Today is our full day. In the morning we went to the consulate to be sworn in and to pick up our visas. We must have waited an hour and then had to pass thru 3 security gates and in the end all they do is look at you and your baby then someone comes into the room and has you raise your right hand and swear that all the information that you have provided is true. At this point they know more about me than most of my friends. Short of a body cavity check I'm not sure what's left. But thankfully it's all over. We're looking forward to getting home. I can tell that M is ready for a mommy.
After the swearing in R and I had lunch and did some last minute shopping. Rhea wanted to go back to the wholesale market and pick up some chinese new year decorations. That was the place we went when we first arrived in Gz where there were all those little shops filled with lanterns and tassels. It's was fun.
One of the market highlights of the day was wandering thru the Chinese medicinal market filled with all sorts of exotic and bizarre (to us) dried things. We saw dried sea horses, snakes, starfish, caterpillars, and other things I know not what. A particularly intriguing thing was this one man we saw on the road overpass who had out this little blanket with all these exotic animal parts for sale. Many of them I'm sure illegal. There were the scalps and antlers of some types of antelopes and most strange was the forearm paws and claws of what I swear was a tiger and if not some other large cat. Amazing, yet sad too.
After carrying M in the Snuggly for untold hrs. I was whipped. So we went back to the hotel for a bit to rest before going out to our final farewell feast. First, however, we went out to drop off our disposable camera that we got back from the Orphanage. We had sent 2 disposable cameras to the SWI for the foster parents to take pictures of M. I can't wait to see the pictures. I must say though I found it funny to be dropping our Italian disposable cameras from Esselunga off at the photo shop in china. Sort of a poignant reminder of how crazy the last month has been. One month ago today we had just arrived in California and I've been in China for 2 weeks of it.
The farewell dinner was nice but I must say it's hard to have fun while eating with a ravenous baby. M just scream "ahhh" (feed me) between that and the usual baby pull everything off the table games, mealtimes are seldom a highlight. Plus I'm not much for Rice wine and Karaoke.
Well we're all looking forward to getting home. Though I guess for M the adventure continues, for us as well but for her more so. I have a feeling she'll be setting in just fine when we get there. Though the time change is going to be a trick.
We'll be leaving the hotel at about 3:30 to catch our quick flight to HK and then continue on from there to SFO.
Now, let me explain the photo. Yesterday, after we were allowed to leave the hotel (You may remember we had to say her until our paperwork had all cleared over at the consulate) we briefly joined some folks who went to the jewelry market. We quickly discovered that that didn't interest us so after some exploring we jumped in a cab and went to the zoo, which turned out to be much nicer than I had expected. The facilities were a bit sad but the animals were impressive and very active. Now maybe it's because they were hungry I don't know but they were moving around and looked beautiful. We saw The Panda (a bit sad looking) and the Red Panda, Lions, Tiger, Bear the usual animals. One highlight was a mother and baby camel. The keepers were milking the mother while holding the baby to make bottles for later. They also had Ocean World there sort of an aquarium and dolphin show which Rhea loved and where she had the opportunity to pet the dolphin.
Time for bed we've got packing and travel ahead.
Goodnight/morning all. Ciao!