|We met some of our group downstairs for breakfast this morning. They have a pretty good breakfast buffet. I got sick last night before I went to bed and then all through the night (from something I ate yesterday but I donít know what) so I didnít eat much for breakfast this morning. But they did have french toast and syrup and that was very exciting. Itís good, filling and wonít make you sick! Ansley had chicken nuggets for breakfast. They also have pizza on the breakfast bar. We then went off Shamian Island and crossed over the river and went to some markets on the other side.
We went to a food market that the locals go to. Trust meÖ.itís not anything you and me would buy, much less eat. I think some of it must be used for medicinal purposes. There were dried snake skins, dried starfish, dried seahorses, dried frogs, etc. But the weirdest thing of the day was a lady on a street corner selling tiger paws. Yes, I mean the paw and part of the leg. The paw was huge. She didnít speak English so Iím not sure what youíre supposed to do with them. She tried very hard to sell me a tiger tooth to wear on my backpack but I politely said no (I think killing tigers and selling their parts is illegalÖ.Iím sure bringing them into the US is illegal. I donít want to find out!). Ansley was shocked as to why someone would kill a tiger and cut itís legs off. It is kind of sick and hard to explain to a 4 year old.
We shopped a little more before having to be back in our room at 11 am. Alvin (our guide) had an appointment at the US Consulate to turn in all our paperwork and wanted us to be in our rooms and available in case there was anything wrong with our paperwork and he needed to get in touch with us. We never got a call so at 12:10 we were back downstairs and on our way to McDonaldís to eat lunch. Unfortunately I still wasnít feeling well so I only ate a few bites of my hamburger. I was so bummed because I know we probably wonít get back to McDonaldís again before we leave.
On our way back to the hotel we did some shopping and bought some clothes for the girls. We bought some beautiful silk dresses for the girls. The shopping here is great but most of the stores have the same stuff so you have to shop around, be willing to haggle and willing to walk out if you donít think itís a good deal. You can always find the same thing in another store that will probably be willing to come down to the price you want. We found quite a few things here that are cheaper than what we paid in Changsha.
We met Alvin in the lobby of the hotel at 4:30 pm and headed to a bonsai park. It was a pretty park. Then we visited a tea house and got to sample jasmine, green, ginseng and rose tea. The only one I really liked was jasmine. Then it was off to dinner. It wasnít great tonight either. The food here has been disappointing. The food in Changsha was much better. I didnít eat hardly anything at all for dinner and once again Ansley dined on Ritz crackers. She doesnít seem to mind. Iíve also bee making her some powdered milk drinks so she gets some nutrients from somewhere. She wouldnít drink it during the first part of the trip but I think sheís become desperate for some form of milk so she drinks it willingly now. She tried the milk from McDonaldís when we were in Hong Kong but she didnít like the taste so we havenít bought it again.
Elisabeth is eating much better. Sheís taking a lot more formula and is eating more solid food. I still canít get her to eat baby food from a jar but she will eat Cheerios and the Gerber Veggie puffs that I brought. She has also eaten some french fries, ritz crackers, oatmeal and tonight she ate tofu. She loved it! Ansley kept calling it toad food. She just couldnít understand that we were calling it tofuÖ..not toad food.
Elisabeth laughed a lot today. Ansley can make her crack up. She follows Ansley around the room with her eyes. Elisabeth is becoming more attached to us and is bonding well. She used to not look at me when I held her to feed her a bottle but now sheíll stare into my eyes. Sheís so precious. Ansley has had fun playing with her and helping feed her. I think thereís a little bit of jealousy there but it hasnít been too bad so far.
When we came back to our room this afternoon the hotel staff had delivered the famous Barbie for Elisabeth. Every adoption family receives a Barbie that is a Caucasian mother holding an Asian baby. You canít get them anywhere else except The White Swan. Ansley was crushed when she found out that it was Elisabethís. There were lots of tears involved. We did a lot of explaining and finally she got over it. John went down to the concierge desk tonight and asked if we could buy another one but he said they donít sell them. We are going to ask the assistant manager tomorrow if we can somehow get another one. Of course we havenít told Ansley any of this just in case we canít get one.
Itís 10:30 pm here and Iím tired and must call it a night. We have a busy day tomorrow. We are headed to the pearl market in the morning and then have our US Consulate appointment tomorrow afternoon. Thatís when weíll have our swearing in ceremony and we get Elisabethís visa. Itís the last thing we need in order to bring her home with us. Yippee!
(Thank you to everyone that has been sending us emails. We are so busy during the day and so tired at night that we haven't been able to answer all of them. We just want to let you know that we are receiving them and reading them and we appreciate your words of encouragement)
Good night --