The beginning of a long awaited dream come true:

January 5, 2001 January 5, 2001

We aren't in Kansas anymore Dorothy!  We made it, we are in Guangzhou, China.  This is a picture of a street just down from our hotel, the White Swan.  We arrived at 6:30am on Friday morning which is 3:00pm Thursday afternoon Denver time.  Our flight was very long and we watched the same movie 3 times in the night, some movie with Tommy Lee Jones, I finally could comprehend the plot the 3rd time.  We had more food and drinks on our plane than we could eat.  Our hotel is very nice and we have an upgraded room because the other rooms were full.  We also HAD to fly first class from Denver to LA because the flight was over booked also.  Too bad, boy are we getting spoiled.

We are here with 2 other couples from our group.  Linda Lee and Kevin Shuey from Virginia and Joe and Jennafer Bryan from North Carolina.  We ate lunch at the White Swan, it was okay, not the greatest.  Our waitress kept laughing at us because we were having a difficult time with our chopsticks.  I had chicken and rice with mushroom soup.  I think I got the spinal column.  I didn't eat the chicken, exposed bone marrow didn't do anything for me.  The rice was great.  Dennis had shrimp with Italian noodles, he thought is was very tasty.  Our bill was 271 yen which was $33.00 US.  Kind of pricey for rice.

January 5, 2001 January 5, 2001

Here Dennis is standing in front of the famous White Swan Waterfall.  This is inside the hotel.  There are really big fish in the pond.  We looked in several stores inside the hotel.  Everyone is very friendly and it is really nice to look around before we get the babies.  The guards won't smile at us no matter what we do. 

Here is Kevin, myself and Linda by the waterfall.  I am trying to look happy.  I didn't realize I would miss the boys as much as I do.
Justin and Daniel, I love you and I miss you!


January 5, 2001 January 5, 2001

This is looking down the Pearl River just outside the White Swan.  It is very foggy here today, but nice and warm.  I think we came at the right time of the year.  We do not need jackets and are comfortable in jeans and t-shirts.  Guangzhou is much cleaner than I expected, it just smells funny, kind of like a Grandma's attic with a sweet smell also.  There are street sweepers who are constantly washing and picking up trash, they wear red suits.  People will stop and stare at us and some almost crash their bikes just trying to look back at us.  I just smile and they usually smile back.  The Pearl River is pretty dirty, there is a boat that scoops up trash, well, not the boat but a man on the boat.

This is a picture of people in the park.  Life here seems very different than at home.  I don't think anyone sits in front of their TV's here.  There are people walking everywhere.  Old men are sitting in groups of 8 or more playing some kind of checker game or a game of cards.  Girls are flying kites and everyone is playing badminton.  No one is in a hurry.


January 5, 2001 January 5, 2001
Dennis is happy, he found a Pepsi!

Here is a little 'junk' boat.  I think that is what they are called.  There are all kinds of boats that are going down the river, this one was the shabbiest one I could find.  We saw one bigger boat full of black rocks.


January 5, 2001 January 5, 2001

Just another boat.

Bamboo scaffolding is EVERYWHERE.  OSHA would have a cow.  I don't know how they do this, the poles are just tied together and balanced on the ground.  This guy was working about 3 stories up and was just walking around.  When we walked by later, he was done and was taking down the poles.


January 5, 2001 January 5, 2001

This is the White Swan from across the Pearl River.  Linda drug us all over this city, we should be in really good shape by the time we get home.  I bet we walked for 4 hours.  We found some really interesting shops.  We went into a department store that was 5 stories tall.  There was a sales lady at every rack.  If you looked at something for longer than a second, they would take it out and show it to you.  They followed you everywhere you went.  We didn't buy anything.

Looking down the Pearl River the other way.


January 6, 2001

No more pictures for today.  It is 7:00pm and we are going to go to bed.  We made it through the day without a nap.  We had a great dinner at the sub shop next to the hotel.  I bought a ham and corn bun and Dennis had a bacon and cheese bun.  Dinner cost us a whopping $.80.  Tomorrow, Raymond, our guide is taking us on some tours.  We are going to see a Buddhist Temple, Sun Fat 'Someone' Museum and something else.  We can't wait to come home.  Email us if you would like.  Our address is  Bye for now, Rhonda


January 6, 2001 January 6, 2001

January 6, 2001 January 6, 2001
We had some trouble sending pictures the first couple of days, but now we think we are successful.  On January 2nd, we had a girl named Irene take us around the city, we also hired a driver.  Irene met us downstairs at 9:00am and the first place we went was to the 6 Banyan Tree Buddhist Temple.  There are only 2 banyan trees, I don't know why they call it 6.   There were several Buddha's and a couple of different things to worship.  One area was a place to bless your ancestors.  You bring flowers, fruits and incense to each area.  It smelled kind of neat, not really bad at all.  Jen and I successfully found a squat toilet and took a picture of it.  I did actually have to use one in the airport.  It wasn't to bad after all and probably a cleaner way to go than at home. :-)
Next we visited the Chen Family Academic Museum.  This was a really rich, smart guy who built an academic school.  There were several rooms in the museum, it was all outside with open air windows.  I guess this picture is of an arch.  It is all built of very precious wood and intricately carved.  The more wood you have in your building, the more well off you are.  This guy was really well off.  There were several rooms which displayed all of the folk art which the people of Guangdong Province are known for; Jade carvings, Peasant Paintings, and Ivory Carvings.  Everywhere you look, you can find beautiful Ivory carvings, but I guess we cannot bring that home.  They have camel bone carvings for us Americans to bring home.  A man of education has 4 things:  ink stone, ink well, paper, and quill pen.  You can buy these sets everywhere but they are very expensive. The highlight of the day was lunch.  Irene took us to a very nice restaurant for lunch.  She ordered for us pigeon, seen in the picture, shrimp with the eyes still looking at you and the little feet dangling off the poor little limp body, fish (whole), crab which they showed to us before they cooked him, sweet and sour chicken, corn soup, dim sum dumplings, broccoli, rice, and of course, coca cola.  We all ate for under $20.00 and that included us paying for our guide and driver.  The driver enjoyed eating the pigeon head, he said the heads bring you long life.  After lunch, we walked around the streets looking at cheap things to buy.  Jen bought a Rolex for $7.00.  I might have to go back to that store.

January 7, 2001

Today is the day that we get the babies!  Linda is calm and Jen and I are nervous wrecks.  Linda has adopted a baby from China before so she is not new to this.  We made it to the airport in plenty of time.  The airports are remarkably clean.  This is where I found the squat pot.  I later learned that the handicapped stalls have western toilets.  When in China.........  We met up with the rest of our very tired group, boy are we glad we came early.  We have had a blast.  I feel guilty for having so much fun while our wonderful boys are back at home.  We flew safely into Nanning around lunch time. 


January 7, 2001 January 7, 2001
We met up with our guide, Michael.  He is wonderful.  On the bus ride to the hotel, he told us about our babies.  Our baby was found the day after she was born in a city about 14 kilometers from Cenxi.  She was found at the front of a factory by a cleaning lady.  She was taken to the orphanage the next day.  We also learned how to make our babies, poos and pees.  We set them on the toilets facing the toilet and say shhhhhh, shhhhh for pees and moomoommooo for poos.  It works!  Our baby has gone potty every time.  This should save money on diapers.  We were then told that the babies would come at 6:00pm.  Now what would we do?  We will eat!  We went to the hotel restaurant and we had Italian food.  There will be no losing weight on this trip Laurie! Finally, the babies arrive.  We are to stay in our rooms and wait, but of course we stay in the hall.  The Wuzhou babies are the first to arrive.  There are two of them.  One of the nannies cried when she gave up her baby.  They really love the babies a lot.  The Beihai babies are next.  There are 4 in this group.  Our friends both received Beihai babies.  They are all cute and fairly healthy.  Most have colds.  The Cenxi babies are next.  Wouldn't you know that they bring us the babies according to our last names in alphabetical order.  We were the very last ones.  It was worth it though because we could watch everyone else and take their pictures.  We could see our baby in Michaels room.  That was the holding area.  We were allowed to take pictures of our baby, just not take them from there.  Finally, our turn came. 

January 7, 2001 January 7, 2001
We were allowed to ask questions from the director, but of course who could think about questions.  Our baby was found with 20yuan of lucky money on her.  I don't think we will get the money.  Our baby is soooo cute.  She has the longest eyelashes that I ever saw on a baby before.  She is pretty scared of everything.  She just hides under her arms.   She likes to suck her finger and her thumb at the same time.  She is pretty little and more like a 5 month old.  She can sit up though.  She likes her bottle and she slept all night long. We celebrated by eating french fries and cake for dinner.

Today, Monday, we went to the registers office to do paperwork.  Lillia is officially ours.  We had to promise to never abandon, abuse or transfer her and we had to state that we are adopting voluntarily.  Easy.  All of the babies are cute and they all very in size.  Most are 9-10 months old.  Tomorrow we will go shopping. :-)  That is all for now.  Have fun putting this all on Dan.   Bye Bye.

This page was last updated on 02/26/12.