Well, we’re here in the airport in Guangzhou. It took us until about 11pm to get all our stuff packed. If you knew us when we got Lydia, you might remember that our luggage was lost between Guangzhou and Beijing the last time. Our flight had been cancelled and our guide got us on a flight to Beijing, but because of the last-minute arrangements, our luggage didn’t get on our flight. Everyone assured us that our luggage would be waiting for us in Chicago, but it wasn’t. After a few days of trying to deal with the airlines, our agency contacted our guide, who came to the Guangzhou airport. She found our luggage in a room of lost luggage. Without her doing that, our bags would never have gotten to us. Because of our near miss with lost luggage, we didn’t pack anything irreplaceable in checked luggage. We got almost all our souvenirs in our carry-on bags and our checked bags are full of our clothes and other stuff that we could get again, if we had to. 😊
Yesterday was a long, but fun day. MeiMei woke up at 6:30am and decided it was time to get up. I woke up, with a start, to the curtains in our room being opened. And we were up! Lydia was sleeping on the couch and MeiMei woke her up too. Lydia was not very happy about that, but we told her it was payback for all the times she’s woken us up!!!
Since we were up, we decided to get going right away. We enjoyed another breakfast at the breakfast buffet. MeiMei decided to get some bread, which surprised me because she doesn’t really like bread. Well, after we sat down, I figured out that the bread wasn’t for MeiMei, it was for the fish!
After breakfast, we took the bread out to the fish, even though they’re on a diet. They were going crazy. They piled up on top of each other to try to get the bread. MeiMei loves watching the fish!
We took a taxi to Shamian Island to try to get a few more souvenirs. You know, you can never have too much China stuff! We started walking around, but a lot of the shops were still closed! We were there too late the night before and too early now! After walking around a little, we found a shop, “Judy Shop” that was open. The lady there was very helpful and she had a TON of stuff smashed into her store that was no more than 200 square feet. We found some really fun, cute stuff. She had some great stuff for my nephews. 😊 I can’t wait to see what they think about the stuff I got them. We spent over an hour there looking at stuff and picking out gifts. Of course, we had to go find a bathroom, but only one time. 😊
We had so many bags, we could barely carry them all. We had to go pick up some stone carvings that we made a few days before. I left Brian and the girls on a bench and went to the other store, so we didn’t have to carry all our stuff all over the island. The carvings turned out beautifully. I’m so glad that we got them done. We have a few we had made when we got Lydia, so we got similar ones this time too.
We headed back to the hotel after Shamian Island so that we could drop all our bags. We also decided to go to the noodle and rice restaurant one last time. This time, we tried something different on the menu – Chinese hamburgers. It tasted like fry bread with ground meat and vegetables that were seasoned kind of like sloppy joes, but without the sauce. Well, Lydia fell in LOVE with the Chinese hamburger. I’m definitely going to have to try to find the recipe sometime. We also got some noodles that MeiMei kept pointing to on the menu. They were a little spicy when we tried them. It was so funny when she tried eating them. She would eat them and then squeeze her eyes together like she was in pain, take a drink, and go right back to eating them. I guess I’ll be the only one in the family who can’t deal with spicy food!!! We decided to get one last bubble tea before we headed home. Brian got a chocolate with bubbles and pudding. It was like chocolate milk on steroids! It was so chocolaty. 😊 Lydia and MeiMei stole most of it from Brian.
There is a famous statue in Guangzhou of five rams, or goats, that are made into a tower of sorts. Since it is a tourist destination of the city, we thought we better go there before we left. We took a taxi and the whole time we were driving to the park (10-15 minutes) MeiMei talked to the taxi driver. I have no idea what she was saying most of the time. I did video a bunch of it so we could ask someone! She started out by talking about Mama, Baba, and Jie Jie. I know she told the driver I was a teacher, but that’s about the extent of my understanding of Chinese. 😊 By the time we got to YueXie Park, I’m sure the driver was glad to get rid of us!
Once again, the map and signage, was not quite the same as in the US. We wandered around and around and finally found the statue. We got to the top, took some pictures, and of course, had some ice cream. China was where I was introduced to Magnum Bars, before they were available in the US, so I had to have one of those before we left!
We caught a taxi back to the hotel and Lydia and I headed to Wal-Mart while Brian and MeiMei went up to the room. Lydia and I had 100 Yuan to spend on candy and snacks to bring home. Now that we knew the layout, we were able to get right to the candy. Since it was just the two of us, we were able to look a little closer and we found some fun candy and also some food that Lydia liked when we first brought her home. We found some fruit roll up things that she loved, and also the meat that was wrapped up like candy. We brought a big bag of food home and when we walked through the hotel room door, Brian just shook his head. He and MeiMei had gathered all the stuff we needed to pack in the living room and we were not sure how we would get it all in.
We decided to head out for supper and gave Lydia the option of where she wanted to go for her last meal in China. Wouldn’t you know it, she wanted the rice and noodle restaurant, especially since she had discovered the Chinese hamburger. But on our way to Wal-Mart, we had discovered a bakery similar to the one in Beijing. Lydia was torn and had to pick a number to decide. The rice and noodle restaurant won. Back again for a Chinese hamburger it was. We also passed a bakery that wasn’t quite as good as the one by Wal-Mart, but we decided we could grab a roll from there on the way home. Which we did after we went back to get one more bubble tea! Since the sugar went straight to MeiMei’s blood stream, we decided to have her and Brian go back to the hotel and Lydia and I picked up the bubble tea. 😊
She and Brian ran the bath water and so it was ready for MeiMei and Lydia to get in when we got home. They played in the bath for a while and had a TON of fun (more than Lydia would admit to!!!) while Brian and I had a “date” eating our cake from the bakery and drinking our drinks. Someone needs to open a CoCo Bubble Tea in Hartland (or at least Delafield or Pewaukee)!!!
After packing we headed to bed. I woke up at 5:30 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. I tossed and turned and mostly kept Brian awake. We got up at 6:30 and got ready. We ate one more breakfast in the hotel. I was the “hero” today and got MeiMei her favorite waffles with whipping cream. 😊 She let me feed her as many waffles as she could eat. We finished up and went back up to the room one last time. We dragged all our suitcases into the elevator and took them down to the lobby and checked out. We headed to the airport and got on our plane to Beijing. We’re in the Beijing airport right now. MeiMei loved her first conscious flight. She was SOOOOOO excited! We were in the middle of the plane, so she couldn’t see the take off and landing very well. She kept pointing up all through the flight, saying “we’re flying”!!! So cute! We collected our bags and had to recheck them here in Beijing. Even though we checked bags, we’ve had to deal with suitcases at every airport and we’ll have to pick them up in Detroit for customs and in Chicago. At least we don’t have to drag all 6 of our suitcases and 4 backpacks all the way through the airport!
We didn’t have wifi in Guangzhou, so I’m just finishing the blog and will post it now. In about 20 hours we’ll be home!!!
Any of you that would like to join us, you are welcome to come to our house tomorrow, Friday, November 29th between 4pm and 6pm to meet Ruthie and say “hi” to the rest of the family. I’m sure we’ll be tired, but we want to give everyone a chance to say hello and Lydia, especially, is dying to see some of her friends and family! If you need our address, just text me. 😊
Please note that MeiMei is very attached to Brian and Lydia, but she is still working on learning to like me. Because of this, we ask that all friends and family members NOT try to touch or hug her. If she comes to you and tries to touch or hug you, I know it will be hard, but please DO NOT touch her back. You can say “hi” and wave. We really need her to develop her bond with all 3 of us before she bonds with other people. I’m hoping that will come quickly after she and I spend hours together at home over the next month, but we’ll have to see. Please follow our cues and ask if you are unsure about appropriate contact levels over then next few days and weeks. Thanks!
I'll add some pictures on Facebook. I don't have time to download them and add them now.