Saturday, January 10, 2009

What an amazing day!

I can't describe how surreal it was to see Tian An Men Square and the Forbidden City, the Olympic Park and the Great Wall! It was an amazing day of touring today and the weather was perfect. It was cold, but not freezing cold, clear skies and almost no wind...our guide said we couldn't have planned better weather.

I'm dog tired, so I'm going to make this a quick post...

Our first stop today was Tian An Men Square & the Forbidden City. This place is enormous and right smack in the middle of the city. It seems to go on and on forever. The buildings were SO impressive and the architecture is amazing...


Then it was off to the Olympic Park and then the Great Wall. Everyone says how steep the Great Wall is, but until you see it for yourself it's hard to imagine. It's basically straight up and each step is a different size from the next. For those of us with short legs, sometimes it feels like you're crawling up instead of climbing. I was proud that I at least made it half way to the 1st guardhouse, considering how out of shape I am. I wasn't going to get here and not "climb" the wall.
We bought a lock, with a little red ribbon, and had our family name etched on it. Joe and I locked it to the long string of locks along the wall.



I am dog tired and need to get some sleep. We get up early to fly to Guangzhou tomorrow morning. Only ONE MORE DAY until we meet our little girl!!! Stephe, Karen and I keep pinching ourselves to see if this is real.

I uploaded all our pics from today to my Shutterfly site and you can see them here.

27 comments:

Shauna said...

Yeah, I am the first to post! I told you we would be stalking your blog. so glad to see all those places it makes me feel like I am back in China. It does look cold but beautiful. Glad you had a great day. Can't wait to hear more!

Take care,
Shauna and MacLean xo

Donna and Joe said...

Wow, Shauna, I'm impressed. You really are stalking the blog! ;)

I'm so glad you're following along!

Donna :)

Linda said...

I would have been first, but I was at Shutterfly looking at all the pictures and wondering why you had not posted!!!! Impressed you made the climb and thinking how wonderful you have a lock on the wall. Maybe someday you and Lauren will find it again...You and Joe look great and we are so excited to see everything you are doing.. Josh and Emily send all their love, we were talking about meeting Lauren and they are so excited. Emily says she is glad Lauren is a little older as she doesn't really think little babies are so much fun...Being stalking Steph's blog and her pictures are great...Mom

Steph said...

Hi Donna,
This is my first post to your blog. We've been home one month with our 23mo. daughter. I'm not sure if you will need this advise but I wish I had had some reassurance on my trip so I'm passing it along. :)
My GOTCHA day wasn't the one I had dreamed about. I was in a room with 6 other families who were referred children under one. Those babies were so happy and quiet not a peep. Then there was my daughter who ran from me and arched her back everytime I held her. I WAS prepared for this. I remained calm and just tried to take in this once in a lifetime moment. Even though I was prepared it was tough. Tough to see my daughter grieve the way she did, tough for me and tough for my husband. I don't know what kind of experience you will have, but if you would like some words of encouragement in case the first few days are rough, please pm me at stephaniecrivelli@msn.com.
Take care and enjoy every minute. I already miss China and the whole experience!!!!

PIPO said...

Just fabulous! Looking forward to Lauren day :0)

Alyson and Ford said...

Enjoy your trip to GZ - how cool is it that you get to be in the same place the rest of your trip!
(relating to Stephe's comment): You know our experience with AA so, I know all will work out. Yes, it is very hard. Our experience was the same, all infants except AA. We were prepared but we don't have any cute gotcha family day pictures (she screamed for days). Four months later and life is grand!
Enjoy every moment and get some sleep!

Alyzabeth's Mommy
Forever Family Day 09/16/08

M3 said...

Oh my goodness you are at the Great Wall!!!! So awesome, and the pics (and collages) are wonderful. Sending you guys huge hugs.

Shelley said...

Absolutely awesome! So wish we'd been able to go to Beijing. Next time. Safe flight to GZ. xo, Shell

Sharon said...

Love the photo layout Donna. You've had quite a busy day. Can't wait for Gotcha Day and to "relive" that moment in that room on the 8th floor in Guangzhou...it is surreal!!

Safe flight! Relax and enjoy the moment.

Sharon

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I was stalking the blog at 4 a.m .AZ time...lol..
LOVE the photos..
I am sooo excited.. Looks like you are having sooo much fun..
HUGS..
Can't wait..

Jacquie said...

I am beside myself with excitement with you. And find myself missing China after seeing your photos. How fun would it have been if I could've gone and been your group photographer? Hee. You're going to love Guangzhou. I can't wait 'til you meet Lauren!

Cora said...

Great collages! Look like you are having fun.

Laura and Dan said...

I am sorry you are so tired, but how can you sleep??? I practically can't sleep just thinking about you and Joe. :) I can't imagine the excitement and anticipation! You give me hope to hang on. ENJOY these moments, I know you will. XOOXO, Laura

Tracy said...

Great photos. Thinking of you as you count down the hours! Best Wishes.

Tracy said...

Great photos. Thinking of you as you count down the hours! Best Wishes.

hiltonsheadeast said...

Hi D and J! Our gotcha day (Dec 18th 2008 - 22 month old, Qiao) was awesome. Your moment will be what it is. Do not stress! All the babies in our group were older (all almost 2YO) and there was no crying or fussing at all. They just came off a 3 hour bus ride so the poor things were probably too exhausted and thirsty to cry. :) Lauren is from a place very near where Qiao came from. I wish you a day like we had. Magic! If you need reassurance, go back to our blog and check out our "Together Forever Day". Huge hugs, Lori, Andy & Qiao

Anonymous said...

Donna & Joe, I know you are going to be surprised to here from me since I never post comments. I can usually just talk to you. I just want you to know I appreciate all the photos and posts and I can't stop checking to see if you have posted anything new. You guys look great and I can't wait until tomorrow. Talk to you soon. Christine

Anonymous said...

Omigosh - so exciting to see you there and getting ready for the biggest day ever. Looks like we are up for our match at the end of this month...Can't wait to see your post for Gotcha Day...and then get there ourselves!

Love this adoption community. So many wonderful people.

All the best to you as you meet your precious Lauren!! Wow!

lisa in sacramento

OziMum said...

Fantastic photos! I love the pic of you and Joe on the Great wall, with the Wall following along behind you!

The weather doesn't look chilly... but your coats & scarves kinda give it away!!! Stay warm!

mommy2gabby said...

So glad you are enjoying site seeing! I can't wait to go and visit the Great Wall and do a lock for us! Love the collages. they are fantastic. I need to figure out how to do them.

I am so anxious to see you on your Gotcha day with your precious Lauren!

Not much longer...!
:) Jody

Doreen said...

Stop pinching yourself, you're gonna get hurt! You're meeting Lauren...tra la la....
BTW....did you get to sleep the night before? Are you going to sleep tonight? Inquiring minds need to know!

Doreen in Montreal single mom to Faith-Jiangxi & Mia-Sichuan

Ava Baby said...

Glad you guys had such a great day in Beijing! It is amazing to see all the sites. I'm sure you guys are tired! Enjoy and I can't wait to see you with Lauren!
Michele & Ava

chicknboy said...

it is surreal isn't it?! and to have such gorgeous weather..what a blessing!

hope you get some great sleep and have an uneventful trip down to GZ.

praying for you guys!

Christi and Abbey said...

Even though I'm here in China I am now missing Beijing and Baby Time! I am so thrilled for you all. Your photos and collages are FANTASTIC! What treasures for all of you. Enjoy every moment! Jumping up and down in Shenzhen!!

reneeks@gmail.com said...

Donna and Joe,

What an amazing day you are about to have. If you are like us, you won't feel that way for a few days. But no matter what your experience is...you will never be the same. Congrats, and remember to breathe....
Renee, Frank and Samantha (From Waiting Families Group in AZ)

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I have been waiting for pictures..
You are up late..
Love the new pictures..
When I saw the crib.. my eyes filled with tears.. I know you were too..
Hugs..
It is almost Lauren Day..

Shannon said...

Wow, scrapbooking your pics. Impressive! I love those locks. Very cool. Chomping at the bit for you to have Lauren in your arms! Wasn't Starbucks a lovely surprise? It's a cute little area. Enjoy! =)