Today we visited the Family Chen's Temple, which is the oldest temple in Guangzhou, and it was amazing. The elaborate carvings all around the roof tops were so impressive. Here are a couple of my favorite photos...
After that, it was off to the Yuntai Botanical Garden. This place is absolutely beautiful. The flowers, gardens and perfectly pruned trees are set off by a backdrop of green rolling hills. We only had an hour there, but could have spent much longer just strolling the grounds...
Ok, I saved the best part for last...Lauren only had two major meltdowns today and they were shorter than they have been. Also, she actually walked about the hotel room today and played with toys AND let me play with her for about 15 minutes on the bed...
She also let us put her in the stroller for a walk around the gardens. This was the first time we could put her in the stroller while she was awake. The last time she was sleeping and only stayed in for a short time once she woke up. Most of the time Joe is carrying her in the Baby Hawk...she seems to have a preference to Baba (Daddy) right now and I'm playing assistant. We were so proud of ourselves today when we actually figured out what she wanted a few times...that's a BIG thing!
Here's a few things about our girl...
- She has beautiful eyes...they are piercingly dark with long eye lashes
- She has an adorable smile when she flashes it
- She doesn't like taking baths yet
- She likes to have her bottle immediately when she wakes up and she's not patient about it
- She spoon feeds herself and loves congee and green beans
- If she's tired she can be rocked to sleep quickly, but getting her down in the crib is another story!
- She sucks her thumb when she sleeps and isn't always quite about it
- She likes to be bundled up with a coat, blanket and hat
- She seems to have really good dexterity when she's playing with her toys
I want to thank everyone for all the sweet comments you all left for us. Last night we were both teetering on the edge and reading all your comments definitely made us feel a LOT better. Catherine, thank you for all the prayers...they mean the world to me. Jeanette, I found the round crackers like the ones you gave us from LeeLee at a little shop by the hotel. When I opened them up to give a package to Lauren she recognized them right away. They helped us quite a bit today when she was fussy...I'm so glad I knew that your daughter liked them and tried them here!
The food here has been great! We haven't tried anything unusual...when we go out as a group our guide pre-orders for everyone and she knows what us westerners like. I'm so glad that Joe and I learned to use chopsticks ahead of time so we can eat without asking for a fork. All the restaurants here on Shamain Island have forks, but I'd rather eat the local way with chopsticks.
Some random observations while here...
- I'm surprised how few Caucasians we see here. I guess I'm used to the USA being a melting pot of different cultures. It's not like that here.
- The local people like to stare and it's not just a glance or two it's full on staring for long periods of time and it's very uncomfortable. It's not only because we have a Chinese baby...we were getting stared at in Beijing before we had Lauren.
- The shop owners here on Shamain Island remember everyone's names. I'm not sure how they do it when they see so many people each day, but they do.
- The pollution problem in Guangzhou is pretty bad, but it's not as bad as I had imagined.
- The local people spend a lot of time outdoors in the park exercising, biking, skating, and playing games with friends like badminton & hackysack. It seems like they take time to relax and de-stress...we could definitely learn from this.
- Women friends walk arm in arm down the street while talking and laughing...it's very sweet.
- Restaurants don't give you napkins. If you're lucky, there is a little box on the table with what we would consider tissues.
Well, that's it for today...it's a little after 10pm on Thursday night and I'm REALLY tired. Good-night! You can see all our pics from today here.