Halfway Home!

02Dec06

Hi all!  Andy/Dad/Drew here.  It’s hard to believe that we are halfway through our trip already!!!  Zhou told us this morning at breakfast that we would be taking off from Luoyang a day early to allow for a little more time in Guangzhou, which is our last stop before flying home on Thursday.   Guangzhou is the home of the U.S. Consulate and is a 2-hour flight from here.  Even though Lydia is ours, she needs a valid U.S. visa to come home with us.  Every family adopting from any part of China must make this last pit stop before heading home, and we are sure to meet up with many other adoptive families while there.

Today was another awesome day, even more so because it was a Free Day!  That’s right….no flights and no appointments!  We all slept in and grabbed breakfast before heading out with Zhou and our driver for some stops in Luoyang.  While we waited for Zhou to work out our flight change to Guangzhou tomorrow, we found ourselves in the midst of a Chinese Wedding Reception.  It was WAY cool and the bride and bridesmaids were all very beautiful.  We decided to act like dumb tourists and walk into the reception hall before the bride arrived to check things out, and it was quite a sight.  The biggest difference between American and Chinese receptions is that a) we don’t leave packs of cigarettes on the tables for guests, and b) we do not let sea turtles roam free to signify longetivity.

After our tickets were worked out, we stopped into a mall and did some power shopping.  Diapers and wipes for Lydia, the poop queen, and some much-needed caffeine by way of Diet Coke and Coffee Coke.  You read that right…Coffee Coke.  And despite wanting to like it, I have to admit that it was rank.  We also grabbed a pretty kicking stroller for $10 U.S. – shwing!

As we walked out of the mall, Zhou roughly grabbed my and threw me into a store outside the mall.  The store sells all sorts of DVDs and CDs for a fraction of U.S. costs.  Zhou knows his clients!

We then took off for the Longman’s Caves, which is very, very cool.  There were thousands and thousands of stone-carved Buddhas in a hillside along a beautiful river.  Sadly, much was destroyed in the Cultural Revolution, but the area is now a National Park and some is being restored.

After the Caves, Tami and Zhou did some power shopping.  I’d like to tell you what they bought, but I’m sworn to secrecy.  OK, girls at home.  One hint.  It’s Chinese.

While Zhou and Tami shopped, Lydia slept on my lap in the van for at least an hour.  She was a complete trooper today and still amazes all of us.

Zhou is well-aware of my fondness of anything high-tech, so we quickly hit an electronics mall that was overwhelming…anything electronic and computer you can imagine…times 25.  It was massive – 4 connected buildings each the size of an American department store and packed to the gills with different vendors.  Sadly, here were not many good deals to be found, so I walked out with a couple small things, and a happy wife who has more cash for jewelry shopping in Guangzhou.

Pappy – somewhere in the middle of all this, Tami had Zhou requested that our driever hunt down some gardens and she told me she hit the jackpot.  She was so proud of herself and took a bunch of video for you and said that you’ll be in shock at all the stuff she found to show you!  Just a warning though…the peonies are not in bloom and are quite dormant – sorry!!!!

We rolled back into the hotel, hit a great dinner here and were back in our rooms by 8:00.  I gave Lydia a bath and she thought she was at the Myrtle Beach Water Park with Anna Niedzwiecki – she was tearing it up in there throwing water and making a ruckus.  She finally sacked out about 9:00 and now that she’s out, we’re catching up on e-mail and blog action.

17 floors below us, the Chinese Dance Party is going on out in the park.  It’s kind of like Asian “Dancing with the Stars” but with worse music and the chicks aren’t as sparkly.

Next stop – Guangzhou.  Since we’re rolling in late there, we may not be posting tomorrow – sorry in advance!  Things to do, people to see, planes to catch.  Thanks for stopping in!

Much love from the land of Street Frogger and bad dancing.


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One Response to “Halfway Home!”

  1. 1 nerida and da boyz

    wonderful photos! how happy you all look. i am now praying that you arrive back here in between the expected snow storms! tell me…how does the turtle equate with longevity, if that was his cousin in your soup bowl?? just a dumb question!!


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