Our Journey (Part 2)
I posted the last part because I was afraid of losing it again after the internet went down the last time. So, after going to the Forbidden City, we dropped Sharon and Dan off at the hotel because they were going to a different province and had a later flight and we went to the airport with Debbie and Chris, the other couple who adopted a child from the same orphanage as we did.
Our flight to Jinan was a little delayed but the ride itself was only about 45 minutes which was great. We met up with our guide, John and started off for the hotel. We stayed at the Silver Plaze Hotel and it was great! They upgraded our rooms to suites which was wonderful! We had a large bedroom with two double beds and a private bathroom, a sitting room, a smaller bedroom with a single bed and another bathroom off the hall. It was very luxurious having so much room.
Here's the front of our hotel. When we go back for a homeland tour (maybe when Jess is 10 or so), I definitely want to stay here again. They were so nice and it was a beautiful place. A lot of the staff couldn't speak English but they'd find someone who could so they could help. When I was looking for a crib, I drew a picture and brought it to the front desk. It turned out that they didn't have any more but sent some people to make a cot out of two upholstered chairs for us. The workers refused a tip when it was offered. We tried to tip at the restaurant as well and that was refused.
On the bus from the airport, our guide told us that we would be meeting the babies that afternoon. Our itinerary had said the following day so we were all shocked and very excited! When we got to the hotel, the babies weren't there yet so we started to check in. Mike and Jason went to the bathroom and I saw a woman walk into the hotel lobby. She was by herself with a baby so we didn't think it was the nanny because we were expecting two babies to be coming. John went to talk to her and another woman walked in carrying a toddler. It was them!!! Thankfully, Mike and Jason were coming out of the bathroom so we were all there. Jess was quiet at first but then started to cry. The nanny showed me some pictures on her digital camera and gave me the cameras back that I had sent in the care package. I can't wait to get them developed! She was wearing pajamas and a dress that I'd sent as well as tights, socks, shoes, and a winter coat. The clothing police are out in full force.
Our guide told me she was hungry and asked why I didn't have any food out. Hmm...maybe because we'd been told we wouldn't meet the babies until the next day so I'd packed all the food in the suitcases rather than my carryon? I got some cheerios out and Jason fed her them.
We went up to the room to have some time with the kids before meeting up to get their passport photos taken.
Here's a pic of Mike and Jess just after going upstairs. She didn't let him hold her again willingly until the day we left Hong Kong. She's definitely a mama's girl. They told me Jess was able to walk. I'm not sure what their definition of walking is but she can stand and walk holding onto hands. She cannot walk independently. It's obvious she's spent time in a walker; she has a wide stance. My mom is buying me a high chair and wanted to know if I wanted a feed and play table instead so she could play in it. I said no because I think Jess needs more time either being held or playing on the floor, not in a stabilized seat where she won't build her coordination and muscles.
Here she is dancing with Jason.
Jinan is the city of springs. There are springs everywhere, from very small ones to large ones. This sculpture is in the park near our hotel and represents Jinan. It represents a spring coming up from the ground.
Outside the supermarket, there wa s a sculpture made entirely of Pepsi cans. Instead of Diet Pepsi, they have Pepsi Light here.
Gotta go get Jess up. I'll post more later.