Unfortunately, all the pictures are it of order again! Oh, well! I will try to describe them the best I can. The first few are of us leaving Zhengzhou on Saturday (in the bus and airport) and sitting for the yummy breakfast buffet Sunday morning. I am forever spoiled by these buffets. Back to oatmeal and cereal when we get home!
Our morning of touring took us to the Six Banyan Tree Buddhist Temple. The guide told us at they were a number of beggars out front. She advised not to give them anything, but it was hard not to. She said they were very nice and it was ok to say no. They were understanding about it and smiled, but I still wanted to give them something. Once inside, the temple was beautiful. The grounds, the pagoda, the flowers... just beautiful. There were people praying and burning incense. I felt kinda awkward. I, of course, disagree with their religion of praying to a false god, but still felt odd walking through with our guide shouting out narrations for us. There is a tradition that if you rub the happy buddha's belly you will have more children. He was behind glass, but I did find one later! ;-). Jim made friends with the monks and took their picture. He cracks me up!
The Chen House, which was make into a museum when the communists took over, was so interesting. Again, it was much larger once you step inside and the details in the architecture was fascinating. Jim said it was hard to get a good picture of it to truly show the magnificent craftsmanship. Again, all the pictures uploaded out of order, but the pictures of the crafts are from here. This was a Chen family house that was also used as an academy for those young people studying for the emperor's exam. Back in the day, you had to pass the emperor's exam to be in any kind of business or work for the emperor.
Our last stop was the arts and crafts store. I am so leary about prices because I paid way too much at the Silk Factory. We were told it was a good price for excellent quality, but still! I found a couple things that were a good price, I felt. And this is where I found the Buddha! In all fairness, Jim told me to touch the belly, so it's his fault! :)
Back to the hotel, McDonald's for lunch and a mocha from Starbucks! I know, I know! But we had a great Cantonese dinner with the group last night. The guides ordered for us. It was really nice. I gave Isabel her first bath. I still have to upload those pics. After her bath, she was getting tired, but playing nicely on the bed. I was laying on the pillow with Jim and Isabel was more in the middle/end of the bed. I was working on the iPad when Jim told me to look at Isabel. The poor girl was falling asleep sitting up. She was starting to sway! So I put her to bed and she has been asleep since 8pm. It's 6:30am now. I've been getting up before everyone else to shower and get ready and to have time to blog in the mornings. It's a nice quiet time for me.
Anna and Will have been great. They have a good attitude, most of the time. Anna always goes with the flow and Will is working on it! :) I was disappointed that we weren't able to visit the orphanage in Nanyang. I'm disappointed that for the most part these children have only seen nice hotels, museums and official sites. Other than walking around in Zhengzhou that one day, they haven't seen the China that Isabel has experienced. Maybe next time...
Today is Isabel's medical exam and photo for her visa. This all has to be completed before the Consulate Appointment on Thursday and before she can enter the U.S. I've been told that it is an unpleasant experience, mainly because they strip the children down and poke and prod them. But, you know, it's kinda sounds like going to the pediatrician at home!
Oh, I met an adoptive mom at breakfast yesterday whose blog I follow. Hi Yvette! We had a nice chat and I so enjoyed meeting her oldest son and new addition. She has such a sincere, real way of sharing her family's story. If you don't know her blog, you should!
Ok, the room is stirring, so need to go. I will try to upload the bath pictures before we leave this morning. They are so cute!