Sunday was one of the “on our own” days while we’re here. Many of our days involve either adoption-related business or pre-arranged tours scheduled through our agency. Our day started as usual with a hearty breakfast at the buffet in the Hotel Restaurant. The rain let up and the sky didn’t look threatening, so we ventured out into the neighborhood surrounding our Hotel.
We had been told that here was a nice park not too far down on “Subway Street” (this was the name we gave to the street just out the back door of the hotel on which there were many restaurants – including, of course, Subway). We got to the end, and we used one of the many footbridges/overpasses to cross the intersecting main road. One of the nice things about GZ are the number of pedestrian friendly overpasses & footbridges. These are available on most major intersections, and we use them – because the alternative is life threatening. On the way to the park, AR and I wondered how much money could be saved by local authorities due to cost savings by not having to paint Pedestrian Crosswalks on the streets – NO ONE pays any attention to them anyway!!
After a short walk, we made it to the Park (I think it was called Martyr’s Park). It was quite large, and there were nice walking/running path ringing a couple of lakes. The weather was warm, but at least it was humid – AGAIN! There was a bit of light rain, early on, but it subsided as the day went on. The threat of rain was enough to keep the paddleboat rental office closed up tight. We did think about it…
On our walk around the lakes we saw a group of folks in a pavilion taking turns singing Chinese songs, and dancing along. It was a nice set-up – with a microphone and speakers – and it looked like they were probably there every week. The kids stopped briefly but wanted to keep moving to avoid the MOSQUITOES! It seemed that everyone was getting bitten except Dad – thanks most likely to hairy legs.
After we passed by the singers/dancers we found a “Quiet Area” that was surrounded by hundreds of Lotus Plants on the water. There were a ton of photographers, many of whom looked to be capturing the slowly opening flowers via time lapse sequences.
During the first few days with Ryan, he’s seemed to become comfortable with each of the other children, except Dylan… Whenever Dylan offered to hold Ryan’s hand, he would just pull it away and either offer it to someone else or choose not to hold anyone’s hand for that moment. We could sense Dylan’s disappointment whenever it happened. Dylan persisted over the course of the first days, and we even asked Ryan if he wanted to hold Dylan’s hand (Sometimes we told Ryan that each of the other children was already holding the hand of an adult, and D was the only kid left to hold hands with). But, sadly, Ryan just wasn’t ready. Until TODAY!
Without any prodding, and pretty much out of left field, he held out his little hand and said “Dylan”? All three of the grown-ups scrambled to make sure that D heard his number being called – and help them connect their hands. Dylan was beside himself with joy, smiling ear-to-ear, as he walked hand-in-hand with his new little brother. It was very heartwarming to see.
Lisa and I flashed back to our first few days with Kyle, after his adoption. Kyle would just NOT go to Lisa. For whatever reason, he wasn’t able to let her in. Whenever, Kyle lost line-of-sight with me, he’d break down. It was tremendously difficult for Lisa, especially after waiting 27 months to meet him. Then one day, just like any other day, she was trying to play with him on the bed, and she started tickling him. His face lit up when he got a good look at hers, and he laughed like there was no tomorrow. She was finally able to break through to him – and that was it, he was OK.
Since it was so hot, when we passed a little shop selling ice cream we took a break and enjoyed some. There was a young kid (perhaps 15-16) hanging around asking us something in Mandarin. We kept telling him we didn’t understand what he was saying, but he kept trying! We eventually tried to indicate that Ryan was the ONLY native Mandarin speaker, and that perhaps he should talk to Ryan! He loitered around us for a bit longer, and then sensing that nothing was going to happen (perhaps he was panhandling??), he wandered away toward another area of the park. It then occurred to us that perhaps he just wanted to get to know AR better – a new BF maybe!!
Earlier in the walk, the kids found a couple of formerly nice traditional Chinese fans. Unfortunately they had been left out in the rain on the ground, and gotten a bit…let’s say…ratty. No matter – as the kids took turns playing with them they accompanied us most of the way around the lake. AR and Dad, finally dumped them into the trash bin (where they should have been from the start) during the Ice Cream Break. No one missed them.
Just before we left, we came upon an area with a load of playground-style exercise equipment, most for older folks to stay limber. The kids tried each one and had a lot of fun testing their strength (or lack thereof). Then we found a small area with some kiddie rides. This was a big hit, and Ryan really enjoyed riding with hie new brothers and sisters.
After we left the park, we walked back down Subway Street to the Hotel. Tempting fate, but wanting to extend good weather-luck, we went to the pool. There were other adoptive families there and we spend nearly 2 HOURS enjoying ourselves. Luckily, after a few light sprinkles, the rain let up again, and we stayed until Dinner Time. Ryan LOVES the Pool and he very much enjoys swimming.
For Dinner, we went to a place called “The Brew” not too far from the hotel. They offered a lot of American/Western (i.e. familiar) choices for everyone. Dad even had a “Philly Cheese Steak” – not quite up to the quality of Jim’s or Geno’s, but certainly enjoyable. Dylan had some “Milk Tea” to drink! In the next booth there was a raft of what appeared to be Canadians, enjoying themselves, as well. One thing we did take note of was the seemingly random pacing and sequencing of the food as it was served. Main Dishes many times came out first, and even then only one-at-a-time. Appetizers came out whenever…there was no predictability at all. And since things were delivered to the table at random, everyone started eating when THEIR plates arrived! It took a bit of getting used to, but apparently most restaurants follow these serving guidelines!!
Just before we headed out, as we were wrapping up, a fairly large fellow came in and sat near us. We noticed the boys snickering, and AR found out why: his T-Shirt said “I (red heart) to Fart.” So, being AR, she asked the man if she could take a picture of the shirt. He, of course, obliged. (I’ll try to find the pic and post it…). Potty-humor is always a big hit with our guys!
After an uneventful walk back, we headed to bed. The boys discovered that the TV in their room actually DID work, and they watched TV WAY TOO LATE !
Finally, at 3:45 AM Lisa awakened to the sounds of a PARTY upstairs. i didn’t wake up from the noise, but once she alerted me to it, there was no going back to sleep!
The Pond Full of Lotus Flowers
Dylan wants to Pump YOU UP!
On the Rides at the Park
On the Rides at the Park
On the Rides at the Park
On the Rides at the Park
At the Park
Those beautiful Fans!
With Mom at the Park
A Few of the Boats We MIGHT HAVE gone riding on…
At the Entrance to the Lotus Pond
Dylan holding Ryan’s Hand, After Days of NOT Holding Ryan’s Hand
Ice Cream in the Park
Rides in the Park
After a long Day, Dylan enjoying a well-deserved cup of Milk Tea
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