Monday, October 4, 2010

Plan C!

On Saturday, the second day of the holidays, we decided to head to Commune by the Great Wall. The last Wayne and I were there was like about 6 years ago, when it first opened, and I’ve been wanting to visit again. Since Wayne was more comfortable about going on the second day (as the first day will have a lot of cars leaving Beijing, causing a huge jam), we headed out with Yeye and Nainai after Rosabelle had a late breakfast (she woke up late) – we left close to 11:30am.

At around 1pm, after making two calls to the folks at Commune, and taking a roadside breather/toilet break, Wayne came to me with bad news – we needed to change our destination to Simatai Great Wall instead. He had taken the wrong expressway. Hah!!!!! This, coming from a man who normally knows his roads/directions! Sigh… I was more amused than irritated, though I wasn’t really keen on visiting another part of the Great Wall, but retracing our steps meant we needed to spend more time, so well, Plan B, I guess!

It didn’t matter much to our girl, who was so well-behaved in her car seat I am amazed at her at times…

And after we cleared the toll booth, before Wayne took a turn towards Simatai, I briefly saw a sign in the distance that said that this part of the Great Wall was closed. Bad news. He quickly took a U-turn to read the sign in detail. Thank goodness I happened to see that sign – I sure did not want for us to travel the distance to go to a closed sight!

And so… Plan C swung into action. We were already in Miyun (much further than Commune), and saw the sign to go to Wulingshan, so off we went, but it was already close to 2pm, and we first decided to stop at one of the resorts to look for food (as the restaurants along the way looked highly dubious and unhygienic). I knew that lunch was going to be late, so Rosabelle was already feasting on fruits and biscuits whilst in the car. She needed to be rewarded for spending about two hours at a stretch in the car seat without fussing!

After winding up a very nice driveway of shady trees and nice road, we came to this – Wu Ling Resort (WL Resort – my initials… haha…) that looks really quite nice and swanky from the outside. Apparently, this is a resort for government agencies, built for and managed by them, but it’s of course also opened to the public as well.
We wasted no time and headed to the restaurant first, only to be told that they close at 2pm and they advised us to head to another resort. Yikes! Whilst waiting for Nainai to come out of the bathroom, thankfully the manager changed his mind and called us back, telling us we can go in for a quick lunch. As you can imagine, the wait staff weren’t exactly pleased, and we followed their advice of ordering a set lunch (since all the food is pre-prepared already). I wasn’t happy that one of them told us to eat quickly, and I replied that we can only try our best. Sheesh!

By the time we had lunch, it was around 2:30pm and the portions were so massive we had to pack away most of the food. Rosabelle was probably too stuffed from the biscuits and only ate abit, but she did enjoy this corn grain bun, finishing almost all of it as she held one in her hand after lunch.
We then took a walk outside the resort, with no further plans to head on up to Wulingshan since it was already so late. The scenery and air was really nice and refreshing – I can even imagine this in a part of Australia, haha!
The whole resort had a slew of recreational facilities like a pool, an entertainment centre, karaoke, archery, spa/sauna, bowling etc, so I can imagine a lot of people coming in the hot summer weather since the temperature drops to an average of 5 degrees lower than in Beijing city.

We took a walk outside and enjoyed the view of the serene lake, where our girl was still greedily chomping on her bun.
How can we miss camwhoring in front of such a great view?
We then walked on down towards the lake area, going around their very well-maintained garden even. It was nice as I pointed out a spider’s web to her, as she inspected the poor flies caught within it.
We then ventured on down to the lake area, going onto the jetty (a small one) where we saw people sitting in speed boats for a spin (RMB25 per person).
However, our girl gave a worried look and shook her head, so ok, we weren’t going to force her. Instead, she pointed to the police petrol vessel and said she wanted to sit that instead. Erm, ok… so Wayne went to ask. It costs RMB900 for 30 minutes. When he asked if it was ok to pay RMB100 per person, they claimed that it wasn’t enough even for the fuel. Oh well… it didn’t cost anything to take photos standing outside and in it though. As Wayne was carrying her up whilst inside, he lifted her up too high and I could hear a ‘dooong’ as her head hit the ceiling. As he carried her out, she wasn’t crying, but I could see her looking quite fretful – maybe it was painful but she did try to bear with it – so brave!
Maybe she realized that if she did not choose the speedboat, she would not have anything else to sit on, so when we asked her again, she nodded in affirmation. After agreeing to the price (they said Rosabelle goes free only if we have 4 paying adults, but since Nainai and Yeye were not keen, we had to pay a ticket for her as well…), I put on some thick clothing and a scarf for her first before we adults donned life jackets.
It was a good move to wear thicker clothing for her – Wayne hugged her tightly in his arms and had her facing forwards first, but once the speedboat picked up speed, the winds got so strong that he quickly turned her towards him instead. I think the whole ride lasted for about two minutes only, and at one point, Rosabelle said she wanted to get down. Maybe it was way too cold, but she was really brave and did not fuss/struggle/cry.
That’s me trying to take a self-portrait, and a back view of the speedboat (we were the only passengers).
When we got down, I was rather glad it was all over – nice for the experience, but not the most comfortable of rides, haha! I even got a headache after – must have been the winds blowing – I did not wear a jacket with a hood that day. This headache lasted all the way till I went to bed at night, drat!

So I wasn’t in the best of moods as we went on our journey home – Rosabelle even refused to go to sleep, and only managed to take a one-hour nap close to 6pm after I nursed her. She woke up strangely enough in time for us to have dinner, getting up with a start from my lap as we were turning into the restaurant’s carpark. We had a most filling dinner at 花家怡园 and I wasn’t sure about our girl, but I was quite exhausted that day. However, she had other plans on her mind, not going to sleep early even after I nursed her that night, and the last I could remember was her playing on the bed saying ‘Bye bye Papa, bye bye Mama, 玥玥cycle去Zhengzhou找爷爷咯!'.

Though we did not make it to the Commune, it was a nice spot nonetheless, but certainly way too far, and not worth the drive there/back to just look around the resort.

The next day was a rest day for us all after two days of outside activities. Wayne and I headed out early in the morning after she woke up, to go for our massage. I decided to follow him along as I had a nagging pain at the base of my neck (probably from a bad sleeping posture), and still had a slight headache that I was hoping a good massage would help alleviate. So when I nursed her that morning, I told her that I had a painful neck, and needed to go for a massage with Papa, and for her to be a good girl and stay at home with Nainai.

Later, as she was getting changed for breakfast, she told Nainai, ‘Mama, Papa按摩, neck painful’. Such a good girl! She was all angelic as we left when she was having her breakfast, waving bye bye to us. The massage was really good, as it’s in a hospital and they are all legit therapists – some cracking by the chiropractor also helped, of course, heh!

Wayne and I then headed to Burger King at Shin Kong Place (yes, they opened one close to our home!) and I was horrified they didn’t have Mushroom Swiss Burger – told me they have not had the sauce for very long at all the outlets. Goodness… so I had a Whopper instead, and that satisfied our fast food craving, heh!

After that, I headed on home as Wayne went to get groceries – it was a home night as we had an early dinner since Wayne had to send Yeye to the train station to catch a train to Zhengzhou. Our girl sweetly gave Yeye a hug, a kiss, and an '一路顺风'
. It will be awhile before Yeye comes again, but I’m going to make sure we go to the right Commune this time round!

No comments: