Shaman Island area of Guangzhou to be exact.
It's where all of our kids received the paperwork needed to become American citizens when their feet touched US soil. I couldn't wait to show the girls around the place that felt like a second home.
Except I knew it would have changed tremendously since we had been here last.
The American Consulate is no longer on Shamian, so most families stay near its new location while waiting for their paperwork to be processed. The famous White Swan has even had a complete facelift.
I thought one day on Shamian would be enough.
I was so wrong.
If we are able to take the younger kids on a Heritage Tour, we will definitely stay an extra day or two. I wasn't sure if the girls would like Shamian or find it a bit boring.
They LOVED it.
Jillian said it was the only place in China she wasn't afraid to cross the street.
I also need to mention that Guangzhou is not part of the tour. The Heritage Tour ends in Guilin. We opted to take the bullet train to Guangzhou because I really wanted the girls to see where we spent a week of every adoption trip.
After checking into the White Swan--and being totally WOWED by our room--I took everyone across the street to see Christ Church that we attended on every adoption trip. I wish we could have been there on a Sunday this time.
Second stop...Starbucks. We needed coffee and some lunch!
Shamian is so peaceful. My mom and the girls fell in love with it.
Happily, the Phillips family had also planned to come to Guangzhou so the girls all had one more day together.
We have pictures of Zoey and Kate with this statue. So fun!
I was so excited to introduce my family to Michael and his sweet wife, Lily. They remembered us and it was so fun to catch up on their family.
It started pouring so we headed back inside for some pictures in the White Swan. I was thankful that the indoor waterfall was still there.
Molly in front of the waterfall when she was a baby.
And our little blond Chloe as a baby in front of it.
We didn't get to stay at the White Swan when we adopted Jillian (much to our disappointment).
The rooms are now twice as large as they were when we adopted the kids. Unbelievably nice.
And the bathroom.....we felt like princesses for the night!
...this tasteless chicken dish which seemed to be boiled and served with the head.
Afterward we went for a walk along the Pearl River. So beautiful at night.
The view over Shamian from our hotel window.
Very early breakfast overlooking the river the next morning before heading to the airport.
I made the girls take this cheesy picture - but we WERE very sad to be leaving China.
Zaijin, China! Hope we can come back someday!