like marble ships instead of outfitting her real navy to fight a real war. It was the beginning of the end for Imperial China as she was the one to designate the last Emperor who left in 1911. It was gorgeous out there with a huge lake, all the mountains visible in the background and the many excesses that we can now enjoy.

After spending so many months preparing for this trip, reading the books, watching the Travel Channel and Nat Geo shows, I should have known the Melinda effect had to kick in. For those unfamiliar with the term, the Melinda effect says basically that if anything can go wrong, she'll make sure it does. Although this wasn't intentional, I became very ill about half way through the Summer Palace tour. Ernest and I had to leave the group and take a taxi to the hotel so I could medicate myself. Ernest left to walk around and find me some crackers and 7-UP and walked by several cell phone stores. He particularly enjoyed the street vendor on his PDA. lThe GOOD news is that once I had expunged everything that could be expunged, I felt great. We were able to catch up with the group again to see a Chinese Acrobatic show, then on to dinner for real Peking Duck. I missed the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven but I'm not real upset about that. I'm not missing the Great Wall tomorrow for anything!

As my southern friend Scarlett says, "tomorrow is another day!'

Additional photos below
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31st October 2008

On no! Too bad about getting sick! but still sounds like a pretty good day, anyway...
31st October 2008

the Duck!
Well, At least Ernest got his duck!! Quack! No more migraines allowed -- you are NOT to do that again -- E, stop letting her get so excited over all this OLD STUFF!!
2nd November 2008

Good looking duck
how is the duck?

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