China Days 12 & 13: Exploring Guangzhou

We’ve had a nice couple of days exploring the city. Saturday morning we decided to take a walk, so we borrowed a stroller from the hotel and we were set!

We ended up at Aeon, a grocery/department store. It is set up so differently from what we have in the US! There is a huge grocery store on the bottom floor, then the next 3 floors are like a department store- reminded me of a JC Penny or Sears in the US. We grabbed some groceries on the bottom floor and then headed up to look around at everything else. We wound up in the ladies clothing section and got to laughing so hard at all of the t-shirts with English phrases on them. We have seen SO many people wearing shirts that don’t make sense. It was so funny to read so many of these! We had ourselves about 10 minutes of solid laughing looking through the shirts! Here are a few good ones:

And my personal favorite:

Knows your limits! Love it! Then we headed to the toy section so the kids could pick out something fun to do back in the room. Jack got Ninjago Legos and Chloe got a Frozen puzzle. They were both so happy to have something new to do when Lila was napping!

Here’s a pic of some of our groceries just so you can see what they are like. The Lime Lays taste like Fruit Loops! The Oreos are much sweeter than ours at home if you can imagine that, and the Frosted Flakes and Vanilla Coke taste very much like what you would get at home. 
After we played in our room, we headed to dinner at Tekila again with our new friends that are also adopting. Joy and I laughed at the fact that we were eating Mexican food in China on the Fourth of July. So crazy and not your typical Independence Day celebration! But it was fun hanging out together and I am so thankful we have made friends here!

This sister can EAT! She loves anything we give her. We couldn’t give her chicken fast enough- she was just shoveling it down. And she doesn’t like it when there is no more food! Sweet girl, I know the feeling.

I forgot to take a picture of the three kiddos before we left for dinner, so this is when we got back. You can tell Little Miss was ready for bed! Happy 4th from the Clemens Crew!

Sunday morning we woke up, and had breakfast at the hotel (again!). Then we headed to sightsee with our guide. We went to the Chen Clan Academy. It is an old building built in the 1800s by the Chen family, a wealthy family in Guangzhou. It was a beautiful building with so many details, beautiful courtyards, and places to buy Chinese gifts inside.

chen1 chen2 chen4

We picked out a hand painted scroll for our home with our name and a Bible verse in Chinese characters. We also decided on a couple more paintings and I got a very beautiful Jade bracelet to remember our time in China.


There is so much I haven’t had time to blog about! One thing is the “paparazzi” that surround Chloe and Jack- especially Jack and his hair. Everywhere we go, he gets bombarded with Chinese people wanting to take a picture with him or a selfie with him. He has been so sweet and just smiles and occasionally puts up the peace sign for them (something Chinese do in every picture!!). It is so cute. They are always so sweet. Our Beijing guide told us it is just a way to show favor or endearment- they just love light colored skin and hair. Trey and Chloe get asked to be in some of the pictures, but not me! I guess I am too tan. ;) At the Chen Clan Academy, Jack got surrounded by so many people taking his picture. He looks like a celebrity. So funny!


After our time sightseeing, we went back to the hotel for Lila’s nap and then headed to the pool for a swim. We swam for a while and then it started sprinkling. We got under some covering thinking it would pass, and after about 10 minutes of torrential downpour we decided we better make a run for it and get inside. That was an adventure trying to grab all of our stuff and all three kids in the pouring rain! The kids thought it was great!

Tonight we tried out a new restaurant recommended to us by our guide. It was a hibachi style restaurant. It was just the 5 of us, and not one person in the restaurant spoke English, but we figured out how to order fried rice, salmon, and chicken, and it was our best meal yet! The kids loved it and Miss Lila ate SO much rice and salmon and chicken! I couldn’t even get a bite in before she was asking for more. Sweet girl has never had food that tastes so good.

After dinner the kids begged for ice cream, so we headed to McDonald’s for round 2 of the yellow banana ice cream. Lila cried even more this time when there was no more. We couldn’t get her to stop crying until we gave her a bottle in the hotel room before bed! If I haven’t said it yet she has a nice set of lungs and can throw a mean fit. But isn’t that every 2 year old in the world?! Add in all of the changes she is going through right now and how tired she is from all of the new stuff—- no wonder she was inconsolable. Sweet girl, once we gave her a bottle she was ready for bed and is sleeping peacefully as I type!

We are still doing great. There are definitely hard moments, but overall I am just amazed at how good Lila is doing, especially considering we have only had her a week. And as much as I love China, I am starting to be ready to come home.

Two weeks down, one to go!


  1. Noni

    Good for Jack!!! Glad he is so popular! How wonderful it is that Miss Lila is loving new foods! Thankful you are having fun & enjoying the sights. How special to have your name & a verse painted in Chinese! Can’t wait to see it.
    Continued blessings; we love you.

  2. Maureen

    Hi Sherry, I stumbled upon your blog today and I have been loving reading about your journey. Congratulations!! Lila is a doll and seems to be doing so great. I was just where you are exactly two years ago and I am re-living so many moments of our journey reading your blog. I posted an almost identical post to yours after our orphanage visit. Anyway, just wanted to say congrats and sounds like you are doing great with your new girl. It’s such a life-changing journey and I wish you all the best during the rest of your trip and as you transition home.

    1. Author

      Thank you for commenting!! I love hearing other adoption stories. I can’t wait to read your blog and hear how it is going two years down the road! Thank you for the sweet words of encouragement!

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