Monday, March 24, 2014

{Things We Never Want to Forget}

Some moments in China that we never want to forget...

~The white butterflies in the Garden on our first outing as a family with Andie-Grace. 

~The wonderful head of guest services, Jochan, from Germany who made us feel like we were in Pretty Woman each morning...welcoming us by name when we came back from an outing...and sending us to the 30th floor most of the last week to enjoy breakfast with the big wigs!

~Loading up our 5 or so Rubbermaid containers full of pastries, yogurt and fruit for the rest of the days snacks.  We tried to do this very subtly but it totally stressed Scott out as he seemed to always be the one stuck with hiding it for us.  We just knew we were going to get kicked out of the 5 star hotel!

~The boys loading up {literally a loaf's worth} on bread each morning to take to feed the fish...and naming their favorite big one "Monster".

~Riding the escalators up and down just for sheer entertainment...and Luke learning the hard way to choose a step and stay on it!

~Playing in the golf simulator...and hitting the candy dish hard.  :)

~Scott ordering "BBQ Chicken Cartilage" at Banana Leaf only to realize that he didn't see the third word in the photo until after it came and he attempted to eat several pieces of grizzle.  The confused waitress even pointed at her elbow when he ordered it convinced that Americans didn't eat that...but he went for it...and learned to read every word possibly recognizable after that.

~Rebecca biting into one hot pepper at the Noodle House that was completely disguised and hidden and breaking out in a sweat from the heat.  She downed Andie-Grace's yogurt in the process of trying to recover from the burn. 

~Taking the cab to the Toy Market only to be dropped off at the nicest mall in Guangzhou.  Then, hailing another cab with John, Erin and Sadie and piling in the smallest car ever made with 8 people in tow!  We circled town at least once and finally got dropped off at the correct location. 

~After finding a few treasures and getting lost a few times, we decided to just head to Shamain Island for lunch since a cab driver said it was just down the road and ended up walking over an hour...asking folks about every other block which way to go.  We found Lucy's for lunch at about 3pm.  Quite an adventure with our new friends for life! 

~On the way to Shamain, we escorted our family through a work zone that wasn't blocked off in the least, but apparently put us all at risk of having large falling objects drop on our heads at any moment.  Thankfully, we didn't know we were going through a danger zone until we were out of it!

~Getting lost on the way to the orphanage...or at least our taxi driver did.  He stopped and asked at least 3 different people where the street was and no one knew.  The high point of this trip was the 5 point turn that he made in the middle of 6 lanes of traffic where I began praying and laughing hysterically for fear of immediate death...and Scott just cringed.  We were sure we were dying when the public transport bus came within 2 inches of taking us out.

~The afternoon visits to our hotel's café for coffee!  We began regulars very quickly and learned that it was better than the coffee shop down the street.  I'd get a vanilla latte...Scott a café mocha...and the boys would share a hot chocolate.  Cheapest and best fancy coffee ever!

~Wyatt becoming the omelet station chef's best customer for breakfast each morning.  The omelets got bigger and bigger each day.  Wyatt wouldn't eat much of anything else most days but downed about 3 omelets a morning filled with mushrooms, onions, bacon and ham.  We'd just look up and see Wyatt hanging out with the chef and laugh to start each day!  They were buddies!

~Luke, on the other hand, ate cinnamon and sugar covered donuts each morning...and packed a few for the day, too!  He still says that was the best part of the entire trip!

~The slippers...oh the slippers!  The boys realized by the second day of our 14 in country that the maid service would replace everything that was missing or used each day.  So, unbeknownst to Scott and I, the boys would take the two pair of white slippers and hide them behind the window treatment each day.  We didn't learn this until the end of our first week there when I was opening the curtain and found at least 15 pairs of white slippers tucked away.  Luke packed them to bring home on multiple occasions. 

~We found a great little pizza place called "Tomato's" that we ate at for two nights in a row.  On the third trip there one night, Scott showed up only to find police tape and that the entire restaurant was closed for good.  We still don't know what happened but I'm definitely rethinking that pizza.

~Wyatt and Scott throwing ball on the tennis courts.  They got some good baseball practice in and, thankfully, didn't have to pay a dime for the time to "rent" the courts thanks to Jochan {our beloved head of guest services...who, by the way, said that Celine Dion has been the hardest client to please ever and he's dealt with tons of presidents, celebrities, etc}

~The nicest Haagen Daaz ice cream shop ever created with a waitress, menus, royal red velvet king's chairs and classical Christmas music playing.  Best ice cream experience ever!

~Seeing the sunset from our hotel room window a perfect circle of dark orange...beautiful and surreal yet the first sunset I've never needed sunglasses for. 

~Seeing a little toddler boy poop on the side of the road {where we were walking} in his little split pants. 

~The look on Scott's face when he realized that he had just taken a shower and let the water go in his mouth a little.  And then the shock when I told him that I'd done that the entire time and it hadn't bothered me a bit!  {I was way more adventurous on this trip than I think he expected me to be.}

~We didn't drink the water there other than a few drops in the shower.  So, we had constant errands out for bottled water by the gallons.  Brushing my teeth with running water will never again be taken for granted.

More to come...

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