Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dragon Boat Festival Day

Today is the national holiday in China called Dragon Boat Festival Day. Unfortunately we didn't get to partake in any of the celebration except eating the Chinese traditional food called "Zongzi." It is a sticky rice dumpling wrapped in bamboo leaves. Ryan and I each had one for breakfast. It was ummmm... Interesting! If we didn't have to fly to antother city, there would have been lots to see and do on this holiday.

The traditional "Zongzi" dumpling.

We had to get up early because we had a morning flight to catch and Cooper woke up on the wrong side of the bed. That is not a good way to start a long day of traveling. After breakfast we boarded our bus for the 45 minute trek to the airport. We have 17 adults, 5 kids and 9 babies in our group. So needless to say we make a spectacle of ourselves everywhere we go. At the airport we had quite an audience. People will just walk up to us and stare. I don't know if it's something I would ever get used to. It's pretty funny to experience though. We boarded the plane and thankfully we had three seats together. If you think airplane sets are small on an American plane you should see how tiny they are on a Chinese plane! We were very happy that the flight was only two hours. Cooper slept the majority of the flight. Most of the other babies did great too.

Ronda, Grizzy, and Cooper Ready to Board!
Best way to travel! Asleep!
When we got off the plane in Guangzhou, the humidity hit us like a freight train. We heard that a typhoon left here a few days ago. It was pouring rain. May and June are the rainy season here in the south of China.
Hard to tell from this photo, but it was pouring!!
We met our new guides, Maggie and Kathy. They seem very nice and helpful. We got on another bus to our new hotel. We are staying at The China Hotel by Marriott. It is amazing. When we walked in the front doors we felt like we were in Vegas. The best part about the hotel? Our room is almost freezing! It is so wonderful to escape the heat after our long week in Zhengzhou. We have an adjoining room with Barb and Cooper is loving the ability to run between rooms. His tummy makes his balance off so he has trouble walking for more then a few feet without holding on to something but everyday he gets more confident.
We went to dinner with another family in our group at a restaurant here in the hotel. They serve local Cantonese food. It was delicious. Dinner was sort of a nightmare for us though. As I said earlier, Cooper woke up on the wrong side of the bed and never recovered. He pretty much whined, screamed and threw things throughout our entire meal. It was miserable. The good news is the restaurant was super noisy so no one noticed. He is definitely feeling very comfortable with us. He has opened up so much in the past five days. I know he is going to have rough days because everything is so new to him. All the parenting classes we have taken say that even at seventeen months he will grieve the loss of everything that he has ever known and kids will react in many different ways. Ryan and I are wondering if he is testing us to see if we really are keeping him. I know he didn't understand us but we both told him that there is nothing he can do to get rid of us now! He is stuck with us!

After dinner, we went into a little shop here in the hotel and each of us got a Haagen Dazs bar. After we paid we realized that each one cost $7! I don't think we will be doing that again! Cooper had another bath and he was very whiney. He had his nightly bottle and fell asleep immediately. Hopefully he will have a better day tomorrow.

We have a full week planned here in Guangzhou. The most important day will be Thursday, our US Consulate appointment. Tomorrow we have a city tour (including a tour of a Buddhist Temple) and a group dinner at a Chinese/Portugese restaurant. Should be interesting!

~ Ronda

Part of Our Huge Group at the Airport
Cooper Checking Out His Passport

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