We were supposed to all go to a Chinese church on Shamian Island - and area here in Guangzhou that is famous for it's tourist shopping. It is kinda like an outlet mall except Chinese style - and definitely catering to adoptive families. But we were just too wiped out from the long bus trip to the orphanage yesterday. We basically slept, ate, slept, ate, and that is it today. We did walk to Starbucks so Brad could try out their Wi-Fi on his PSP. He was impressed with how fast the Wi-Fi was there. Then we did walk about 4 blocks to find a street side flower vendor to buy flowers for my mom for Mother's Day from my dad. We were able to get 18 red roses and 4 Lillie's in an arrangement for about $20.
Today we went to an outside museum for about an hour before heading to Shamian Island for shopping. It was HOT....so of course it was hard for me to enjoy. There were some incredible things there though....carvings made from single pieces of wood....statues....art stuff....but I was really too hot too care. It was around noon time. Then we headed to Shamian. The first couple of hours was miserable for me b/c I had Macy with me and she was tired and cranky. But Brad took her back to the hotel on our bus at 1 and let my mom and I stay with others from our group that wanted to shop longer. We did some power walking then....no 4 year old to corral and keep from breaking things! :) We ended up buying most of the things we had on our list that we wanted from one place - "The House of Love". CoCo was the girl that helped us and her service was impeccable. If we wanted something in a different size she would go out of her way to find it (3x for my dad...!! Chinese men are usually on the tiny side!) But it was SOOO sweltering outside today. I think the humidity level was higher than usual. Mom and I were literally about to MELT...especially me b/c I had Mia strapped to me in a carrier through all of this! And my girl is such a trooper! She did so great through it all! Except for one minor glitch...she did projectile puke all over me while we ate lunch....but no biggee!! Usually I have been letting her experiment with table food...then giving her a bottle a little later. Today I gave her a bottle - then she was eating some of my rice and noodles. She got gagged - and UP came her formula! But fortunately it was very fresh and still smelled like formula - not sour stomach! We just took one of the hot rags they bring for your hands and wiped my pants down. The food was GREAT though. We had fried vermicelli (similar to lo mein from Hunan's) and fried rice. We agreed that if the food had been like this the whole time - we would have been loving it!
Mom bought a hard case suitcase from the store "Jordan's Place" - it is on a side street - for $36. It would have cost $200 at home. We then loaded all of our purchases in it and wheeled it to the taxi stop. Several of the families in our group were still here when we headed back...but we were worn out. We took a taxi back to our hotel - it cost about $2.50. The drivers here are amazing. Even though the traffic is crazy - cars everywhere - you never see cars that are dinged up or many accidents. It's wild. And the taxi drivers are excellent. They just whip in and out and get you anywhere fast. They don't speak English - you just give them a Chinese card with your hotel name on it and they take you there.
Last night AFTER a shower - we went next door to Pizza Hut. I told Brad I didn't think I would ever speak these words...being from Huntsville, AR - where Pizza is about all you have - "This is like the BEST MEAL!" After all of the "interesting" fare we have had - good pizza was heavenly. And their pizza from Pizza Hut is VERY good. The only thing is - no diet coke anywhere in China. They have Coca Cola Light....which after you get used to it isn't too terribly bad. That is their sugar free version of diet coke.
Today we took Mia to her medical exam. The guides told us on the way that 90% of all babies will scream and cry at this appt, so be ready. I told a couple of the families that maybe we could be the miracle group and that not be so. Everything else in our group has been so miraculously wonderful. And guess what? None of our babies cried! Mia even slept through one checkpoint! There were 3 checkpoints inside the clinic. (1) weight and height, (2) doctor checks ears and throat, and (3) doctor checks heartbeat, makes sure you recognize Mongolian spots....which are the blue, bruise looking birthmarks on the backs of all Asian babies.
I saw my airplane friends Herb & Monica from Ohio here with their little girl. They are adopting an almost 2 year old - so she has a little more difficulty adjusting - but is definitely bonding to her Mama.
We came back to our hotel - had a quick lunch at KFC next door (I didn't want to walk far in the heat and turn into a sweat monster again) and then I headed up to the paperwork meeting on the 39th floor. By the way we are on the 31st floor. My ears pop a little everytime we go down. We spent about 1 1/2 hours doing paperwork. Rosa would give us a form, walk us through what to put into each blank, then start again with another. We are now officially done with 99% of paperwork and fees.