Last night I returned from my ten-day trip to Beijing. The main purpose of the trip was to celebrate my mom’s 70th birthday. While I was there, I also met up with two old friends and had lots of fun.
The picture below was from a 10-km walk along the central line of the old Beijing city, from YongDingMen（永定门）on the south side, thru TianAnMen（天安门）Square, to ZhongGuLou（钟鼓楼）on the north side. The scenes along the route were beautiful when the air quality was good.
I also spent a day touring YuanMingYuan (圆明园，Old Summer Palace). It was built in the 18th and early 19th century, an amazingly beautiful and luxurious complex of palaces and gardens for the emperors. Then it was destructed by the British and French troops during the Second Opium War, and further burnt to the ground by the Eight-Nation Alliance. Today only ruins stand as a reminder of this once glorious wonder.
The park itself was made very beautiful, even though the sky was overcast and gloomy. This picture is just one of the many that look like paintings.
Then it was the big celebration of my mom’s birthday with a dozen family members in three generations. Here is a photo of my mother with her two daughters and a granddaughter.
It was a great trip until the last day, when it snowed all day in Beijing and my flight was delayed. Then 3 hours after we boarded the plane, the flight was cancelled. By then the subway was closed, highway was shutdown, and I ended up spending the night at the airport. My return to the US was delayed by 24 hours.
This is just an overview of the trip, each section could easily be expanded into one or more posts. I also plan to resume writing family stories now that I heard more from my mom during this trip. Stay tuned. 🙂