Suddenly, it was all was over. Everyone got up and thanked the monks, who gave us all nifty little Buddha medallions and signed our guest book.
Everyone trooped outside for the requisite family pictures in the lamasery courtyard where, in a refreshing cultural change, the monks got to take gander at us instead.
The entire compound is divided into the tourist side (temples open to the public) and the lamasery, (dormitory style buildings where the monks reside and where the blessing was performed). We spent rest of the afternoon at the Great Wall.
My parents planned a banquet that evening. If you've never been to a Chinese-style dinner, it goes like this: The hosts order enough food to feed everyone present, plus 200 imaginary guests. Seating is generally delineated along two lines: adults and scalawags. By the time the 419th dish is passed, the scalawags are looking to either cause mischief or find an escape route. (The two are often indistinguishable.)
The elders informed us that we couldn't leave until the married couple sang. Brian and I challenged them to find the Meow Mix theme on the karaoke box.
Luckily, the evening ended quietly. Next: The Great Wall.