We are home! Actually we’ve been home since Thursday but I’ve been too tired to do anything except eat cheerios and take extended naps. When they say the time change is more difficult coming home, they aren’t kidding (whoever they are).
I nearly kissed the ground when we landed in Newark, New Jersey. Nearly…but airports are nasty places. Here’s Ning’s first pic as a US citizen.
By the time I took this photograph, we already had logged 18 plane hours (from Guangzhou to Beijing to Newark) but we still were staring at a 2 hour flight to Indianapolis and a 2 hour drive home. Our first flight from Beijing to Chicago had mechanical issues so the flight was delayed 5 hours. I won’t go into specifics but trying to reschedule our flight from Beijing to a city near Cincy took God’s intervention. I had never felt such stress in my life. Ning was sick, Reece and I were drained, the Beijing airport was enormous and nobody seemed to know English. Somehow we were able to get things straightened out and make our flight. Still, we had customs, immigration and a car rental to figure out by the time we made it to Indy. Thanks to God and our wonderful family, we made it back.
I had three days worth of blogging that were lost before we returned home. (Don’t ask). Most of the cool stuff had already taken place but I still would like to share those last three days with you…
Monday: Safari Day
We visited this whacked out zoo in Guangzhou called Safari Park. I call it “whacked” because when you first get there you take a tram through dozens of carnivorous beasts. Here’s the tram:
And here’s the beasts…
This guy is nuts. There’s no fence between he and the bears, only a shallow ridge.
There’s also plenty of herbivores who could do a fair amount of damage if they wanted….
We sat next to a family who had already been to the park. They told us that during their last visit, the animals nearly stampeded….thanks for sharing.
The sheer volume of exotic animals was amazing. This place had tons of koala bears, pandas, giraffes. ..you name it. Here’s Ning feeding the giraffes…she was a little freaked out.
Ning will always be Little Panda to me but I think a better name might be Little Tiger.
Ning had her first ice cream at the park. At first it seemed to be too cold but in the end she devoured it.
This is how her day ended.
Tuesday: US Consulate
There are no electronics allowed in the Consulate, not even a Casio watch so I don’t have any pics of the day. Just imagine a scene much like our doctor’s debacle except with less room. It was a stressful experience because the US computers were down and nearly delayed our trip home…but thanks be to God it all worked out.
Wednesday: Last day in Guangzhou
The last day before our trip home was nice. We spent the morning feeding Koi at the hotel garden.
It was a nice setup, except Ning nearly fell into the pond several times.
There was a waterfall and walkway right next to our dining area.
Our hotel was top notch. Here’s a few more pics of the place.
There was even a small mall inside
Our hallway had this Star Trec vibe going so when we first arrived, I couldn’t find my room.
Here’s a pic out our bedroom window. The hotel flags had fans so they always seemed to be blowing in the wind.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get pics of the city. Guangzhou is a cool place with lots of restaraunts and shops within walking distance. It was our favorite city of the trip…by far.
The last evening ended with a boat cruise on the river.
Ning was a little off so Theresa and I spent most of the night chasing her down.
I’m bummed about losing the blog entries but hopefully this captures the last days well enough.