Sunday, February 5, 2017

Travel Diary: Day One

I woke up around 9 this morning and my first thought was, breakfast ends at 10:30.  I've heard a lot about this breakfast buffet at The Garden!  I woke Kinley and Zeke up and we threw on some clothes and headed downstairs.  We were a little adventurous in our food choices--I had rice and fried noodles, and Zeke had some beef bacon--but mostly stuck to our American standbys, like toast and jelly and fried eggs.  We walked across the street to visit Starbucks before we came back to the room.

The first week of adoption trips to China is spent in the child's province, and the second is spent in Guangdong Province where the US Consulate that handles adoptions is located.  Some families are in one province until Friday, and then travel here, but because Judy Lin is from this province, we get to stay here the entire two weeks!  That means that we have a definite advantage, not only in staying in this gorgeous hotel for two weeks, but also in unpacking and making ourselves at home!  We were able to completely unpack, rearrange our furniture, get gifts together, and get everything organized for our stay without having to worry about repacking in a few days.  It was nice to feel settled in!

We decided to check out the rest of the hotel, then go out for lunch. Our initial plan was to come right back after lunch and rest some, and then get out later for grocery shopping and dinner.  However, when we got out, we just decided to keep going!

We walked through our hotel and checked out the pool, the rooftop views, the restaurants, and the flower shop.  It really is beautiful here.  We changed some money and headed out for lunch.

We found McDonald's and decided on some quick comfort food.  After we ate, we walked into the 7-11 and through a little mall that is connected to McDonald's.  It was interesting to see what products were the same as those we have at home and which ones were very different!  Then we searched for a grocery store without finding it, so we changed directions and went to another one.  We walked through the department store first, and then found the floor with the grocery store.  That was interesting!  We picked up a few Chinese snacks to try, but we also grabbed Snickers and Coke.  The exchange rate worked in our favor--we got quite a bit of food for less than $20!  We also went up to the toy floor and got a sweet little bunny that we had heard was a must--it lights up and plays Chinese music and Chinese nursery rhymes.  Hopefully, if our sweet girl is upset tomorrow, she might like to hear her language and see the lights.  We actually took the wrong escalator out of the hotel, but we found Wal-Mart and another Starbucks on the backside, so it wasn't a total loss!

At that point we were hot and getting tired, so we walked back to our hotel.  We decided to shower, try to stay awake and just rest, and order room service for dinner.  However, after the shower, we could barely keep our eyes open!  We tried our best, but I finally set an alarm and caved.  About an hour and a half later, Zeke woke me up, but I swear my arms and legs wouldn't move.  I was mostly awake, but I couldn't make myself get up for anything.  Jet lag is a real thing!  We ordered our food and ate, and now it's time for bed again!

Random things we noticed while we were out today:
  • We were the ONLY people wearing sunglasses on a very sunny day.
  • We were the ONLY people wearing short-sleeved shirts.  It was 70 degrees.  Most people had on jackets, sweatshirts, or coats. ?????
  • All of the sweet little babies we saw had on so many layers!  They were puffy.  It was cute but I thought they had to be hot!
  • Kids are kids, regardless of where they are or what language they speak.  I'm pretty sure we saw a Chinese version of Camp today :)
Tomorrow is our Gotcha Day!  The diaper bag is packed and the crib is ready!  We will meet our guide and another family in the lobby at 9:30 to go over paperwork, and we leave for the civil affairs office at 2:00.  I can't wait to hold my baby girl.  It seems unreal that tomorrow night, we will have our second daughter in this room.  Although she has been ours in our hearts since we said yes, she is officially spending her last night as an orphan tonight.  It will be the last time she will lay her head down without a mommy and daddy to comfort her if she cries.  Tomorrow, finally, I will get to kiss those sweet cheeks and tell her I love her.  We have prayed all day that she will feel at home with us and that her little heart will be open to receive our love.  I can't wait!

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