China Days 14, 15, & 16: More of Guangzhou

We’re still here! We’ve had a fun few days doing more exploring in Guangzhou! This city is HUGE- over 14 million people live here! There are so many people! And tall buildings! And apartments! And cranes! I have never seen so many cranes in one condensed area- so many high rises and huge buildings are going up. It is truly unbelievable. Until Monday, we had not seen one single family home since we have been in China. There are just very few. Most people live in multi family housing of some sort. There is a street of homes in Guangzhou that our guide said had been in families for generations, but most single family homes have been sold and torn down. If you live in a single family home here, you are VERY wealthy. The homes (maybe 5 or 6 of them) we saw were 3 stories and looked very old. Just so very different from what we see in Dallas!

Monday morning after breakfast, our guide dropped us off at a large shopping area to spend the morning. We spent most of our time at  UNIQLO, a store we loved when we visited New York. It is a cross between an H&M and a JCrew. Huge and fairly inexpensive like H&M but nicer quality and more roomy like a JCrew. We had fun picking out a few things for the kids (and maybe a little something for mom and dad too!).

After lunch and naps in the room, we decided to get out for a bit, so we took a walk to a nearby park. Parks in China are not like what you would think. In the US, if you say park, you probably mean a playground, right? Well here, all of the parks are huge areas made up of beautiful gardens, monuments, and lots and lots of people. We walked to Martyr’s park which was about a 30 minute walk from the hotel. We explored the park and saw beautiful monuments, Chinese people working out, dancing, playing Jianzi (their version of hackie sack), and people playing instruments and singing. It is truly something else! Very different from what you would see in the U.S. We loved seeing more of the Chinese culture and it was nice to get out for a bit. The weather is so much better this week than it was last week! There is a breeze and it isn’t too humid. Our guide says it is because the Typhoons are coming.

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Monday night we went to dinner at a pizza place. We tried to go back to OGGI, a pizza place we loved last week, but they were closed for renovation! We found another Italian restaurant and we were all happy for some pizza, especially Miss LMC!

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Tuesday we headed to the Guangzhou Zoo! This zoo was awesome! It was very old and could use some updating for sure, but the animals were so great! We saw our first Panda bears, which was so exciting for the kids, but they were inside glass so I didn’t get any good pictures. Lila liked the elephant and the monkeys the best! :)

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Tuesday afternoon we went for a swim, then had dinner with two other American families. We went to Banana Leaf across the street from our hotel. It was Thai food and it was amazing. Noodles, cabbage, and yummy rice have become our favorite things here in China! During the middle of dinner, the wait staff puts on a performance. They sing songs (American songs!) and play instruments and have the patrons there get up and dance. Chloe and her new friend Kayley loved it! They had the best time dancing around the restaurant. Our new friends have been a Godsend! They leave tomorrow and I know I will cry! I can’t tell you how great it has been to have others here with us who know exactly how we feel! They adopted sweet Kayley two years ago and came back to adopt their Samuel this year!

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We will miss our sweet friends!! Today (Wednesday) we headed with another family from our agency to do some more sight-seeing. We went to another park, Yuexie Park, which is the largest park in downtown Guangzhou. To give you an idea of size, I looked it up and it is 212 acres. See! Huge parks!! Same thing here- many people were dancing, singing, playing cards or Jianzi, and there were many monuments and we were able to see part of the Guangzhou city wall, built over 800 years ago. China is full of so much history! Here, this woman just grabbed Jack and started dancing with him!

Y1Here’s another moment of paparazzi! This happens everywhere we go!!y2 y3

Then we headed to the new Central Business District of Guangzhou. We went to the Four Seasons Hotel lobby on the 70th floor of the tallest building in GZ. There we were able to take in amazing views of the city! I still can’t get over how big this place is!

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Tonight we had dinner at our favorite Chinese place in GZ right by our hotel- Noodle King. We ordered noodles, pork, dumplings, and cabbage- we were stuffed and it was only 120rmb which is about $20! It is amazing how good the food is here, and it is so cheap! I know we will miss this food so much!! Even Chloe and Jack are huge fans! We will have to go hunting for some authentic Chinese food when we get back to Dallas, but not before we have some creamy jalapeño! ;)

I can’t believe we only have 2 more nights in GZ. Then, if we get Lila’s U.S. Visa as scheduled on Friday afternoon, we will take a 2-3 hour van ride to Hong Kong. We will spend Friday & Saturday nights in HK before heading back to Dallas on Sunday! I am ready to be home, but I know I will miss China so much. It has been so much fun having so much family time. Tonight we watched a movie with the big kids when Lila went to bed. It has been so special having such great times with these three! When will we ever have 3 weeks of time with daddy 24/7 again?? Tonight Trey ran to 7 Eleven to grab them some candy for the movie. Chloe and Trey are new fans of the Kinder bar!

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Yes, that’s a baby blanket. It is FREEZING in our apartment. I brought a blanket for Lila, so we use the one the hotel provided at night on the couch! Such fun memories we are making. It will be hard to say goodbye to Guangzhou for sure!

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