We made it to Guangzhou!
In the adoption world, this is like Mecca. The temps are much warmer (averages are in the 60s and low 70s while we’re here this week) so we will feel the freedom to be out and about in the sun more, which does wonders for our new family trying to get to know each other. We also know that we are on the tail end of our journey, and it’s downhill from here. Counting today, only six more days until we get on a plane to head home!
Guangzhou also means better and more consistent internet. You get kicked off often and so you’re signing on a few times a day, but it’s almost always available. Yea! Before I blog about Guangzhou, I wanted to catch up with Nanjing. Our general consensus about Nanjing was that we really liked the city. It’s got 8 million people so it’s considered small for China. The people were nice and it was a great mix of contemporary (two shopping malls right across the street from our hotel and four Starbucks within a couple of minutes’ walk) and historical (beautiful gardens and architecture and ancient city areas). It’s not touristy, so there is a lot of pointing and miming, but we enjoyed seeing it. And it gave us Titus, so it will always be awesome in our book.
For those that just want to know how our family is doing, here are this post’s pictures of our togetherness. Then you can skip the rest of the post – unless you want to see the bonus one at the end. 🙂
Our four(!) kids in Nanjing.
Our time in China is probably the longest that Liam has gone without throwing a ball since birth, and the boys were dying to get out and play. China’s parks are much more for walking and much less about wide open space, but we brought the football and they got to throw for a while. There is a much bigger park in Guangzhou that they will be able to play in and they are looking forward to it. Go Steelers – and Eagles!
Viv and Titus didn’t have much interest in throwing the ball, so they took a picture for me. Poor Viv – her front teeth are getting pushed so far out. Not sure if it’s because the new ones are trying to come in and the baby ones are hanging on for dear life or if there is some other reason, but those loose teeth just keep staying in. They’re wiggly but she refuses to let us pull them (understandably), so buck teeth it is. 🙂
Here are some pictures of our first day of walking around and seeing the sights of Nanjing. The first is a statue of Confucius, the ancient Chinese philosopher.
Here are some shots that I hope show the beauty of Nanjing.
I love these plants. We have them in PA too, and I took a picture to remind myself how much I like them and how great they do in cold weather so that I can get a few for our front landscaping next year.
In the middle of the park were these huge blow-up tube-like things.
The temp was about 30 on Wednesday when we were there, but the boys were dying to try them. Grandma obliged and oh my gosh. We all agreed watching them tumble around on these for 20 minutes was some of the best Chinese money we have spent here. They had a blast!
Titus and Vivi had no interest in trying one out, but this cute boy did get a big kick out of watching his crazy older brothers.
The boys loved it so much that they begged to go back. We had some extra time on Friday morning before getting ready to leave for the airport, so we walked back and let them do it again. This time, I think they were in there half an hour and they drew quite the crowd of onlookers, many of whom were probably thinking, “Who are these crazy people that let their kids do this in the cold winter weather?”
This time, Titus and Vivi and I took a blurry selfie while we watched. Me and my greatest gifts from China.
PSA for those ever planning a visit to China: these candy-apple-looking items on a stick are NOT candy apples. Not sure what they are, to be honest. We get points for bravery in trying Chinese street food, but that was about it.
Scooters and bikes are very popular here, and rows of bikes can be found on nearly every street.
Something else you see a lot of is duck. It’s a big deal in China, especially in Beijing and Nanjing. I have discovered that I really love it, which is good because you can have it for breakfast at our hotel. The downside to getting to eat all the duck is that you literally see it hanging, in all forms, everywhere.
They even hang it out with their laundry.
So Titus came to us with two whistles. One was around his neck and the other was packed in his things. He obviously had strict rules about using it because he repeatedly assured us he would not blow it inside. But he took great pleasure in blowing it outside when he remembered to put it on, and even pretended to direct traffic at an intersection while we waited for Tim and our guide to grab something in a store. We got a lot of confused glances, but he had a blast.
This was our hotel, our home in China for six days. It treated us well – a koi pond and a Starbucks in the lobby. Fun for kids AND adults.
Brothers bonding over watching fish. It warms my heart.