Day 1 - A concert by national symphony at national galleries for performing arts;
Day 2 - Capital Museum of History ;
Day 3 - family portrait at China Portrait Photography and family Dinner at Quan Ju De for Peking Ducks;
Day 4 - River Cruise in imperial river and summer palace;
Day 5 - Olympic Parks;
Day 6 - Flying Acrobatics Show;
Day 7 - Rest/Shopping.
The concert at the Egg
The National Galleries for the Performing Art, a.k.a. the Egg, is magnificent by itself though many architects argued that it disrupted the feel and sense around Tian An Men Square. Justin enjoyed the concert and the building thoroughly. Nick and I fell asleep during the second half of the performance.
Capital Museum of History
We were pleased that the boys actually liked the museum - they looked at the ancient artifacts or modern art collections. The history of Beijing was very interesting to them and me as well.
Family Portrait and Family Dinner
It has been a tradition of my parents-in-law, that every time we visit them, the whole family of three generations has a family picture taken at the famous China Portrait Photography in the afternoon and then we will walk to the well-known Quan Ju De restaurant for a Peking duck dinner.
The portrait of their 3 grandsons, taken 5 years ago, wearing black T shirts with a huge Chinese character "Dragon" printed on the front, is eminently hanging in their dinning room. The family portrait taken then is hang in the living room.
Contrary to my thinking, the China Portrait was quite busy on the hot summer afternoon we went. Many families were just like us, having a family picture of thee generations taken there. We waited for about half an hour before we had our pictures taken. After that my father-in-law walked very fast to the restaurant, way ahead of the family just to make sure that we would have a table when we got there. At Quan Ju De, it is first come first serve, no reservation is taken. It was just 5pm when we got there, very early for a dinner, there were plenty tables available.
River Cruise and Summer Palace
Day 4 turned out to be a relatively cool day of the summer. After the river cruise, we decided to continue to visit the summer palace, which is right at the end of the river cruise route. The summer palace was at its usual beautiful self that day except there was haze when we looked across the lake in the center of the place.
After visiting Lily's grandparents' cemetery, we went to visit the famed Bird Nest (National Stadium), and Water Cube (National Swimming Center) used for 2008 Olympic games at the Olympic Parks, on the hottest day thus far of the Beijing summer. We could only look at the Water Cube from outside since it was closed that day. We could however get into the Bird Nest, to appreciate its architecture and construction.
Flying Acrobatics Show
We went to watch a Flying Acrobatics Show the night of our sixth day at Beijing. We liked the show, it was a good change from our other activites.
After all these activties, we rested for a day preparing for an early morning departure next day. My parents-in-law went to the airport to see us off that morning. As we were about to enter the terminal, each of us hugged them goodbye. Lily and her mom had teary eyes.
We had a good time at Beijing.