This morning the breakfast room was crowded so we got upgraded to the 30th floor restaurant. It has a panoramic view of the city and the same delicious food. Everything is just a bit fancier. So up our alley ;) After breakfast we met our group for today's outing - a visit to YueXiu Park and Shangxiajiu walking street and Liwan Plaza for shopping.
The weather today was great. Slightly warmer but still pleasant and sunny. There were lots of stairs in the park, so we left our stroller on the bus and I was forced to put Lily in the Ergo again. She loved it just as much as the last time I put her in it... I think now it's more because she wants to walk around than be carried, so when we got to the top of the stairs to the 5 Goats Statue I let her walk around. She was much happier then, but I missed the entire historical explanation of the statue since I was following her around. I think it's something about goats coming down from the gods or sending something up to the gods? No idea. It's 5 goats made out of stone, that's all I've got.
Then we went back down the steps to an area of the park where everyone was playing hackeysack. When I picture people playing hackeysack I imagine teens or young adults who are kind of in the skater stereotype playing with brightly colored bean bag type balls. Not in China! In China all the people playing were older, retired people (or as they like to call them here, the aged) and they play with these feather things that look kind of like badminton birdie mixed with a lawn dart. I'm sure they got lots of entertainment out of watching all the uncoordinated Americans try to play. I couldn't participate because I couldn't see my feet with Lily in the carrier. (At least that's the lie I told everyone when I missed.) Caroline was again a bit of a movie star, and another group of people asked to take their picture with her. They are usually pretty polite so I tell them that they can try but she might get scared. She usually gives them the stink eye that she has now perfected and hides behind me.
We walked back to the bus and headed to our next destination - shopping! Our guide Simon took us to a pearl shop and a jade shop that he felt were the best quality and lowest price. We started in the pearl shop and I picked out two strands of South Sea pearls to make into 4 bracelets and 4 pairs of earrings. One set for me, and one for Caroline, Lily, and Matthew's future wife on their wedding days. Mom picked out some beautiful pearls for a necklace for herself too. It was so cool watching the lady make the jewelry right there!
Many Chinese wear a jade circle necklace, so we decided to get one for Lily to have on her 16th birthday. Brian had the idea to get 18 different gifts in China, one for each of Lily's birthdays. That way every year she will have something from China. I'm actually wearing the necklace now, because they told us that the green color in the jade spreads when it is worn. I'm pretty sure I won't be wearing this for the next 15 years, but I will wear it while we're in China. The last stop was an embroidery shop where I was able to get a beautiful fan for Lily's room along with some other gifts for friends and family at home. Then back to the hotel.
Picking out Lily's jade
Thank goodness for iphones!
The embroidery shop
I knew the Dusseaults were set to arrive in the early afternoon, and I was hoping that we would run into them in the lobby when we got there. Sure enough, we did! They were just checking in! Matthew and Caroline were so happy to see Henry. After saying our hellos and greetings we went upstairs and let the kids run around the hallway for a bit. Their room is right down the hall from us! Our kids hadn't eaten so we let the Dusseaults get settled and fed our kids some PBJ. Then we took them down to see the fish. Matthew and Caroline have been talking about showing Henry the fish for several days now. They had a great time running all around the gardens. Caroline was starting to get tired, and Matthew had been pretty cranky all day so we said bye to the Dusseaults and headed up for naps. M and C went to sleep in Baba's room and we had to wake them up at 7:00 for dinner! I guess they were pretty tired! Brian and I had fun playing with Lily in our room and I did a little more laundry. Around 5:00 little koala started getting sleepy so we took a short nap together. We decided to have a low key night and Brian went and grabbed a pizza for dinner. Then we let the kids watch a movie and relax and play. Tomorrow we get to go to another zoo and on a dinner cruise on the Pearl River!