day 6

what an adventure.....

 selfie

selfie

the day started with a trip to visit the Forbidden City.  i caught myself many times this morning thinking, "holy moley, I'm standing in the freaking Forbidden City!".  The scale of the place is simply awesome...it's incredibly large but, honestly, I wasn't all that taken with the overall architecture.  Sounds a little judgy, sure....but as I walked around taking photos, I fell in love with the little details.  The glazed terra-cotta tiles, the marble moldings, the ornately painted ceilings...all the way down to the little ceramic figurines on the roof line.  To say it was "impressive" just doesn't do it justice.

 beautiful glazed tiles

beautiful glazed tiles

 i want one of those guys!

i want one of those guys!

 really learning to appreciate the lines of those roofs

really learning to appreciate the lines of those roofs

 bronze.

bronze.

 incredibly colorful.

incredibly colorful.

 the details are so mush prettier....but didn't want to leave you hanging

the details are so mush prettier....but didn't want to leave you hanging

we stopped for lunch at a dumpling place....fared better than I expected....until I bit into one with a little shrimp in it....those of you that know me well know that that was a game changer.

 lunch stop for dumplings

lunch stop for dumplings

post lunch we stopped in at an art supply store.  that was crazy fun...and somehow very comforting as I found myself amongst things that I could instantly recognize, no matter how different they looked.  with any luck, we'll get back there again.  meanwhile, it seems as though our hunt for "real" foam core will have to continue.

 scale model trees from an art supply store called Bai Hua

scale model trees from an art supply store called Bai Hua

we wrapped up the evening in a little hutong...and it was AWESOME.  when I thought about this trip in Beijing all I had thought about was big skyscrapers and smog.  this was simply a night and day difference. it was if I had stepped into a darker more secret world....loads of little side streets and alley ways....little shops and food stands and restaurants along the way. bicycles and scooters zipping about....little kids and dogs running through....random piles of abandoned furniture that looked as though it had been placed there by a set decorator.  as I sat there during dinner, I thought that in my wildest imagination, I'm not sure that I would ever be able to layer a set as nicely as this hutong was layered.  my only regret is that I let my cellphone battery die...or I'd have taken more photos.

 here's a daytime photo of the place we ate...at night it's even more magical

here's a daytime photo of the place we ate...at night it's even more magical