beijing part 1

our first full day in beijing was jam packed with amazing sites.  unfortunately i didn't remember ever learning about china in school, so i had no idea what any of these sites were.  therefore we were the dorky tourists that hung on our tour guide lisa's every word.  i was also guilty of sidling up to her while we were walking to ask her a million more questions about things. this girl knew her stuff.  i now feel like an expert on china, so i may have to throw in a few random facts here and there.  forgive me.

first disclosure.  i am definitely NOT a photographer and have no natural knack for taking pictures. i did the very best i could, especially considering it was so smoggy there that it felt like we were walking through fog all the time.  just know if you don't want to go to china after seeing my poor quality pictures, you should google some good ones because i PROMISE it is amazing over there! and you could learn about the history of china while you're at it ;)

tiananmen square   

the square was ginormous (it can hold a million people!), and is usually jam packed.  but luckily for us, the tourists who decided to come to china in the dead of winter, it wasn't busy at all!

the forbidden city

so only the current emperor, his family, and his servants could live in the forbidden city and for 500 years no one came in or out. unless they were bringing in a new concubine for the emperor. he had 3000 of them and would choose a new one every night, and if she didn't get prego on the first try he would make her sterile.  rough.

 check out that smog ^^^ on the news they said beijing had the worst air in the world, and that it was hazardous and people should stay inside. oops.

rickshaw ride

beihai park & buddhist temple

deep fried scorpions and seahorses. ^^^ mmmmmm

i love me my starbucks, especially in china! ^^^

wealth, good luck, and prosperity is coming our way, ^^^ all thanks to buddha's belly 

peking duck dinner

yes all this food was amazing.  hands down my favorite meal in all of china. i've never eaten duck before and i probably never will again.  just know if you ever go to china, make sure you get the peking duck or else your life will not be complete.  

sick of china yet?  i'm sorry!  i know it is picture overload.  but this blog is my journal and i want my 2013 blog book to be even MORE legit than 2011-12's.  so bear with my through just a few (hundred) more china pictures and then i promise to never mention china again.


dash diaries

one year ago we surprised ourselves and came home with the cutest puppy in the world, who turned into the best dog in the world. and by surprised i mean i was planning it for months.

lucky for us, he has never chewed anything of ours up, he rings a bell to go outside to the bathroom, he never ever ever barks, he makes friends with every person or dog he sees, and waits patiently outside our door every night until we finally let him up on our bed to go to sleep.  i think he knew that if he wasn't the world's most well behaved dog, dawson would have found him a new home with the jack rabbits in the west desert.

i know i'm a little biased, but a dog this great definitely deserves a little blog recognition.

happy anniversary dash!!!


this one time we went to China...

so 2 weeks ago we went to china. everybody keeps asking us WHY we went to china, so i'll tell you now.  ryan barlow found this amazing deal on travel zoo for a 8 day trip to beijing and shanghai. when i heard about it i knew right away that we would go, even though i have never had any desire to ever go to any asian country. dawson on the other hand, has ALWAYS talked about going to japan or china. we talked about it and i said we should definitely go  (and that next year we should go somewhere with a beach). and then we found out that we were going to be crashing alex and morgan knight's honeymoon, because they had booked the same exact trip! seriously, what are the odds? they had realized along with us that it was too good of a deal to pass up, especially when we learned that our WHOLE trip (flight, hotel, tours, transportation, and half our meals) was less than a normal roundtrip plane ticket to china. boo yah. 

so after getting our VISA's, packing, saying goodbye to dash, a night in LA, a quick 12 hour flight to beijing where dawson and i only slept 1 hour, and some horrible in-flight asian food, we were finally in...


we were happy to find out this whole trip wasn't a scam when we were greeted by our amazing tour guide, lisa, who quickly taught us the ropes of china.  examples: don't drink anything but bottled water, dress warm, informed us bathrooms are called "happy rooms", and how to say hello in chinese (ni hao!).  she sent us on a bus to our hotel where we even more surprised to find out that our hotel was legit and not some sketchy hostel like we were expecting.

since we were famished and wanting a good meal after that horrible airplane food, we headed to the closest restaurant.  i was a little nervous when i first looked at the menu. but it ended up being more than edible. And FYI, we did not order the marinated wild black fungus, even though dawson wanted to.

we had chopsticks, ate the native food, and knew how to say 2 phrases in chinese, so you would think we were officially in china, right? wrong. you aren't official until you use a "4 Star" or under happy room:

don't worry.  our hotel rooms had "5 star" toilets.  god bless marriott hotels for always letting a girl sit down and use a roll of toilet paper.


welcome home


alex got home from new zealand about 2 hours after we got on our plane to china.  i'm pretty sure the timing could not have been worse.  we were so sad to miss his homecoming, but we did skype while we were in china and went to see him first thing when we got back.  we are so glad to have him home, life just wasn't that same without him around! ladies, he is ON THE MARKET so if you want a date with this hunky RM, just let me know.