I shared Marigold’s adoption story, but I never shared the rest of our trip to China- both before we met Marigold and our almost two weeks in China together after the day we met. So today I’m going to share the Beijing part of our trip, up until right before we met Marigold. We arrived in China early enough to enjoy a long weekend together doing tourist things before we flew to Nanchang to meet Marigold. We knew this might be Nova’s first memories of China (she had just turned four before this trip) so we wanted to make it extra special for her. My sister, Emma, also joined us for the first two cities (it’s a three city trip- we visited Beijing, Nanchang and Guangzhou).
Our first day in Beijing we were pretty jet lagged. We went swimming (aunt Emma was the BEST and went swimming with Nova almost every day for a week straight). This is random but we used a lot of precious suitcase space taking Nova’s kiddo life jacket to China, but we knew it would be worth it because it’s something consistent we could do every day so she could get some energy out. We had so much fun!
On our first night in Beijing we wanted to sort of re-live a moment from Nova’s adoption trip and we went to the same restaurant for a traditional duck dinner. It was pretty surreal since only about a year and a half had passed since we were there to adopt Nova.
The next day we met up with our friend Meredith and spent a bunch of time with her. She was living in China at the time and she took us shopping, to The Great Wall and to this hilarious “Friends” replica cafe that was on my bucket list. It was super rainy. I remember we let Nova have rolled ice cream for breakfast haha and we visited some beautiful parks.
The Great Wall was as beautiful as I expected, SO beautiful. We were luck that it wasn’t too busy on the day we went. We took a ski lift (type thing…) up to the top. It can be a super athletic hike if you want it to be, but since we had a toddler with us we kept it pretty easy.
We took the toboggan slide down and it was SO FUN. I highly recommend it if you ever get to go. Jeremy rode down with Nova… it was so cute!
The Central Perk (replica) cafe was cute. We got lattes that said “How you doin?”
The breakfast buffets at the “western” Chinese hotels really are a thing of glory. It’s the only time in my life I can remember being really excited about a buffet. And they’re so random! Nova loved having noodles for almost every single meal. It’s one of the parts about our trips that gives me a lot of nostalgia. Maybe because we’re jetlagged and/or getting up super early with a new kiddo, so we end up spending hours at these breakfast buffets at like 6am.
In this photo Nova is writing letters to Marigold. You can see a video of it here… just be ready for your heart to explode.
We took this photo as we were heading out to catch our flight to Nanchang. We arrived there the night before our family day (the day we met Marigold). Our hotel was incredible, which was super comforting since we knew we’d be spending a lot of time there. The next morning we had our elaborate hotel buffet and it was so surreal because we knew that within just a few hours we’d be back at that same hotel, but this time with two children. We had no idea what was about to happen, we just knew our lives would never be the same.
You can read about Marigold’s family day here. I’ll be back soon to share the rest of our China trip. I’m somewhat embarrassed that it took me so long to write these posts, but I’m proud to do it now. The first six months home with two children was a completely blur to me- it feels good to revisit these memories now that our lives have found a new normal.