We will not meet Ivan until 3PM today. This morning our plan is to relax a bit, prepare toys and snacks to take with us to meet Ivan, and I plan to workout this morning to burn off some of my nerves. We meet our guide, Denise, at noon to get lunch, exchange money, then head to the civil affairs office and meet Ivan!
Yesterday we arrived in Nanjing via the bullet train from Beijing. We had a lovely morning yesterday at the Temple of Heaven park in Beijing. I would compare it to Central Park in New York. It's very large and beautiful. Yesterday morning it was flooded with walkers, runners, and tour groups - all at 6AM!
Ryan at the Temple of Heaven
This gentleman roped Ryan (literally) into a game. The older man threw the fabric loop over Ryan's head, then cam over and put his head in the loop, too!
A Tai Chi group at the park
Our train from Beijing to Nanjing
Once we arrived at Nanjing we settled into our hotel and walked around the area. Our hotel is located near the Confucius Temple area in Nanjing - a beautiful outdoor area with lots of shopping and restaurants.
Area around the Confucius temple
We had quite a time last night deciding where to eat. Like many American tourists - there is a tension when it comes to choosing a dining experience. On one hand, we're in CHINA! So we should take advantage of this and enjoy local cuisine. But on the other, here in Nanjing we are finding most restaurants don't include English on their menu, and we don't particularly want to end up with Duck's head between our chopsticks (I saw duck's head in multiple food vendors as we were walking around). Around our hotel there is a Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and KFC...a familiar temptation. We decided to go local, and wandered from restaurant to restaurant looking at menus, hoping to find one with English. We finally found one with English descriptions - The 70's Restaurant. Funny enough, none of the staff spoke English so ordering became a game of charades. It took three rounds to get our order correct, but our smiley waiter persevered. We had beef with mashed potatoes and sweet and sour pork. However, this was not Grandma's pot roast and mashed potatoes. But it was delicious (and scalding) in its own right. The waiter used the menu to shield me from the bubbling gravy as he stirred it!
Very hot beef and potatoes!
All in all, we're doing very well! Please continue your prayers on our behalf - today is a big day! Please pray that despite the challenges, joy and peace supersede, and that God is glorified.