Chinese Trip Part Three Guangzhou and Home

Dec 18

Today we spent a lot of time shopping on the Island and talking to other families who are also adopting. There are about 60 families from the hotel now who are walking around with their new little Chinese girls. It is fun to talk and compare experiences.

That evening, our group assembled for dinner at a Thai Restaurant. The group is now getting a little tired of eastern food and people, who would never consider Mc Donald's, are beginning to admit that a Big Mac would taste mighty good. Still we have a good time at the Thai Restaurant.

After dinner I walked along the River Front. Here, as in Hong Kong, the riverfront is beautifully decorated with palm trees, which at night are lit up with many lights. In most areas the river is contained by 6-7 ft vertical walls (many without any guard rails), and there are lights on those walls also. The White Swan is located at the fork of two rivers. At about 8 pm, is the "Symphony of Lights". In addition to the other lights, huge searchlights come on from many locations on the various riverbanks. Also colored laser lights glitter from most of the many hotels. To accent all this, huge speakers on the three shores carry orchestral music, and the searchlights and lasers move and flicker to it's beat.

Dec 19
Grace is getting to be very friendly to all of us now. She is a very happy baby.
For more about her click here
Today we are off to see the city of Guangzhou. First stop is Liurong Temple. Though the temple dates back to the 5th century, Liang Dynasty, it burned and was replaced in the 10 century. It is a beautiful tall structure with three huge gold Buddhas in the lower floor. They asked us if we wanted our babies blessed by the Buddhist monks. Some did but most of the Christian parents here uncomfortable with the idea.
Next, we stopped at Chen Ancestral Hall from one of the Dynasties (can't remember which). There they had many types of art, but four major sections Embroidery, Ivory carvings, Furniture, and Porcelain. There was amazing artwork there. I watched an artist do hand art, where all the ink is applied by pressing only fingers or palms of the hand on the paper. Later we went to a high-class mall where we could buy some of this art. The ivory (worth 100s of thousands of dollars) could not be removed from the Peoples Republic of China.
Hand Pasinting
Painting done using only silk thread

Dinner was at Lucy's Café, a very western restaurant. We all ordered steaks and were very pleased the fine job of cooking they did, and did not cover them with hot sauce. The prices were somewhat western too at about $10 per plate.

Dec 20
This morning we had to stay around the hotel, since the guide was reviewing the final paperwork for the adoptions and we were to be "on call" if anything needed to be changed. So many of us sat in the hotel hallway and talked while the babies crawled all over us. I went to lunch at a cafe where most Chinese would usually eat, cost was two dollars.

That afternoon, I walked north off the Island to the municipal fish market. There were glass tanks of every type of seafood you could imagine, and each shop owner shouting at me "Mine best", "you like". The smells were, as you would imagine, strong.
Then I took the ferry over to the other side of the river. This was a newer section of town, and though more Chinese than western, still very modern. There is more clothing for sale in this town than I thought existed in the world, Vertical Edge Gortex ski coats for $40.

The White Swan Hotel
At 4 pm all the families are to come to the famous Red Couch for pictures of their families. CCAI keeps pictures of families taken on that couch. We were all dressed up in new Chinese clothing we had bought. All went well until we trying to take pictures of all the babies at once. It was a disaster; the only baby that sat quietly was Grace.

In the evening, I took a taxi down the river and got on an evening excursion boat. The river took us seven miles up and down the river, including our area where the lights show was on. All the major buildings have lights covering them. Many of them move to produce pictures or designs. I could not believe that that entire length of riverbank was adorned with palm and lights. Cost $4.

Dec 21
Today we want to the Guangzhou Zoo. There we saw many animals including the Giant Pandas and cute little tree dwelling Lesser Pandas.
That afternoon the parents took all the babies to the American Consulate to become American Citizens. Other members of the group were not allowed, so several grand parents took the older children to a park. There was much play equipment there, but unlike the US much of it was adult exercise equipment. It was made of heavy brightly painted bars like our kids play equipment, but for adults. Of course the kids found way to use it too, as kids always will, but adult could and did use it. There was skiing type, bucking horse type, and even seats that when you leaned back a roller went up your back giving a massage. At 5:30, the Parent return gleefully announcing that the children were al now US citizens.

Dec 22

Breakfast was always a buffet feast.
Today we leave this fine country. Some of our group were saying, finally we get to go home, but I was sad to leave those wonderful people. I hope to return again.

We flew from Guangzhou to Hong Kong in the morning, then off for the US. Cathay Pacific gave us a very nice flight with the 747 only one half full. There were a dozen movies to choose from starting every two hours. With a 150 mph tailwind and the international dateline, we arrive in LA four hours earlier than we took of at 9 am the same day.
A 10 hr layover gave us a chance to get a motel and sleep for 6 hour and still put us in Seattle at midnight. We wonder about our friends who were headed for Denver, probably not home yet.



Go Back To Part One