Next stop--Hutong Tour. This is us in the pedicabs. They were driven by locals through the hutongs--aka "alleys." We saw homes that were originally built for the emperor's civil affairs employees hundreds of years ago. Many of them have been torn down, but the section we toured has been preserved by the government. (Our tour guide here was Angelina--a student working part-time during the summer.)
At the end of the Hutong tour, we visited with a family in one of the homes I described above. We had a nice visit and were able to ask--and answer--many questions. The room we're standing in is her "living" room. We also saw the kitchen--tiny--and learned that 6 families live in the same area as this family, and they all share ONE bathroom! (We are SO blessed!) This lady was very smitten by Gracie...she said G could stay and live with her. :)
This is the drum tower. It used to be the only time keeper for villagers back in the day. We had to climb 69 VERY steep steps to get up to the drums. G was a trooper!
Simon and Gracie were intrigued by the Water Cube. We got to tour it. There is an indoor water park attached to it, and the diving platforms were all still intact. It was super loud in there, too. We can only imagine what it must have sounded like when Michael Phelps won his 8th medal!
We finished up the day with a tour of a silk factory. Unfortunately, there is no room in the luggage to purchase a lovely silk comforter. :(
Now we're (hopefully) off to dreamland for a good 8 hours, and then off to The Great Wall tomorrow!
P.S. Gracie's first experience with a squatty potty??? Well, let's just say it wasn't pretty.