Our flight wasn't until 5:30 because we were told Asher's passport may not be ready until late. We had late check-out at our hotel too, so we decided to kill time finding the shopping area we went to with Claire. We liked it, not for the great shopping, but because it was very quaint with little statues and things. When we showed some pictures to the staff of the hotel, they knew right where it was. What we were told was The Ancient Culture Street last time, was actually The Drum Tower and a surrounding shopping street.
We grabbed a cab. Yes, we live on the edge! I tell you, you have not lived until you have taken a cab in China! It's like skydiving. Or extreme BASE jumping. That may be a slight exageration but only a slight.
Well, it turned out not be quite the same. Oh, it was a better way to kill time than hanging at the hotel, but the area around the Drum Tower seems to have dried up a bit. The vendors were not the same, it was more like a flea market and less like a cultural experience. But still, it was a nice day.
After a morning tooling around the area, we headed back to the hotel to get ready to leave. In a way it is sad to leave Tianjin knowing Asher is leaving the only thing he has ever known. I know he will miss it here. He will miss the only family he's known and his preschool mothers and friends. Although he tells us his room mother was not nice and his foster parents fought, he still misses them.
But, this is not his life anymore, and I can't wait to get him home! God put him in this family and now we get to spend a lifetime finding out why!
Our guide, Leo....Li Yan, is his real name, left us at the airport at 3pm. Our fight was scheduled to leave at 5:30. Guess what? SMOG. That is what. Smog prevented the incoming planes from landing and our flight ended up delayed for 2 hours. 4 hours in an airport with Asher! Can you say "nutso"?
But, he loved his first flight and we managed to keep him busy for the two and half hours. Barely. WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO FOR THIRTEEN? I have no idea. Because I really don't think he's going to enjoy that seat for that long. Pray for us.
Now we are enjoying Guangzhou! The weather here is divine. Beautiful! 70's and clear! We are on the Island and we have already eaten lunch at Lucy's! It was fun, but we miss our friends. The last time we were here we were with the Corkens, Gulkes and Caudills. So far, we have not met any other families. Seen some, but not met any. Other Madison families are arriving today. I guess we will meet them tomorrow for the medicals.
But, today we are enjoying the sunshine and warm weather while walking the Island. And staying out of our hotel as much as possible. That is the only blight here. We decided to stay at the Victory instead of the White Swan this time to save a few bucks. I'm not sure it was worth the hassle. The first room they put us in was very small, had a water dripping noise coming from a vent in the ceiling, the bathroom wouldn't lock and there was no space for the suitcases to be closed, much less open. Our window looked over the breakfast buffet dining room....no natural light. We have to be here for 9 days y'all. And, they want to charge us THIRTY DOLLARS PER DAY for a roll-a-way bed that is the smallest, thinnest roll-a-way I have ever seen. In Tianjin we paid the same for our room as here. The hotel was much nicer, the room was huge and had a separate living area, and the roll-a-way, which was $25 for the entire 9 nights, was a full sized twin bed!
This morning they moved us to a larger room with a window looking outside and no water noise. I am thankful that it is nicer in this room. Asher can actually play. But, he still has no bed. We will not pay $30 for that bed! Paul is going to take a cab into Guangzhou and find something. We figure we can buy an air mattress or something for next to nothing here. I am really disappointed in The Victory Hotel. So many adoptive parents stay here and the only reason we did was because it was recommended by other families. We will not stay here next time, I can tell you that! They even told us that we couldn't have extra blankets to make a pallet on the floor!!
Well, that's enough about that. We are off to walk in the sun again!