We ended our last day in Beijing touring the Temple of Heaven and the Summer Palace. It was cloudy and a little icy, so much so that even droplets of water on the ground would freeze up. The Summer Palace would be so beautiful (and crowded) during the warmer seasons; you can even kayak or paddle-boat on the lake. The lake was near frozen when we were there.
The intricate details in every structure in China will never cease to amaze me. All the elderly exercising and playing games in public parks was also one of my favourite things—talk about #fitspo.
This is my last post from Beijing, but there are some things from the trip that I didn't photograph or didn't share here. Like how every night after our day of sightseeing my family and I would wander Qianmen Square (only a short walk from our hotel). We never bothered having dinner because we were usually still full from lunch, opting for coffee or a hot chocolate at Starbucks instead. After a day in the cold, with the nights colder still, a hot beverage while we wandered the square was perfect. I don't ordinarily have coffee/food at any massive chains, choosing instead to support local cafés, but near our hotel I think it was one of two coffee places around, and one of few places where at least one person would understand basic English. We sat around telling old stories at Starbucks before walking around inspecting all the little sweet shops and visiting the Lucky Cat store 30 times.
These would have been some of our fondest times. As my siblings and I got older and began our separate lives, rarely have we had a chance to make new memories as adults with our parents. It seems hard to describe, but if you no longer live at home and you're still close to your family, you may be familiar with the feeling. Yes, there are birthdays and "milestones", but I find most of the best moments are those in between all of that. Those moments are more unique; more natural because they were never forced or expected, just a pleasant surprise amongst the banality of regular life. I replay little things in my head, of all of us living on the high of seeing a new part of the world together, savouring the time we have knowing that soon we'll return home to our regular lives, and this will all be just a fond memory.