We were so happy to see her. Although she no longer works for our adoption agency, she is looking into going to school in the UK to get her masters in business. I sure hope it works out for her!
Kenzie was thrilled to see her again - although a little shy at first - she wanted to hold her hand and sit in her lap in the taxi.
We went to a restaurant within walking distance (Beijing Da Dong, I think). It was delicious - gourmet food - with the gourmet prices, of course... LOL! But the food was fantastic - and I should have taken pictures of it - it was done exactly like they showed in the pictures... very fancy. If you don't speak Chinese, they had a large picture book that you could look at and point to what you wanted.
Then we went to the Hong Qiao Pearl Market. The pearls are on the 3rd and 4th floors (the 3rd floor is for the lesser expensive pearls).
When you walk in, there are all kinds of vendors... selling every kind of knock-off designer and brand name item you can imagine. Louis Vuitton, Uggs, LaCoste, Rolex - if you can think of it, it's there. You walk in and if you even slightly glance toward the merchandise, they are calling out to you - promising you a bargain price for whatever they have.
I'll be honest... a lot of the merchandise was very inexpensive stuff and the asking price was outrageous... but the entertainment value was priceless. I got the biggest kick out of the vendors... I'm sure to some people they would have thought it was too aggressive, but these guys know they only have those first few seconds to get your attention and make the sale... so they work it. The Chinese know how a free market works and they have made it into a fine art. I would tell most people it's worth a trip to China just to experience the markets.
I ended up stopping at one of the booths in the pearl market to look at the pearls. They weren't as good as I was looking for - I wanted the freshwater pearls, but ones with few or no blemishes and really good luster. The young woman told me that on the fourth floor she had a shop with "top quality pearls". So we went up and looked at them. They were quite nice and I had two 18" strands made with 14K clasps - one each for Kenzie and Jia for when they get older. Then I saw a double strand pearl necklace with lesser expensive pearls and was inquiring if they could make it with a sterling silver clasp. They worked it again and pulled out better quality pearls and quoted me a price for a double strand with a solid gold clasp. After a little haggling, Roy bought it for me as an anniversary present. Bless his little heart. I've always wanted a longer, double-strand of pearls to wear with sweaters and certain tops.
Below they are stringing the pearls for us... the young woman in blue was the one who brought us upstairs to buy.