Man Jhou Li

This is going to be brief and it is late. We get up early to leave Inner Mongolia tomorrow for Beijing.

Today we took a 3 hour drive north to the border town of Man Jhou Li. We stopped at this very large lake along the way and got out to look around. They had dunebuggies to rent on the beach and Adam, Deb, Jimmy, and Peter all took a 10 minute rental. Unfortunately Peter’s lasted only about 3 as he flipped his over! He had a few good scrapes on the knee and the elbow and his hand took a pretty good hit–we think he is OK but may have his hand checked out when we get home. Everyone else was fine.

The town was very cool and we walked around, did some shopping, and had another very large lunch. Heavy influence of Russian architecture and odd to see so many Russians and Mongolians mingling together. The shopping was not great–every stall you went in had the EXACT same stuff as the last and 99 percent of it was really cheap tourist stuff. Adam and Deb found a few fun things. We did load up on a few bottles of Russian vodka however! Don’t worry Andrew–we got one for you!

We then went to the border of Russia and Inner Mongolia. It is a very late gate that we could only go so far. If you had a Russian or Chinese passport, we could have gone right up to the gate. We did get to see trains passing through the gate–old Russian trains. It was very surreal to be there.

Dinner was very interesting to say the least! It was in one of the Russian hotels and there was a show as we were eating. It felt like we were in Las Vegas!! There were mostly Russian women dancers dancing away in very cheap outfits. One of the songs they danced to was right out of the 70’s–“Venus” by Three Dog Night!! It was all very bizarre!!!! There was also a big movie screen behind the dancers the whole time projecting all sorts of different images from around the area. Our guide, Antonio, had them put a “Welcome VIP family, the Goodrich’s” on the screen at one point!!! Honestly, it was all something out of a very strange movie–we kept wondering what was going to be next!

THANK YOU Andrew for getting some pictures on the blog!!! This is only a FRACTION of what we all have!! Stay tuned for more photos, especially after we arrive home Friday evening.

We are in Beijing tomorrow and then home to Lexington the day after. It will feel good to be home in our own beds. It has been quite the trip–a lot of memories, laughs and amazing experiences! I am coming away with a very good feeling about all of Jimmy’s new family.

Jimmy and Jiao Jiao also leave Friday morning for their honeymoon to Bali!! They are both pretty tired after a big last couple of weeks and all the planning they did for all of us. Jimmy and Jiao Jiao–THANK YOU for everything.

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