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After an amazing two weeks in SE Asia, it was finally time to go home. I definitely wasn’t looking forward to it. But as well all know, all good things must come to an end. We had a long layover in Beijing, and decided to leave the airport.
I contacted Ma Mark firstname.lastname@example.org , the same guy who provided us a driver/guide during our first layover. I informed him that I wanted to go to the Children’s Museum. He wasn’t very familiar with it, but after much searching we were able to find and address for it. Remember that search engines like google are blocked in China, so make sure you download a good VPN. Prior to knowing about the VPN we really struggled with finding things because several websites were blocked, including Facebook etc.
We repeated the same process that we did during our first layover and you can read more here – “23 Hour Layover In Beijing – With Kids“. We arrived about 9am and exited the boarding area. We found a Starbucks and ate there while waiting for our driver/guide. It seemed even colder than it was the last time. Thankfully I snagged a blanket from the plane.
Don’t judge me, HaHa! I had to, Aiden needed it! And I am so glad I got it because it was soooooo Cold.
While Aiden & my husband had Starbucks, I opted to try Chinese food.
I always choose the local option when I travel. I’m very adventurous and love trying new foods.
Our guide/driver got to the airport and picked us up at about 11am. We got into his car and of we went to the Children’s Museum in Beijing. We try to visit the Children’s Museum or Science Center every where we go. Aiden absolutely loves learning new things and meeting friends there.
We got to the building in which the museum was supposed to be located, our driver spoke to the guard and then informed us that it was closed. Whatttttt? What do you mean closed? What a disappointment. Prior to heading there, I could hardly find any information on the museum. Nothing that listed the hours or even a number to call so there was no way for me to find out anything concrete about this place. So odd!
Our driver drove us to Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City but we declined getting out of the car. It was just way too cold, and we definitely weren’t dressed for the weather. We just flew in from Phuket, Thailand with temperatures in the high 80’s and then get to Beijing and temperatures are in the 30’s. Can you imagine that! Nope, No way. Too Cold for us.
And we sure ain’t about that life HaHa.
While in the car, I tried to look for indoor play areas, etc where Aiden could play, but I couldn’t find anything. I gave up and told our guide/driver to take us back to the airport. He offered to take us to an acrobatics show downtown, but we declined and just decided to spend the rest of our layover at the airport. The good thing is, this layover wasn’t as long as our first, so spending it at the airport wasn’t going to be so bad.
We were hungry, so we decided to eat lunch. Aiden found Pizza Hut, and yelled Pizza. My Cameroon/Nigerin boy so obsessed with African food who recently started trying new things. I was sooooo glad he was excited about Pizza, because I don’t know what else he would have eaten.
We stopped at Pizza Hut and ordered a pizza for him and sat with him while he ate. When he was done, we went to a restaurant that served Thai food and ate over there. Word of advice – Eat before you go through Immigration/TSA or else you are in for a rude awakening. Once you go through, there are no places to eat. However, there are plenty of Duty Free shops all over.
Of course Right!
After we ate, we went through Immigration/TSA. Their list of things that need to be our of your bag is pretty long, so make sure you give yourself enough time.
I do wonder what they do with it at the end of the day.
We found a play area, so and of course Aiden had to burn off some energy! Yay for play areas at the airport. This one wasn’t big, but still fun for a 3 year old. Seriously, more airports need to have play areas for kids. Layovers are no fun, and this is the best way to keep kids active while waiting. I wish airports had lounges for kids. I’d totally pay for it.
After about an hour of play and jumping around, we went stopped by the duty free shop and bought some cookies and snacks as well as some baked goods from a Bakery at the airport. We then walked to our gate and boarded our flight. This time Aiden slept 92% of the flight !! Airport play area for the win. Those things work to tire kids out, that’s why I wish there were more at all airport terminals.
By the way, if you haven’t already, you need to purchase one NOW lol. I mean the 1st Class Travel Pillow below. Do your kid a favor and get it! You won’t regret it, trust me. Aiden slept like a baby and woke up quite refreshed. So glad he ate prior to the flight, so he wasn’t hungry. He just snacked a bit at that was it.
The food served on the return flight home was terrible. None of us ate any of it. I did have one of the dinner rolls and that was it. I am so glad we ate prior to boarding so I wasn’t hungry at all. I also had a bag full of food and snacks. I was way more than ready this time!
don’t you love these type of photos
It was nice to finally be home and see “Welcome to the United States” but I was also sad about our vacation being over.
on our way home we checked in Osprey Backpacks – so yessss, we did pay to have it wrapped like that. you know how TSA is lol
(Husband – Osprey 65 Black / Aiden – Osprey Pogo Daypack / Wife – Osprey 65 Red)
We proceeded through customs and voilà, we were out in no time – Hello Los Angeles! We parked our car in long-term parking – QuikPark. We waited for a few minutes and the bus didn’t show up, so I called them and told them where I was waiting. In about 15 minutes the shuttle was there. [Make sure you pay for parking in advance online. It’s so much cheaper. Saved us about $60]. Sometimes, Groupon has sales also, don’t forget to check there too.
As we were leaving the airport, Aiden saw the In & Out Burger sign and asked for fries. He hadn’t eaten as he slept most of the flight, so we stopped and grabbed some for him. The line was long as always but it’s always worth the wait for fresh-cut fries. As soon as we got home, guess who ran to eat Pounded Yam & Egusi Soup? Both of them of course!
the face you make when your moms pounded yam & egusi soup hits the spot
I am so glad we got to see The Great Wall and experience China for a bit. For sure, I’d visit another part of China because every city is different so I’m not crossing an entire country of my list. Plus if I had to visit China again, it definitely won’t be during Winter!
Click HERE to read Part 1 of our Beijing Layover
I think it’s awesome that you are exposing your kids to the world this way. I’m sure your little ones will never forget this experience!
I would love my littles to have this experience! My oldest just left for school, so I’d like to wait until he had time to join us on an adventure like this. The food looks so good!
Such travel goals! Even if it wasn’t a piece you’d go again, I’d just just to go! Lol
Layovers are the worst! Yay for play areas.
Such an amazing experience for the kids. I’m jealous lol. So good for kids to be exposed to different cultures at an early age.
Your pictures still captured what looks like a great experience even though they were on your cell phone! Glad you had some good food while you were there, sorry about your airplane food, lol!
What an amazing trip! And yay for that play area in the airport, my children always have a lot of energy so this would’ve been perfect for taking a long flight!
I have not yet been to China. How unfortunate that the museum was closed and you were unable to explore Tienanmen Square because of the weather. You definitely have memories to share.
Looks like they had a ball! You definitely get the award for the coolest Mom. It’s such a blessing to share this international experience as kids.
I have never been to China and I’m not sure if its a place I want to visit. I don;t have children but I agree that the play areas are good idea for the children especially for long lay overs. Too bad the food wasn’t great, I always look forward to the food on international flights as they are usually pretty good. Bummer that you left the airport and the museum was closed. What is exactly a VPN?
What a memorable experience he seems so excited. Thanks for sharing I love the photos.
Wow!this looks awesome. I’m not ready to travel like this with my children
I think it’s wonderful that you travel with your kids and expose them to other parts of the world. Wow, they really feed you on the flight!
Such a great way to pass the time with a layover. Keeping your son busy and burning of any energy before boarding. They never really have good food on the plane. Nice when you are finally home.
Looks like a wondertul trip. China is on my bucket list!
Very. Very cool the bears in the photo with the kids is adorable! The food looks great, everything looks like so much fun!