Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 2: HK then GZ

Today started out with sightseeing in Hong Kong.  We love it there!  We were up early and out exploring all day.  We ate at another cha chaan teng, Relax for a While, for breakfast.  These HK style diners are absolutely the best!  There's nothing like it that I know of where we live.  We all had noodle soup of some sort for breakfast and loved it!  Round it out with another hot milk tea and we were off to see the sights.

For all of you aware of E's eating "troubles", let's just say she's
eating like a champ here!
There's nothing we like better than just getting out and exploring a new place on our feet, and there's something to see down every side street here.  We spent a lot of time at Kowloon Park, which is a gorgeous park plunked right down in the middle of the busiest city we've ever seen.  It was relaxing and invigorating.

Tons of neon on every street.

E very excited about Kowloon Park.

Statues of comic characters.

E looking at the flamingos.

Sculpture walk.

After the park, we headed down to the waterfront area, grabbed a coffee, and took in the views.  We rode the famous Star Ferry across Victoria Harbor.  E just wanted to keep riding the boat back and forward across the Harbor all day.

Striking a pose.  Look at her Starbucks "bracelet."

After all of that fun, it was time to check out of our hotel and head to the train station for the next (and most important!) leg of our journey.  Things got a little chaotic because many of the trains were sold out, so we had to leave a little earlier than we had planned.  The train itself is nice, I would have no hesitation in suggesting it to anyone.  One caveat is that we *did* go the "luxury" route and used a porter and checked our bags.  I think that made a huge difference, and it's still an extremely economical way to get to Guangzhou.  E seemed to use up all of her patience on the long flights, because she was a squirmy little thing for the entire 2 hours.  I'm certain the people around us were praying she'd fall asleep.  But, I can't blame her, it's been a lot of travelling, and we were all looking forward to settling in.

Hugging her, or restraining her?  You decide.
We met our guide, Rebecca, at the train station.  She is absolutely lovely, and it looks like we hit the lottery again when it comes to GZ guides.  She was really great with E, and that gives me a lot of hope for how she'll be with R.  She gave us our itinerary in the van and started going over details and paperwork and it really got our adrenaline flowing.

I don't think P or I was fully prepared for the feelings that would come over us when we pulled up to the Holiday Inn Guangzhou Shifu.  For those of you who know it, it's a unique area, with lots of distinct smells, sights, and sounds...all of which we love.  But it hit us hard, and brought back just about everything from the last time we were here.  When we stepped into the huge lobby, I could almost hear E's nonstop cries echoing throughout not even 1.5 years ago.  But today I looked at her, and she was off and running, laughing, wanting to press the elevator button, showing everyone her sparkly shoes, asking for candy at the front desk.  It's so amazing to us that this is the same precious child we met in January 2012.  P said as he watched her with only the eyes a Baba can have for his first daughter, "We earned this."  We came up to the room and E immediately jumped on the beds, found the flashlight, started writing with the pens, using the phones, and generally wreaking havoc.  But, it was the best kind of havoc ever, after seeing her in this same hotel deeply grieving and miserable not too long ago.

After meeting with Rebecca, we headed right to the Executive Lounge for some much needed snacks.  I was so happy to see E picking out all of the stuff she wanted to eat...she could have asked for 4 plates of cheese and olives we we would have given it to her.  My last memories of that lounge are of us having to leave because she was so miserable.

We headed out to the pedestrian street for a walk.  We bought E a pair of shoes at one of the stores where we got her some shoes last time.  All of the excitement finally caught up to her and she passed out, asleep.

E doesn't totally understand what is going on, but P and I do.  We are excited and anxious and scared and hoping as hard as we can that things will be a little easier this time.  Rebecca told us that she's met R twice.  The first time, she was there when CCCWA went with several agencies to her CWI.  Of all of the kids at the CWI, they brought out our R, to show to everyone.  Rebecca said that every agency representative's hand went up, saying they wanted to try to place this gorgeous little girl.  Rebecca said, "Too late, she's ours."  Rebecca was also at Foshan Shunde in April with another adoptive family and she saw R, looking healthy and happy and beautiful.  She said that she did not interact with her, but to go over and squeeze her irresistible cheeks.  We can't wait to do that, too.


Kelly said...

The first thing I thought when I looked at your pictures was what a difference time and love make!!!! Praying for a peaceful Rosie Day tomorrow!!!! Praying right now that her heart is being prepared! The good thing is, you know first hand that it DOES get better!!! I am giddy with excitement!!!

groovy mama said...

So excited for you:)
Watching & waiting

Erin Schmidt said...

So excited for you and can't wait to see R in your arms tomorrow! I followed along on your journey to E, and it has to be so extraordinary to be back with her; reliving the memories yet making new memories now that she has grafted into your family. Praying for you and all the other families who have gotcha day tomorrow.

Rita and John said...

We have a son from Foshan Shunde and we are following along with lots of excitement for you and your family! Hope all continues to go well!

Pattie & Joe said...

Hooray for you all! Step by step your memories are changing for the good. Our hearts are stopping in our chest until we see RoeRie in your and Emmie's arms!

Jennifer Hnilo said...

So excited for you!

( fellow rq-er)