Monday, November 12, 2012

Park And Pearls

Our second day in Guangzhou began pretty low key.  It was nice to have time in the morning to just take our time and not have to be out the door at a certain time.  We didn't have a great night sleep as Ellie's tummy and teeth seem to be bothering her.  She also has had her world turned upside down in the last 7 days.  So we just keep loving on our little girl and take it a day at a time. 

I can't believe that just 7 days ago this little girl was placed in our arms and now is wrapped tightly around our hearts. 

We have discovered Ellie loves books. It is fun to see her trying to use her little hands to try to open the flaps in this book.  Every day her fingers and hands get a little stronger.  I know that in no time we will see her flipping those pages. 

We have also discovered that our little girl loves music.  She bobs her little head when we put music on.  

Later in the morning we walked to a beautiful park that is just down the road from our hotel.  One of the things I love about China is walking through the parks.  

They are beautiful and the people in them make them even more beautiful. 

Today we saw a group of women dancing when we first entered the the park.  

The paths around the park were absolutely beautiful.  

I loved all the trunks of the trees along the path. 

The were trees that grew in very interesting angels through out the park. 

The paths were around a beautiful lake that was full of water lilies. 

We continued walking taking it all in. 

Miss Ellie continues to soak up cuddle time with daddy when we are out and about! She isn't going to know what hit her next week when daddy has to go back to work. 

There were men and women reading, painting and doing other art.  This man was writing on large papers in the park. 

We have no idea what this building is in the park but it was stunning! 

It was a beautiful day to take in the park and the Chinese culture.  I am sure we will make our way back there before we head home. 

In the afternoon we did some power shopping with Ann.

Ann is known as Ann of Red Thread in the states.  You can order care packages or birthday cakes through her for your child.  She will get them to the orphanage or foster home for you.  She often will get updates photos for you as well.  In the morning she had gone with a family as a translator to visit the child's foster mom.  We used her to help us doing some shopping. She knows exactly where to go and where to get the good quality items.  

Our first stop was for traditional Chinese silks.  

I had my little notebook of the kids measurements and a tape measure.  We went to town finding silks for the kids and getting extras for the years to come as they grow. 

Look at that smile on Eric's face. Shopping is his least favorite thing to do ... let along shopping in China.  What a sport.  Ellie was a great sport as well. 

We stopped at the silk scarf shop ...

and the porcelain shop. 

We left that market and made our way on foot to the Pearl Market.  It was a crazy walk and keeping up with Ann was even crazier.  She is a woman on a mission.  We often fell behind and she told us not to be so gentle on the streets.  She would walk and shout out commands in Chinese and it seemed as those the sea of people would part for her.  Like I said she was a woman on a mission.

There are certain sights and smells from China that will always be part of our experience.  You could walk the streets of many China towns and see similar things. There are people on bikes with their pots of potatoes ...

or corn. 

People are pushing carts of food through the streets or on the sidewalks. 

There are carts parked all over selling various things.  This man was selling fresh squeezed juice. 

You will often seen men pushing large loads through the streets. 

We finally made it to the Pearl Factory.  The Pearl Factory is overwhelming.  It is floors and floors of pearl shops. Each shop has bags and bags of pearls. We went there when we adopted Max and had no idea what were were doing or where to even start looking.  I was wearing the pearl pendant that I bought when we were here adopting Max.  Ann informed me she would never let a client by something like that ... it was only worth $3 US dollars.  Hmmm yes that is the very reason we didn't buy too many pearls last time around.  We were clueless. 

We followed Ann as she made her way to a little shop and in no time there were strings of pearls all over the glass counter and she was moving strands left and right studying the quality that the store owner had laid out.  

She asked to put some away and bring out others.  We just watched and listened. 

Miss Ellie and I trying to decided on which strand of pearls would be hers for her wedding day.  

Next they brought out the single pearls and we picked some out and I ran with Ann to another shop to pick out the hardware.  We bought it and brought it back and watched them put our pendants together.  It was pretty amazing.  

Miss Ellie looked on as they strung her pearls. 

 There were three women in the store helping us and they were ooing and awing over Ellie and asking Ann all kinds of questions about her.  I could tell they were talking about her bow after a while.  Ann informed me that in China kids only wear white on their head for a funeral ... oops!  Ann told me she didn't really care and we were Americans so we could do what ever we wanted.  It makes me wonder how many other things we do that leave the Chinese very confused or even offended. 

 We finished the night with a stop on Shamian Island for dinner.  We stayed on Shamian Island when we adopted Max so ate at a variety of resturants there.  We decided to hit one of our favorite Tai Resturant called Cow and Bridge.  

We had another great day in Guangzhou and are starting the count down until we board a plane and bring Ellie home !


Anonymous said...

I know you have no idea who we are, but we have been following your trip and "reliving" our own a few years back. We are praying for your safety. I know you miss your others at home! Just from the pictures it is amazing to see Ellie transform. God Bless! The Whartons (Tim, Rachelle, Sheldon, Molly, Madelyn, Riley and Gracie)

jennifer said...

Looks like a perfect day in China! I love GZ!! I also LOVE Cow and Bridge!! Miss Ellie looks right at home in her daddy's arms :) Sweet baby girl!

So funny about the bow! I'm quite sure I was the laughing stock of many Chinese people while we were there :)

Beth Nagel said...

I feel like I'm right there with you, sweetie! The pictures are amazing and I can only imagine the thousands you have that we haven't seen yet. Ellie looks great and is clearly blossoming :) Love you and can't wait to give you a gigantic hug!! Love, Beth

Luciana said...

Your Ellie is so pretty. You're a good looking bunch. I'm sure you're getting tons of attention here in China. Your photos are great. Do you mind sharing what camera you use? Do you edit your photos before posting them? They are fantastic. It's so wonderful to see Ellie transform right before our eyes. I look forward to your posts at the end of each day.

Paige said...

Oh this brings back so many memories. My husband Hank drove poor Ann crazy with all our shopping for pearls:) she is awesome!! If you see her again tell her Paige and Hank say HI! Ellie is so very sweet!!

Susan said...

I just love all the beautiful pictures! It brings back so many wonderful memories when we were there in Nov. 2010 getting our Lily! I had to laugh about the white bow....we too, were told in Guangzhou by our hotel doorman at China Hotel that the white bow meant "death"! Lol, no telling what all the locals were saying about us as we shopped and thought our princess looked so precious in her bow! Ellie looks like she is really feeling at home in the arms of her daddy! So sweet!

Teri said...

Oh I love seeing Ellie change and the shine in her eyes. A girl who loves books melts my heart! I am loving following your journey and all the love for your little angel!

Sammy said...

Oh, it looks like such fun!

Shari said...

What a day of shopping. Sounds like Ellie is quite the trooper!
We learned the lesson about the white bow (also black) at Chinese class one Saturday. I explained it to Amelia so she knows that in Chinese culture it means someone has died, but most of the time she just wants her bow to match her clothes:)

Fannie said...

You are making me SOOOO READY TO GO!! :) Such an amazing adventure you guys are on. I know some of it has been incredibly sad, but Ellie is with her parents on this wonderful adventure. Before long she'll be home to meet her brothers and sisters who are going to LOVE her!

Ann really knows her stuff huh? I bet the shopping was much less intimidating with an expert along with you. ;)

So glad to hear that Ellie continues to do well. She really is soaking up the daddy love! I'll keep praying for her little tummy and for good news from the docs when you get home. I think she gets prettier every day!!

Andra said...

She is so precious Julie!! Can't wait for you to get home and let that munchkin meet her big sisters and brothers!!
And YAY!!! She loves books. :)

Jennifer said...

Books and music? What wonderful things to love from a young age! And what an adventure shopping. I love the way you think ahead for special traditions with your kiddos...

Shirley H. said...

From the wordings on the building in the park, it seems like a Chinese Restaurant.

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