Friday, April 15, 2011

Pearl Market and River Boat Cruise

McKenna took both Laurel's and Tyler's hands.
Today was packed full of fun things to do!  We started our day by going to another Buddhist temple, but this time we went with most of the families who used the same adoption agency (FTIA) as we did.

McKenna and Laurel found each other right away and sat together on the bus.  McKenna was so sweet.  She not only held Laurel's hand, but she took Tyler's also.  I don't think he knew quite what to think of that, but I thought it was great!

Lyric always sweat in China a lot when she slept - now she doesn't.
Being at the Buddhist temple was a bit disconcerting for our family, but we weren't there for very long.   In a way, I think it was good that the children, myself included, saw some of what Buddhism consisted of.

After the temple we went to what is called a pearl market.  It was a big building with many floors to it.  It seemed a lot like an indoor mall and wasn't anything like the markets where we negotiated prices in Beijing.  I like the places where you negotiate better.

The Bates (McKenna's parents) weren't that interested in shopping and neither were we.  Both families really wanted to see parts of Guangzhou that didn't cater to tourists like us - so we snuck out of the pearl market building.  (We didn't really sneak, we just had a time that we had to be back by).

Laurel wanted McKenna to come home with us.
Out on the streets we payed careful attention to the building we came out of and carefully walked in a straight line in another direction.  When we found ourselves at a McDonald's we just had to get some ice cream for everyone!  We made it back to the pearl market building in good time, took the bus back to the hotel, and relaxed until we met Brad a bit later.

After resting in our room for a bit it was time to meet Brad in the lobby.  He ended up bringing some small blue potatoes (he is carrying them in the picture below) with him for us to try.  I was really surprised that the children didn't want to try them.  They are really good about trying new fruits and vegetables.  I tried them though - and I liked them.  I had to peel the potato skin off before I ate it (which was a bit messy), but it was worth it.
Brad walking in with the potatoes.

The plan for the evening was to meet Jieying and her parents, go out to dinner with them, and then go on a river boat cruise.  Instead of taking two taxis and separating, we found an "illegal taxi" to take.  An illegal taxi is one that isn't registered with the government but since this one happened to be a mini van and we could all fit in it, we took the chance. 

Jieying's mom attached to Laurel right away!
It was so good that we did!  The area where we were meeting Jieying and her parents was extremely crowded because of a holiday.  I'm pretty sure that they saw us coming way before we spotted them!  :)  Kevin had met Jieying's parents when he visited his brother a few years ago, but this was the first time we were honored with meeting them.  You could tell they were really happy to have us there and the whole time we were with them they went out of their way to make sure we had everything we needed.

While walking to the restaurant we stopped in a few stores and did some browsing.  Jieying's mom bought the girls a few small gifts and later they (Jieying's parents) kindly bought them jade necklaces.  The children really value them.

While in the strip of "mall" where the jade shop was, the girls and I took a walk around.  At one point an older lady stopped us and, I think, was asking if the children were mine.  I nodded and smiled and held up my fingers showing 4 for the number of children we now had.  I don't think she knew quite what to think when I pointed to Laurel and Carissa and then to Lyric, but she smiled and laughed as I nodded and laughed and then I went on my way back to the jade shop. 

She is still attached to Laurel (can't blame her though, we're attached also!)
We were soon at our favorite restaurant in Guangzhou.  We liked it so much that later in the week we brought the Bates family back with us!  On the main level of the restaurant is a small bakery/food shop - if you can get there when the doughnuts are fresh and hot you will get a real treat!  Yum!  The food was also really good and the menu was big with lots of pictures in it so we knew what we were eating.  :)

Beautiful colors
After dinner we took separate taxi's back to the river front area and then walked to where we would get on the boat.  On the way, Kevin paused by a street man to show Lyric the pet monkey the guy had on a leash.  I think he paused for a bit too long because before he knew it the monkey had jumped on his shoulder!  (I think he was trained to do this).  When the man realized we weren't going to give him any money (and when he saw the mother-n-law coming back for us), he quickly walked away :)

The river boat cruise was beautiful.  There were so many bridges, buildings, and other boats lit up that we always had something wonderful to look at.  We had a very nice, memorable experience that we will cherish for many years to come.

And after that long of a day, I think we all fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows back at the hotel room!

The lights on this bridge would change colors.
Carissa and Lyric having a great time.

This was pretty also - the lights changed colors often.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, I just love your night pictures on the river. I never got anything that beautiful.