Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jinan to Guangzhou

Yesterday, we had a relaxed morning, breakfast, and packed up. Skyped with the kids, and Georgia and Calvin napped. We checked out at 2 pm, and our guide picked us up and we headed to the police station to pick up Georgia's passport. Traffic was horrible again. It took a long time, and then we continued on to the airport. Our flight wasn't until 4:55pm,  so we should have had plenty of time. However, the traffic slowed us down, and then our driver made a mistake and took the wrong exit. There is no just going back here, so we had to take a different route, and we realized that we were going to be cutting it very close. We finally peeled into the airport at 4:20! We had to get checked in, and then through security. By the time we were in line for security it was already 4:40, thankfully the flight was delayed 1 hr. And we ended up having time to spare. The other problem was that they assigned us four separate seats all over the plane. We kept trying to talk to someone and get the seats together, but they just kept nodding at us, lol. Finally, when we got on the plane we showed a flight attendant the seats, and then she told us to sit in a row together, then when the people assigned those seats would show up, she'd just take them to another seat. We didn't land here until around 9 pm, and then it was almost 45 minutes to the hotel. Well after 10 by the time we were checked in. So thrilled to be here though. The weather is like home. I am so so glad to get rid of the layers on the kids, and jackets, and gloves, and boots for all of us. Broke out my flip flops today, and did a little happy dance, lol.
Georgia's first flight.

breakfast, thats a banana leaf that had a type of rice dumpling inside that she loves.

A display of different sausages for sale at the supermarket.

Packages already with meal ingredients. Thats some kind of special black skinned chicken!
Today, was a good day. Our hotel is beautiful, and Guangzhou is much more western so pretty easy to navigate, compared to Zhengzhou and Jinan.  We had breakfast, and then met the group in the lobby to go to the kids's medical exams. There are 7 families here. All kind, cool people. At the medical exam, we had the kid's visa photos taken, and then filled out some paperwork. Then a general exam, where they strip the kids down, and check them out. They particularly focus on their special need, whatever it is....., then an ENT exam, then weight and height. Then a blood draw to check for TB. This is new. It used to be a skin test, but now it's a blood draw, not a finger prick, and they take your child into an exam room, WITHOUT you and draw the blood. You can't see or really hear them. The kids, all of them were terrified. That part was awful. The whole thing was loud, and crazy. There were 60 families there with their kids, from all over, all different agencies. We all loaded back up on the bus, and went to a local supermarket to buy snacks, water, milk, diapers, etc... then back to the hotel. We had a simple lunch of some buns and fruit. They kid's went down for a nap. At 3pm, I had to meet our guides, and the other families to work on the paperwork for the visa applications. Michael stayed in the room with Georgia and Calvin.  The paperwork took about 1.5 hrs. Back to the room, where we just played, read, watched Lord of the Rings in Mandarin. Tonight, we ventured out to find supper, and tried one restaurant but it didn't have any picture menu or english, and then we found a Vietnamese place with English. Had a grilled pork noodle bun, some stirfried veggies, and lemongrass chicken. Very good. Walked back to the hotel, and the kids were ready for bed. Bath, lotion, pj's, milk, bed :) Hanging out with Michael now in the sitting room area of our room, waiting for the kids back home to wake up and skype. Not many pictures from yesterday and today. Will take some of the hotel soon, it's beautiful. Tomorrow, we hope to go to the Christ Church on Shamian Island for worship, and then we are free the rest of the day. Looking forward to it!

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