Shortly after I arrived in China, I visited Yuanmingyuan (The Old Summer Palace) for the first time. That was in October, and I could see some of the remaining leaves and seed pods of the lotus plants in the park’s lakes. I figured it would be beautiful when the lotuses were blooming, and mentally put it on my list of things to do in Beijing. I never made it last summer, but I have a guest right now and we went over for a few hours this afternoon. It was beautiful. There are lakes and lakes full of lotus plants. In true Beijing style, the scale was amazing. Parks, roads, the Forbidden City, the subway system–they are all massive. In this case, the great expanses led to great beauty.