Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Photos You've Been Waiting For

Yay, I do have more than one reader! Ok, I feel better now (but Dad, I wasn't whining, and you can kiss my foot!)

It's only taken me two and a half months to get to these :) So what's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of China, other than pandas? Yep, the Great Wall. And we got to see more of it than most tourists probably do since Missy signed us all up for the Great Wall Marathon (we only did 5K, don't let the others fool you into thinking we did the whole thing).

We had a several hours long bus ride out to the part of the Great Wall where the marathon would take place, and this was about the first thing we saw when we got to the site.

We were in a little town, the name of which I don't think we ever knew, and this is the town square and also pretty much ground zero for all things marathon-related (or as our idiot tour guide called it, the marfon. But I'll talk about him later).

Proof that there are *lots* of crazy people out there who want to run on the Great Wall, or as we like to call it, the GWOC.

We were given the opportunity to walk the GWOC to kind of get a feel for the course (as if we were going to run it, ha!) and the part we walked was pretty much 3 or 4 kilometers of the 5K that we did later on. So here's a view of part of the wall from where the 5K started.

See the dude in the red? He was an Italian dude we nicknamed Fabio who thought he was pretty hot stuff and seemed to be actively trying to get in as many people's pictures as possible, usually with his arms raised while wearing a skintight sleeveless shirt. Armpit hair is not cute, I don't care if you're a European dude. So Lee did his level best not to get Fabio in any of our pictures, but he would NOT get down from this stinking statue, so there you have it. The statue is of a general who was responsible for refurbishing this particular section of wall and making it Mongol-proof. Me, I like Mongols. They've got some great barbecue.

More wall...I think that my pictures got a little out-of-order as I was uploading them on here but I'm just going to run with it.

Yep, we've found the GWOC!

And oh look, my favorite thing...STAIRS!!!

So where we first went up on the wall, it was nice and wide, with high walls on either side.

Just a fun silly picture of us looking out from the side of the wall :)

It was flippin' HOT on the Wall and of course we were all wearing long pants (I, of course, completely forgot to bring *any* shorts with me other than workout ones for the marfon day).

I'm trying to pick out the most interesting pictures we took to share here, but as I'm sure you can imagine, we took a LOT of pictures. I like these ones where you see how the wall snakes all over.

Missy's Baylor Bear picture! We all four graduated from Baylor University. Mom got us the matching Baylor shirts at Missy's request and then Missy sent this picture in to the university's alumni association.

Not sure why I look so happy when I'm about to go down a zillion stairs and then right back up a zillion more ;) On marfon day, Missy and I counted the stairs and we ended up with roughly 700 up and 1,000 down from the section of wall that we walked for the 5K. I don't know HOW the marathoners did it--we got passed by several since we were poking along.

Bennet goofing for the camera.

K, so I kind of wish that you could all flip through the five or six pictures we have of Bennet doing wacky poses on the wall, it makes a really funny flip book :)

And we walked all along that!! Twice, even!

My Coca-Cola bear, Juan, goes with me everywhere but most of the time he has to stay in the hotel room. So since he actually accompanied us on the GWOC, I had to get his picture taken :)

Mom, probably a good thing you weren't with us, you would have flipped on the parts like this (side note: my mom thought for sure I was going to fall into the Grand Canyon when I was a kid. I didn't.) You can see a couple of Aggies behind us too.

Bitter bear face!! Too many stairs, bwahahahaaa! This was about the halfway point when I told Missy I was never going to speak to her again. Obviously, I did not follow through on that threat because then I'd have to plan all of our trips. I may reconsider that when we climb Mt. Fuji in a couple of weeks though...just kidding!! Mostly.

Click on this photo and check out Lee's facial expression, he cracks me up.

A view of the town from the last high part of the wall before we came back down.

And some more roof guardians just because I like 'em.

And when we finished the walk, we got to come back to this. The hotel room doesn't look so bad unless you know that the beds are made out of rocks rejected for use in the Great Wall. Really, I have never slept on a bed so hard in my life. When we got to Beijing we switched tour companies from China Odyssey to the marathon people, and experienced a marked decline in accommodations (ok, so the hotels weren't like gross or anything, but so not as nice as we'd had with China Odyssey) as well as the worst tour guide EVER. More on him later. Anyway, hope you enjoyed the Great Wall photos, I know that this is what Mom was looking forward to the most!


Amber Hight said...

OOOOO, I'm so glad YOU walked all those stairs and not ME!!!!!!!! I would have DIED.
These pictures are so fun, thanks for the tour!!!
You have a good weekend? I thought I saw you walking Vay and Say (hahaha, I'm too lazy to type their full names but look at all this typing I'm doing just by pointing that out, bwahahaha!) when we were walking our mutts but I guess it wasn't you...

jokinz said...

Wow . . . did people actually "run" a marathon on so many stairs?

I wonder how I can get roof guardians on my roof . . . maybe to scare away all the landscaping people who are always wanting us to treat for grubs!!

Liz Guidry said...

Great pictures! Good for you for walking so far. I wouldn't be Missy's friend either after that LOL - j/k ;)

Christy Lynn said...

Oh yes, people ran up and down those stairs. The four of us were on a long downstairs stretch when we got passed by a couple of marathoners; this one guy was leaping down the stairs only hitting every fourth or fifth one, mountain-goat style. These stairs aren't even--some are really tall, others are really short, and you have to watch your footing pretty carefully since a lot of the stones tilt. HOW that guy didn't break his neck jumping down those stairs, I'll never know. We were in awe...and pretty sure he had a death wish.

CCsMom said...

Wow, I am SO JEALOUS that Juan was on the Great Wall. These pictures are absolutely fabulous. I love how that wall snakes all over the mountains. Isn't that something?!!! MY KIDS were on THE Great Wall. I can hardly believe it.

Can't wait for you to come to Texas. We just went to Tony's and have told them that will probably be the first stop after dropping Sadie and Vader at the house to visit Ginger. Ha! Love you and have a great week.

Thoughts by B and M said...

The stairs were *that* bad on race day when we were all in shorts... :) I guess we'll have to get AFPC to let us move to I can continue being your travel planner ;)

Giffysk8s said...

LOVE these pics! Still cracking up over Fabio. You should have posed with him and Juan. That would have been hilarious! Ugh...all of those stairs. I surely would have died. Sorry you had to sleep on rocks.:(

And for the record, I am so glad you didn't fall into the Grand Canyon. :)