This was the first musical group we saw. I'm wondering if it was karaoke...the woman's voice was extremely high pitched and whiney sounding. Jamie was ready to confess everything!
This man stood on his head for a long time. This was one of the many, many older locals that were here exercising. They don't just sit around, but they are slowly stretching, moving, crab crawling, dancing, playing ping-pong, whatever...just always moving.
Here a lady was doing something like an elephant walk for exercise.
Friday…we’re starting our journey home.
This band played.
There was a merry-go-round at the park. Charlie loved it.
...as did Jenna! I wonder if it was the first time she had ridden on one?
There were some great sculptures around the park. Char posed willingly!
Posing by a waterfall. The kids decided to call out "mama" really loud as I was taking their photo...hence, the big mouths!
Yeah, McDonalds, and Charlie's friend, Ronald. He asked numerous times if Ronald was going to be in the restaurant...'cause he's horribly afraid of him! Can't blame him. He is kind of freaky lookin'.
"Mom, take our picture. I'm holding Jenna in the elevator." Ummm...OK!
Today we decided to rest and not venture off to the safari park. There is an absolutely beautiful park across the street from our hotel, so we spent almost 4 hours just wandering and exploring. The weather was still chilly…only in the high 40s when we started out, but warmed a little bit as the morning progressed. It’s definitely not in the high 60s like AOL weather has been forecasting, but we were able to stay warm enough just being on the move. Funny…the last time we were here with Laura’s adoption, we were sweltering in the heat, trying to stay in the shade!
The flowers in the park are abundant. They have mums that are 3 feet tall, trees full of nectarines for the New Year, impatiens, marigolds, roses, etc., all over the park. Their tree blossoms are just about ready to burst. There were lots of banyan trees, some of which had a ton of new trunks extending into the ground. The ponds were full of coy, and locals were out in little paddle boats. There were people doing tai chi, and some were line dancing…which is apparently getting as popular as the traditional tai chi. There were musicians and musical groups scattered around the park. One group started playing , so Charlie and I sang along. The locals thought we were funny.
In other places, Chinese music was piped through the speakers. Charlie would stop and dance right where he was. He attracted a bit of an audience, and soaked it right up as he did his Elvis-like wiggle. The more the locals smiled at him, the more he grinned and wiggled. As we were walking around, Charlie would also call out “hello,” “good morning, sir,” “thank you, sir,” “nice job, sir,” (to the man cooking chestnuts). He was crackin’ me up!
In the park, we also met up with a family that had been in Chongqing with us. They were with three other families, so we chatted for a while. We’re all gearing up to head home…some tomorrow…some this weekend. I think it’s all part of the process. You start thinking about getting home as the departure day nears, and returning to a new normal. But then another part is torn as you leave the birthplace of your child. There’s so much culture and history here that belongs to the kids, even if we don’t agree with it or it makes us uncomfortable. But it’s still part of them. And to know that it may be years, if ever, that they step foot back in their birth country, feels a little sad. Every time I leave one of my children’s birth countries, a part of me stays.
After almost 4 hours in the park, we headed straight for McDonalds for lunch, and ate it back in our hotel room as the restaurant was really busy. Jenna wolfed down her hamburger this time, her fries, and apparently my glass of coke. I did not drink much of it, but after leaving for a moment to get her a tissue, I returned to an empty cup. Charlie claimed innocence, and Jenna smiled and nodded when I asked her if she drank my coke. Glad I could help ya out, sweetheart, and, well, I’m sure that will help you nap well this afternoon.
Tomorrow is a very big day for us. Our guide, Cordelia, will pick up Jenna’s US visa in the morning. We will meet later for the traditional “red couch” and groups photos at the White Swan, and then off to the consulate for the swearing in ceremony. Even more, it’s Jenna’s 4th birthday!! Cordelia is setting something up for us. She is such a great gal! That is the last official appointment we have.
Friday…we’re starting our journey home.