Friday, March 16, 2007

It's 3 AM, what are you doing?
Jess is sleeping but I'm wide awake so I thought I'd post a bit more of our trip.
Our Journey (part 3)

We spent a good deal of time at the park near the hotel. There was always something going on. We watched children practicing martial arts, women doing a dance that resembled Irish Step, and a woman singing. Around here, when people dance or sing on a public street, there's usually a cup out for tips. I asked our guide about that because I didn't see any cup and he said they do it strictly for fun and are not looking for money.

Jason was intrigued about why some trees are wrapped in rope and some are painted white on the trunks. The ones wrapped in rope are newer trees and the rope keeps them warm. The white that's painted on some is primer and acts as a bug repellent. A lot of the trees had bird cages hanging in them. Elderly men meet to talk in the park and hang their pet birds in the trees. Mike and Jason bought a kite and joined the locals in kite flying. Thankfully, a helpful guy showed Mike how to attach the string to the kite.

We drew quite the crowd one day at the park's fountain. One woman started talking to us in Chinese and another woman began translating. Before we knew it, we were surrounded by a large circle of people all looking at us and taking pictures.

We felt like celebrities. Jason loved it.

We went to Daming Lake which is a natural spring in Jinan. There were amusement rides which the kids, of course, had to go on*S* Jason went on the bumper cars, ferris wheel, and pirate ship. Some of the other family went on the roller coaster but I wasn't comfortable with that.

Jess fell asleep so Mike got a chance to carry her.

We also went to a park that was decorated for the Lantern Festival which falls on the 15th day of the New Year. In the first pic, the golden pig is racing the dog; in the second you can see some (blurry) lanterns, and in the third the Five Friendlies are showing up on a float that says 2008 in honor of the Olympics.

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