Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4th of July

Cooper's California Family

Today we are celebrating the 4th in the park with family in Escondido, CA. Cooper is having a great time with family and friends, and he loves watching the kids run around and play in the grass. We are ready for the fireworks. Tomorrow we leave California for Colorado, where we will start the next chapter!

Much love to all those in Cali, and get ready Colorado, Cooper is coming!

Until next time, Ryan.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Back in the USA!

Ronda, Cooper, and Grizzy Outside Hong Kong Airport

This morning (Monday), we checked out of our hotel in Hong Kong and caught the bus for the airport at 8:00. We arrived at the United counter and stood in line for about 20 minutes before we checked in all of our luggage and crossed our fingers that we would see it again in the USA. We had breakfast at McDonald's and then made way for our gate. After spilling coffee on Cooper while riding the escalator, and having our water taken from us prior to boarding (apparently they won't let you purchase a bottle of water in the airport and take it on the plane with you in Hong Kong), we boarded and luckily got Cooper his bottle prior to take off. We were really trying to avoid being "those parents" with a cranky 17 month old on a long flight.

Cooper getting some Z's on the plane home

He fell asleep and we had a few naps during the fight. We made it to San Francisco with no delays and passed through immigration very smoothly. The brown envelope that the US consulate in Guangzhou prepared was exactly what the officer needed to process his immigrant status. We passed through, and Cooper was officially a US citizen.

We picked up our bags and were met by a customs inspection beagle (scent dog) who decided that the pork buns and dumplings that we had brought for Cooper's lunch were not allowed in the USA, so we had to throw them out. We cleared customs, re-checked our bags, cleared security, and made it to the gate for our final leg to San Diego.

In San Diego, we picked up the rental car and Ronda's brother and sister, Joel and Christy, were waiting with a car seat for Cooper. We loaded the car with all the luggage, installed the car seat, and headed north for Escondido. We arrived at Ronda's brother, Cameron's house at around 2:30. Around 4:30, Joel, his wife Martha, and Christy arrived with Cooper's cousin, Maya! The two played, although neither really knew who each other were... But it was awesome to see them together. It was something we had talked about for a long time. Cooper also got to meet his Grandma Letha, who he kept smiling and talking to all night while she tried to get him to sit still to take a photo. Cameron's amazing wife, Barb, made dinner for everyone and we sat and ate and talked, really still dizzy from the traveling we had done the previous 30 hours.

Cooper playing with his cousin (not pictured)

Cooper got a bath and bottle and went to bed, and we did some laundry. Tomorrow we are going to the beach for his first ocean visit, and Wednesday we are planning to celebrate the 4th of July for the first time with our son.

We are so blessed to have such great families and friends, and we keep thinking about all the amazing friends we have made along this journey to Cooper. If you are reading this, we are thinking of you, and hope you have made it home to your families and are relishing the time with your newest family members with your loved ones like we are.

Until next time, Ryan.

Location:San Diego, CA

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Hong Kong Day 2

We had a very full day in Hong Kong. We left the hotel at 8:30 to have breakfast at McDonalds. The breakfast here at the hotel cost $30 a person so we opted for something a tad bit more reasonably priced. The breakfast sandwiches tasted just like home and Cooper liked everything. After, we decided to brave the subway and it actually ended up to be quite easy. We took it to a large bus station in HK then boarded a bus for Stanley Market. The ride on the double decker bus was on a very crazy road and it took us about 30 minutes to get there. HK is another very large city with 9 million people.

We walked around the market for a couple hours. It was enjoyable but kind of hard to maneuver with a stroller. We had lunch at an Italian restaurant along the oceanfront and it was delicious. When it was time to leave the market we decided to take a taxi to our next destination, Nan Lian Garden. It took about 45 minutes to get there and Cooper was a mess the entire ride. With that being said I was trying to hide my camera from him and I forgot it in the taxi. Once I realized what I had done I got so upset. The good news is that we have backed up all of our pictures every night and I only lost the pictures from today. The bad news is I'm out my brand new camera. At the garden we found a man who works there who spoke excellent english and told him what happened. We were hoping that we could somehow contact the taxi company and have the driver return. The man called the police and they came and we had to file a police report about our missing camera. Ryan remembered the drivers name but didn't remember his number. There are so many taxi drivers here that unless the driver turns the camera in to lost and found we are out our camera. I hate when I do things like this!

After the meeting with the police we visited the garden. It is a beautiful place and is attached to a nunnery. We toured the grounds and found our way to another subway station. To get back to our hotel we had to switch trains three times. Cooper did great. He loves to people watch and people love to stare at us wondering what we are doing with a Chinese baby. We get quite a few questions but mostly just odd looks.

Back at the hotel we decided to use up some more of Cooper's endless energy at the pool. When he saw the water he got so excited! We are super thrilled that he likes the water. We stayed in the pool until he started to shiver. At that point we thought we should get him in a warm tub and ready for bed. We tried to keep him up as long as possible because it would be nice if he would sleep on the plane tomorrow.

This is our last post from Asia. We fly from here to San Francisco tomorrow morning. It is a 12 hour flight. I have no idea what we are going to do with a squirmy little 17 month old boy on a plane for 12 hours. I feel sorry for the people around us! From San Francisco we fly to San Diego. We are staying there for a few days to visit my family. The adventure continues!


Two of Cooper's Favorite Things... Steam Buns and Pork Dumplings