Hi Everyone, today was a fun day. We met our guide, Sandra, in the hotel lobby and she took us to a factory that made all kinds of Mongolian merchandise. There was leather goods, jewelry, ethnic Mongolian clothing, knives, sabres, trinkets, regional liquor, cashmere clothing/scarves, food, and candies. I did all of my Christmas shopping in one stop! We bought Julia a native Mongolian dress and hat and she looked so cute when she tried it on.
We let Lydia and Julia buy something of their choosing and Lydia chose a furry stuffed dog (no cat available) and Julia chose a furry horse. She named the horse Ena, and wrote his name on a piece of paper. She spelled it, Enilta - pretty close! Lydia named her dog, Lulu.
After our fun shopping excursion, Sandra took us to a local restaurant that was really good. Even though the chicken still had bones and skin on it, the actual meat was very tasty. They served it with steamed bread rolls. Another dish was very spicy thin beef with green and red chilies, and green onions. She also ordered us some vegetables - green peppers and red bell peppers with onions. I liked everything except when we walked out and saw several goat heads staring at us through a glass case.
Later, we took the girls swimming in the indoor swimming pool. It was 22 degrees outside, but the pool was nice and warm. The attendant kept bringing us hot water to drink; it does keep your insides nice and warm. Julia LOVED being in the pool; we'll have to enroll her in swim lessons in the spring.
Tomorrow we leave for Guangzhou and I'm going to miss this area. The people have been extremely nice and the pollution isn't bad at all. Don't get me wrong; I wouldn't want to live here, but I've really enjoyed our stay here. We may not be able to post again until we get to Guangzhou so until Saturday.......................................blessings, Michelle, Mark, Lydia, and Julia