Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 2 with friends in Jinan

Today started out the same, up, dressed, down to breakfast. Came back to the room, and played for awhile, then the kids napped. Agnes, and Brooke, our friends came and picked us up at 1:30pm, and we headed out. We had to walk for a bit, to hail a taxi. They were all full, or didn't stop. We finally got one and went to a park, with a winter festival. I actually got to go sledding! I've never done that before, and it was fun! I also made and threw a few snowball, just because I hadn't done that either :) Then we walked over a display of things made from ice, part of the Harbin, Inner Mongolia ice village. It was very cool. We walked further into the park and it was very beautiful. The parks here are very large. You can walk and walk. We found a little play are, with amusement park rides, including a big ferris wheel, but we were a little chicken, and just did the carousel with the kids.  There was a lake there, and it had tons of ice in it. Funny thing, is it is cold, but not miserable? I don't really understand it, I've felt colder, and more painful in Madison. Maybe its the warm coat, and boats. After that we went to a old shopping area, very beautiful old buildings, and had steamed buns. They had meat and ginger in them and were very good. We really liked the vinegar that was served with it. After that, we walked over to a shopping area. It was below ground, in an old air raid shelter! It was huge by our standards.  We took a taxi to another spring /park. Jinyu spring. It was very pretty and it is cool to see so many people hanging out in the parks in the evenings. We then headed to dinner at a Korean bbq  buffet. They put a grill with hot coals right in the center of the table, and had lots of thinly sliced meats and veggies to grill on it. Very good. Also, delicious peanut sauce, and lots of desserts. I gave both the kids icecream for the first time, and they both spit it out and acted like I'd tried to poison them. They aren't used to eating anything cold, lol. At this point the kids were tired, and we walked back to the hotel. We are so thankful for Agnes and Brooke taking the time and effort to show us around Jinan. We have had a great time with them. Kids went straight to bed. It was a very good day. Calvin is doing a little better, and actually finally wanted to get down and walk today. Progress. Georgia was kinda of whiny today. I think she is realizing we are sticking around, and is testing us a little :) Tomorrow we fly to Guangzhou, where we start the the final steps, so we can all come home!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

free day in Jinan

At the hospital, getting Calvin's medicine.

hallway of pediatrics

She's a thumbsucker

with the Dr's

dentist at the hospital that fixed Michael's tooth finally!

walking with Keano's girlfriend, Agnes. A food street.

street food.

walking through a very old neighborhood to Daming Lake

Inside the boat that took us around the lake.

Walkway to the boats, on either side.

Inside a teahouse? on an island in Daming Lake, waiting for our Lotus flower soup.

Lotus flower soup, it was good. Kind of thick like tapica, but no lumps, lightly floral tasting.

I love this picture. It was such a beautiful spot, with all the fog etc....

seriously beautiful

with Agnes

All the red are individual lanterns! The whole bridge was covered with them.

With Agnes's cousin, Brooke, with the Chinese New year decorations at Baotou Springs. They say this all lights up at night.

Baotou Springs, a natural spring, that is always 57 degrees.

having tea, made from the Spring water

a sculpture that represent the character for springs, Jinan is famous for it's hot springs.

delicious dinner, so good! the kids are loving the duck soup.

with the lovely Agnes, so kind to us!

Walking back to the hotel tonight.

Yesterday was a good down day, After the craziness and exhaustion on Monday, we welcomed a day with nothing on the schedule. We took Calvin in for his third dose of medicine, and came back to the room.  We let the kids play and nap and then later in the afternoon, walked down to the shopping mall, It's a beautiful 6 story mall with lots of western high end stores. Our guide had told us there were lots of restaurants there, but we couldn't find one that looked like it had picture menus, so we ended up walking around the local neighborhood, and finding a little place, where we could point and pick. It was good and cheap.  Back to the hotel for an early night. Calvin had a tough time sleeping at first, not sure why, but we ended up sleeping much later than usual today till 7am today. We went to breakfast, and then down to meet our guide again for the 30 minute trip to the hospital. Calvin got his 4th dose of meds, and the dr. said he saounded better enough to have oral meds now, and gave us a prescription.  While I was with Calvin getting his meds, Michael and our guide went up to the third floorwhere they found a dentist, who finally fixed michael's tooth! So far so good. The dr and nurses kept trying to talk to me while they were gone, but I just couldn't understand them. They were very interesting in that fact that we had adopted two special needs chldren, and that we have 8 kids! We came back to the hotel, and let the kids nap. At 1pm, Agnes, our friend from homes girlfriend, met us at the hotel. She took us to walk along a restaurant street, called Lotus street. Lots of interesting places.She bought us some durian pastries. It was pretty good. Calvin ate most of mine, lol. She took us for a long walk through a very old neighborhood on the way to Daming lake. Daming lake was a very big park, and beautiful. We took a beautiful boat, that took us out to an island in the lake with some lovely buildings, and a shop where we had lotus flower soup. It was good, slightly sweet, and floral. Agnes says it makes women beautiful!  Then we took the boat across to the other side of the park. We walked for a while. Lots of really breathtaking views. Then, here cousin Brooke met us, and took us to Baotou Springs, the most famous spring here in Jinan. It is a natural hot spring, and the park was dcorate with lots of lanterns and displays for Chinese neew year coming up in two weeks. We had tea made from the spring water, and it was a great break from the cold and walking. Then we walked to the square, and on to a restaurant where we had a great supper. We had crispy duck, a duck soup, greenbeans, a corn stir fry, sweet and sour chicken, and rice. It was the best meal we have had yet this trip. The kids were getting pretty tired by now, so we headed back to the hotel, and let them have a little play time, and then to bed. They are both already asleep now. I'm waiting up to skype the kids, and then bed time for us too. we carried the kids the whole time, and neither of them is light. My biceps should be like steel, lol. Tomorrow, is another down day, before Friday, when we get Georgia;s passport and fly to Guangzhou. counting the days down. Today was a very good day, but still missing our littles at home. Hope you enjoy the pictures. I wish I could really convey all the amzing things here.