Monday, May 08, 2017

Last Stop - Guangzhou

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!
 Another family from our travel group also went to Guangzhou and we all met for dinner at a place with only a Chinese menu.  The mom from that family ordered for us.  All was yummy except for...
...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!


Gallegos Newsletter said...

Thank you for sharing your travels with us! It has been wonderful to see all the fun pictures.....

Debbie Sauer said...

So glad the girls were able to go back. I loved the Island, so calm after the city. Gracie would love to go back sometime and they have promised to take her. Blessings

mary m said...

I am so happy to see you blog about you and your older girls heritage trip.
What an amazing experience...would love to read some of your "after thoughts"
of the trip. I imagine once you are home there is "processing" of your thoughts
and feelings.
Do blog again and let us know how the other children are doing?...I used to
follow your blog when the children were just tiny....remember a creek somewhere
in one of the blogs.
Oh , and by the way , that chicken with the head is just creepy!....
Best to all of you this summer of 2017.
mary m, age 70