Along the drive, Erin spotted a gold jewelry shop. As she's been keenly trying to find a charm from this trip to put on her gold hoop necklace we decided to make a stop there after our breakfast.
Once we arrived at the tea house, Erin noticed something else: The tea house sold some really nice dishware. Ten minutes and about twelve plates and tiny bowls later saw us making a run back to the guesthouse to drop off her (Erin assures me using this direct pronoun is correct) newfound loot, after which we stopped by the gold shop we saw earlier.
It only took about one minute in the gold shop to realize that something charming wasn't going to be found there. It was very obviously a Chinese owned festival of gawdyness. Erin wouldn't leave the day without a charm, however, for we were unaware that the shopping hadn't ended yet.
After driving up to the top of the mountain we found a tiny little village near the summit temple with... wait for it... a jade factory, complete with a large shop. After watching the informative five-minute video about jade and a short tour to see them cutting the jade, Erin finally found a charm! A cute little jade elephant that will sit around her neck once we get back to the states.
After getting food at the temple, it was about 4pm and we then went to check out part of the national park. The late afternoon sun was gorgeous. I can only wonder what the early morning, late morning, noon, or early afternoon sun would have been like.
Erin's not a shopaholic, she's just making sure she picks up the stuff she wanted before we head back to the states. It was kinda funny how a day planned for a trip to the national park ended up being a day mostly spent shopping, tea-housing, and driving.