So, last we left off, we had just completed a nice relaxing day of not doing much, which culminated in our group going out for dinner to a restaurant suggested by our guide. I felt fine when we got there, but by the time we left, I had started to feel pretty lousy, mostly sinus symptoms, nothing super serious. I have a few food related allergies, so I just assumed it was either that or the smog, and we headed back to the hotel so I could take some Zyrtec and hopefully avoid more serious issues. And that was all a good plan until I woke up at 3:00am feeling like I had been hit by a truck. The full range of cold/flu issues…. Exploding sinuses, aches, chills, sweats and general misery and angst. I was SICK and I knew it.
We had been planning to go the Aquarium with our group that day, but I assumed that since I was out of commission, Josh and Jia would just chill at the hotel. Nope. Super Dad loaded Jia up in the carrier and got on with life. They had a pretty decent time over all at the Aquarium, and I was able to rest for several hours, which helped immensely. By the time they got back, I was feeling well enough to remain upright for longer then 10 minutes, and just in time too. Because we were headed to Guangzhou the next day, and we needed to pack up all of our stuff, AGAIN. So we spent the rest of the day packing, and eating room service.
The next day, I woke up feeling much better, but still not (even as I’m typing this) 100%. I’m not sure if it’s allergies or legit cold, but I’m definitely still feeling it. We met our group in the lobby at 11:30 to go to the airport, which was an hour away. I might jinx myself by saying this, but riding on the bus has been much better recently, thank goodness. We’re down to one meltdown per trip, but we started at about 100870585 per trip, so we’re just rocking busses now, pretty much. Progress has been made.
Once we got to the airport, our guide got out tickets and walked us to Security and then has to say her goodbyes. It was bittersweet for sure, and we could not have asked for a better guide in Zhengzhou. Rita is the best.
So we hoovered some food, and eventually boarded the plane. We ended up being delayed by about 45 minutes, but everyone kept their wits about them, so it was fine. It was finally time to take off, and that’s when the trouble started. Jia really doesn’t like to be strapped down by seat belts, but of course, the airlines do not care. So after trying to keep her in her seat, they eventually gave us a baby seatbelt, which attaches to the adults seatbelt and then around the baby, so they can stay in your lap. Oh, she was LIVID about it. So we were the parents that everyone stares at and thanks their lucky stars they aren’t sitting beside. But once we got in the air, she was totally fine, happy as can be. We played, she watched Frozen, she ate some (gross) air plane food, and then fell fast asleep in my arms. We kind of just adopted a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for seatbelts on the way down and we made it through landing with no belt and no problems.
Since we landed late, we didn’t get to our hotel until almost 9:30 and we were TIRED. Luckily our hotel is right beside a McDonalds and we caved and got chicken nuggets, burgers and french fries. Judge all you want, they were delicious. :).
The next day was some optional touring of a Buddhist temple, the Chan House, which is a museum and has lots of shops, and then another shopping area. We woke up in the morning kind of kicking ourselves for saying we’d go on this tour, but we were committed, so off we went. I am SO GLAD we did. It was one of my favorite things so far.
The Buddhist temple is simply beautiful, full of statues, pictures, and history. There are several different buildings, each housing a different Buddha. The people who were there worshipping would light odd numbered sticks on incense, say their prayers to the Buddha, and then stick the incense in the sand so their prayers would rise to heaven. There are different Buddha’s for different types of prayers, including one female Buddha specifically for women and children.
I mentioned on FB that I also had an opportunity to see and be blessed by a Buddhist monk. I wish I could adequately express how lovely his countenance was… I just really enjoyed seeing and meeting him. He blessed us with a safe journey home and I could feel the sincerity of his prayer. So special to me.
From there, we went to the Chan house, which is mostly a museum, but also a shopping area. It was HOT and crowded and we didn’t have a lot of time, so we spent a lot of it in the shops, especially the calligraphy shop, where we got our names and the girls names and our family name on different scrolls. I’m excited to display these in our home! After that, we went to another shopping area, but by then I was DONE and couldn’t make any more decisions. So we were pretty much just waiting to go back to the hotel by then.
So, that’s pretty much the last few days. We’re really enjoying being in Guangzhou, everything feels much more accessible and a lot easier to navigate, plus, did I mention Starbucks IN THE HOTEL? God bless it. We are starting to wind down and get REAL homesick though. We’ve been gone a long time and I’m ready to go home. I’m working on staying open and enjoying the time we have left (which will be full of really neat things that our agency has planned), but I am longing for home now. I think that everyone hits a point on their trip where they are just DONE and I’m there today. It always gets better, but right now it’s hard. 4 more days! We’re really in the home stretch now.