Psalm: 90:09- We spend our years as a tale that is told


Monday, June 18, 2012

Old Guangzhou & Dinner with Friends

Today we saw the temple from the 6th century AD in town. After a couple blocks walk to through old Guangzhou (GZ), we were at the temple entrance. The city is built up around it which is a shame because it seems to take away anything special about it. The temple we visited in Harper's province was much more grand and set away from the city buildings. It had lots of beautifully manicured grounds and made it feel like you were somewhere completely unique.

We left the temple and walked down an alley way which led into a market. The Cantonese cuisine consists of a lot of fresh produce, meat, fish and poultry -- the live hens were a clue things were really "fresh" here! There were plenty of butchers ready to pluck there fish, hens or turtles from the cages or tanks to prepare your next meal. I've been to plenty of markets in cities around the states, but the smells here in China are so unique -- not particularly in a good way. The last stand in the market had fresh lychee (pronounced lee-chee), which is a spiky ball with a delicious, sweet fruit inside. The farmer gave us one and we peeled it back so Talia could try a free sample. It passed so I bought 12 yuan's worth (which is about $1.88). They filled the bag with branches leaves and all!

Talia loved the outdoor market and seeing all the people. She was talking a lot and Richard was trying to figure out if she speaks more Mandarin or Cantonese and then she responded saying, "I speak Cantonese". Well alright then! She is a little fighter and knows when to speak up for herself. By the medical reports we received we did not expect her to be saying more then a few words but she is doing really well. She is so much fun and I feel like we have been together forever.

After the market, we walked through old GZ where Richard, our guide, led us through everyday life in China. We took a couple side turns down neighborhood streets (to us, we would say alley ways) and witnessed the normal routines of the local folks. Life is simple here in old GZ. People generally don't have much and are masters at making do with the resources around them. Truly resourceful and driven to be efficient as possible. Talia enjoyed munching on lychees along the way (she fit right in except for the Lolly Wolly Doodle American outfit with bows and ruffles!) Dad on the other hand looked like a typical tourist with camera in hand capturing anything that seemed interesting. We stopped at an "old" house in China with bars on the doors to keep folks out. I asked how old and he said 80 years. To us that is old but not always historically significant. In China, Richard said the government doesn't care about any old buildings so they typically get destroyed for new ones to be built.

After our afternoon nap, we got ready for dinner at the Italian restaurant across from the hotel. Mary Jane had made a couple of friends through the adoption community via Facebook that were in GZ the same time as me and Talia. Actually they are even on the same floor as us at The Garden Hotel. I guess they group the adoptive families from the United States! There were two families that I met up with in the lobby. One was from South Carolina and met their new daughter, Julia, last Monday who is absolutely adorable. The other family, the Fouts,  had just landed in GZ the day before and were meeting their daughter the next morning. They brought along there biological daughter and adopted daughter. Both girls are super sweet and played with Talia and Julia. We had a great time getting to know each other and I enjoyed meeting such incredible people. Each family has an amazing story and I was lucky enough to spend some time with them. The girls played and we all chatted and enjoyed some Italian food. Mine was okay, but by looking around the table, I should have ordered something else! I knew Talia would recognize the noodles with our spaghetti dish, so I stuck with what she would feel comfortable with. Sure enough, in true Talia style, she had her own plate, found a fork and went to town on the pasta. I ordered an apple juice with her and they came back with apple juice, but it looked like a cocktail with a squiggly straw and all! It was freshly juiced so I had to keep stirring it to mix up some of the pulp. She loved it.

Off to the Pearl market tomorrow and maybe back to the island where we stayed with Harper. It should bring back good memories.


  1. Todd
    Your having way too much fun, actually you appear to be putting some weight back on that you lost all those past months preparing and working towards this trip. keep up the great work, soon I will meet my Granddaughter in person, can't hardly wait.
    take care
    God Bless you Both.
    Poppy (Ye Ye)

  2. You are so lucky to have Richard as your guide! I am completely envious. You are in good hands, enjoy Guangzhou.

  3. I have loved reading your blog. We travel to Nanning in 21 days to get our daughters. We wanted to blog our way through our trip for our family but I thought all of the blog sites were blocked. How do you get around it.

    Michele Yoder

  4. What fun to meet and spend time with other families from the US adopting also :)

  5. Hey Todd!Great pictures. You're doing awesome. xoxo