Hello from beautiful Guangzhou! We've already been here for three days and it's so hard to believe that we only have one full day left in China. We arrived in GZ on Friday evening and were greeted by warm, balmy weather. The island has a tropical feel, there are flowers everywhere, and it's a welcome change from the cooler weather in Beijing. We're staying at the lovely White Swan hotel on Shamian Island. Staying here is a highlight of the trip for several reasons, one of the best being the fabulous breakfast buffet. It's the buffet to end all buffets. I won't bore you with all the details, but I'm having to try really hard not to make a complete pig of myself in the mornings.
Saturday morning started early with our visa medical exam. Caleb did great and handled everything in stride the way he typically does. No tears or fears from him. He's such a trooper.
Red Car was there, of course, like a good friend.
Vision test. He did fine.
We came back to the room afterward and this Going Home Barbie was waiting for him. I know, hilarious, huh? The White Swan has traditionally given these to all the children who are adopted while they are staying here. He was tickled....pink.
We let him take her out of the box and he investigated her thoroughly.
And he took her as we walked all around the island. See her little Chinese baby?
This little girl was very interested in his Barbie, too.
Sorry, couldn't resist.
Sunday morning we took a trip over to Yuntai Garden. The colors were spectacular. It's very difficult to describe the beauty of a garden and just as difficult to capture it in photos. If you click on the pictures to enlarge them, the color will be so much better.
Here we are with our guide, Helen, in brown, and our new friends Sarah and Jim Marion. You can't see her here, but their new daughter, Lila, is just a precious little peanut. She just turned two last month. We're having the greatest time with them. Jim's an Air Force pilot and they are currently stationed in New Mexico. Lila has three older siblings waiting not so patiently at home to meet her.
Jim and Lila.
I honestly don't know who keeps hijacking my blog
and posting pictures of cute kids.
We had our consulate appointment this morning and thankfully that went down just as expected. There was some concern that the consulate might have to postpone the appointment if the government had to shut down. I don't even want to think about what a pain it would have been to stay here waiting on the government to get it's act together. So, praise God that is over with and Caleb will have his Chinese passport stamped with a US visa by tomorrow afternoon. We will then be finished with everything we have to do before we can leave.
We have a very early wake up call on Wednesday morning and a killer day of flights and layovers ahead of us. But I won't think about that right now. For now we are going to just enjoy our last day here, do some power shopping, eat once more at Lucy's grill, and have fun with our new friends.
I thought some of my family might appreciate this photo of Tom from lunch today. We ate there. Way up there. No, not KFC, higher up. Yes! Papa John's. And it was delicious!