3 days ago
Friday, July 9, 2010
Day 15 – Packing, Thoughts on Guizhou, Flight to Guangzhou (short version)
~Bear attacked by plastic
~Walmart from above
~Flight to Guangzhou
~At the White Swan
Day 15 – Packing, Thoughts on Guizhou, Flight to Guangzhou (long version)
Our flight today didn’t leave until around 6:30 p.m., so that left us with all morning and a part of the afternoon to eat a nice casual breakfast, relax a bit, and pack. This is so much better than waking up before the “butt-crack” of dawn to get to the next place… especially with a four and one year old in tow.
A good portion of the late morning and early afternoon was spent packing. What posed a huge challenge for us was the gigantic bear that the Ladybug received from her foster mother. Because of the importance of the bear and the person who gave it to her we really didn’t want to part with it. But, because of its cumbersome size, packing it really did pose a problem. So, we pondered and pondered what to do. Fortunately, our friends Mindy and Allen said that they had an extra SpaceBag plastic bag that they would be willing to give us. We jumped at the chance to possibly get the bear home and took them up on their offer (thanks!).
My husband was the first to try packing the bear in the bag. He gave up pretty quickly, commenting that the only thing that fit in the bag was the bear’s head. Hmmm, what to do now? I was a bit more determined, after all, the bear was not very heavy and would probably “squoosh” down easily. So, I stuffed and stuffed and stuffed that bear until I actually got the whole bear into the bag. However, the next obstacle was getting and keeping the bag sealed. Fortunately, I brought duct tape (duct tape was suggested by other adoptive families to bring and I am so glad that I listened). We pressed all of the air out that we could, then taped the top and bottom shut. Amazingly enough, we were able to get the entire bear in the bag and keep it there. We now just hope that TSA doesn’t get curious because opening that bag will be like opening one of those cans with the snakes in it… they just burst out everywhere. I would hate to see the TSA’s reaction to that one!
I do have some last thoughts on where we stayed in the wonderful province of Guizhou, the province where both of my daughters were born. Guizhou is absolutely beautifully, the people are amazing, and the food is delicious… and nice and spicy. We stayed at the best hotel that I have ever stayed at in my life, The Sheraton Guiyang. The hotel staff is wonderful and caring, and are eager to take care of our every need. Even the hotel general manager, Kamal, talked with us every day to find out if there was anything else he could do, or asked how our day went, or to just chat a bit. He was very nice and seemed to truly care about what we thought of his hotel. Please, if you get the chance to go to Guiyang, Guizhou, stay at the Sheraton… you will not be disappointed. He truly made our stay that much better (by the way, we were only staying in a standard room, not one of the upscale rooms, so if he treats us “normal” people this way you can see why I was very impressed). The staff also put us in adjoining rooms that, rather smartly, do not sit next to any other rooms (we were in 2717 & 2718). With the Butterfly crying as much as she did those first couple days, not having anyone on either side of us was a blessing. Someone was really thinking ahead with that set-up.
The hotel sits on the river that runs through the city with gorgeous views on all sides. There is a WalMart that sits across the street, just perfect for new parents who realize too late that they need more diapers or formula. The WalMart though, sits completely underground with a park, gathering area on top. Each night the area above WalMart is abuzz with people enjoying the cooler temperatures, mingling with each other. Honestly, WalMart did a great thing for the environment by building their store where they did… underground. People are still able to use the space for pleasure and the grass, trees, and bushes create some much needed oxygen in a bustling city. Way to go!
We eventually made it to the airport and had to say goodbye to our wonderful guide and driver. They were both so wonderful with all of us and I cannot imagine our trip without them. The Ladybug became very fond of both of them, eventually calling the guide, “Uncle Jonathon.” They will dearly be missed.
Our flight to Guangzhou was fairly uneventful. But, this time we had the Butterfly with us… her first flight. She did fairly well throughout the flight, but was a bit whiney at times (I am not complaining, just explaining her state throughout the flight). She moved back and forth between my husband and I the entire time which helped to alleviate her frustration. We are hoping that she sleeps nicely on the flight home. Fortunately that one leaves around 9:30 p.m., so we plan to tire her out just hoping to make her sleep.
Once on the ground, a Holt representative picked us up and transferred us and a few other families, some familiar faces included, to the White Swan Hotel. We checked into our room, an adjoining suite with a sitting room (same type of room we had last time we were here), and are now off to bed.
Tomorrow is the day that I am really not looking forward to. The Butterfly has her medical check and possibly (likely) will be getting some shots. Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well.
Posted by Bailey at 5:02 AM