Saturday, March 31, 2012

Guangzhou Safari Park

Today. Was. Great!

We ventured out on the Guangzhou Subway to the city's safari park. It was quite a ways away...this is a city of 12 million people and it's pretty far out. Anyway, the subway was a much cheaper option to get us there, so we braved it and I must say, the entire subway is very clean and easy to use. Much nicer, in my opinion, than NYC. We did feel a little like we were under a microscope while we were on we were the only non-asians. And when you are white, in China, with a Chinese baby, you get some looks and questions. But in general, people were very nice. A few times some older women got up to let me sit down with men, no younger people. Come on guys!! Where are your manners?!?!

Anyway, we got off to a bit of a rocky start. Jonah was up half the night complaining that his ear was hurting and he was definitely not feeling like himself. We thought we were going to have to leave after only being there for about an hour but he finally came around and started feeling well enough to stay. Fortunately, we had some antibiotics I started him on, along with some Motrin. I really want to avoid having to seek out medical care here, so hopefully this will do the trick.....certainly not ideal, but you do what you gotta do sometimes.

So...back to the park. This place was amazing! It was certainly the BEST zoo I have ever been to. It seems like every time I go to the zoo, they have like 1 or 2 animals of each kind, and half the time, you can never even find them. Well, this place had about 30 or more over every animal (at least it seemed that way) and we saw everything!!! It was awesome. They have half of the entire world's population of white tigers, a large number of pandas, and the world's only koala twins! They even let you see the baby animals, some still in incubators! I would highly recommend this park to anyone coming to Guangzhou. We had a great time!

Mama and Baby Baboon

Monkey Acrobats!

My Favorites

Baby an incubator!

Feeding a White Tiger!!! So Awesome!

We're in China.....of course there are pandas!!

We are STILL praying for this sickness plague to end. I am STILL fighting a cold, as are Jonah and Judah too. We are just SO ready to feel better. We're having a great time despite the illnesses, but it would really be nice to have some germ free days!!

Sick and tired of being sick and tired. :(

Friday, March 30, 2012

Out and About in Guangzhou

Today was one of the coolest days we have ever had in China. Most of our appointments are done at this point....we are just waiting mainly on Judah's passport to be issued and to have our appointment at the US Consulate to have his visa issued. So, since today was a free day, our amazing guide took us to "old" Guangzhou, and then to visit a few markets...a pet market, herbal market, and fish market. They were fascinating!!!

First, a picture of the cutest baby I know.....

We started out in old Guangzhou. There is a canal running through this part of the city that connects to the Pearl River. Apartments and shops line the canal way and boats still traverse the waters. We toured 3 joint houses, which 3 brothers built and lived in before the Cultural Revolution.

Local Street

This is called a "wishing tree." Actually, it's a Banyan tree. People come and make wishes and tie red ribbons in front of the tree as they make wishes, usually for their children to be successful.

Meat Market

Old School....

Major Shopping Area

Some Local Cuisine

Scorpions, anyone?

Then we headed to the pet market. There are fish, turtles, dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, and other animals for sale (not to eat!).

The herbal market was next. It is the largest wholesale herbal market in South China. Many restaurants and pharmacies come to buy the goods to sell or put in recipes. We saw many things that we had no clue what they were. We also saw ginseng, mushrooms, seahorses, fish stomach (which is apparently good for the skin), snake skin, and worms. Yuck.

Jonah checking out some dried seahorses

Those are buckets of live scorpions. Ick.

More seahorses....which apparently help regulate your body temperature.

I'm guessing this used to be a turtle.

Then, we headed to the fish market. Again, it was mostly a wholesale area for restaurants to come and buy seafood. There were lots of crabs and shrimp....and again, many things we couldn't recognize.

Sorting Shrimp

Then we headed to lunch on Shamian Island, where we stayed last trip, and walked around a bit.

Overall, it was a very interesting look at some non-touristy things that most people probably don't see. We loved every minute of it!

Jude did great while we were out today. He slept for a bit when we came back to the room, and then did a lot of screaming while Rush and Jonah went to the pool. After much fussing, I finally got him to do the sign for "more." Hooray! I think there is some feistiness deep down in there....I think he has been babied quite a bit, and he does not like when you don't give in to him!! Too bad he's so stinking cute!

Tonight we headed out to the Chinese neighborhood behind our hotel and braved a noodle restaurant without an english menu. We ended up with some type of noodle dish with wontons...some crab, some pork. It was good and we were a little proud of ourselves for a successful outing! We also watched a man making noodles there in a little store. It was pretty interesting to watch. Then we stopped by the McDonald's next to the hotel. We figured it was high time Judah got a taste of ice cream. At first, he freaked out and spit it out! Then he didn't even want any more for a minute or two. Finally, I figured out it was too cold on his cleft palate, so I turned the spoon upside down when I put it in his mouth. Then, he was sold! He fussed when it was all gone.

Tomorrow our guide is tied up with some other families who fly into town tonight, so we are venturing out on the subway to the city's safari park. I've heard great things about it, so we are very excited to check it out!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Park and Medical Exam

This morning, we had free time, so we headed to a park across the street from our hotel. The park was HUGE and surely we did not see everything. But we did see some neat things including an ancient wall from the Ming Dynasty, a huge soccer stadium, a museum, and multiple other buildings we have no idea what they were! Jonah got an Angry Birds keychain, which totally made his day.

Sweepers, sweepers, everywhere!

I think this was some type of museum

The boys and a new friend.

The soccer stadium

The Five Goats Statue

Signs here are hilarious.

The park was full of people today.....we loved watching the groups of people playing Chinese "hackey-sack." They are really good!

Then we headed back to our hotel to meet our guide and another family for lunch. We headed to.....of all places....a Mexican restaurant! It was pretty good too, but we had to laugh at the idea of having Mexican food in China. It was a nice reprieve from Chinese food.

Chinese Car in, they don't use them.

Then we went to have Jude's medical exam. The clinic has moved since we adopted Rylie. It was so much easier too! When we were there with Rylie, we were there for over 3 hours and it was miserable. Today, we were in and out in probably 20 minutes!

New Medical Clinic

We're free for the remainder of the day. Tomorrow we're heading to a medicine market and fish market....which should surely be interesting! Some more families in our group fly in from their provinces tomorrow night.

Jonah is getting a little homesick. He says he misses school and his friends....I'm sure it's hard to be on this long trip without many other kids your age. He enjoyed being with another family's little boy, Niko, today at lunch. Niko is 5, and was adopted from Vietnam when he was 6 months old. His family is from California, and just adopted a little girl who is 3. I think they are having an experience similar to the one we had with Rylie, so we are trying to empathize and encourage them that it DOES get easier!!

Jonah and Niko at the Mexican Restaurant yelling "Ni Hao!" out the window.

Jude is doing phenomenal. He sleeps through the night every night, is very easy going, gets upset every now and then for a minute and then moves on quickly. He makes the funniest faces, and loves to laugh. We are totally and completely in love with this little boy!!! He has been an absolute dream!