S: There and Back Again... Lilly's return to trip to CHINA 2012
BC: DEPARTED | CHINA | 23 APRIL 2012
FC: There and Back Again...
1: CHINA | CHINA | ARRIVED April 11, 2012 | . | . | . | . | . | . | Beijing | Guilin | Guangzhou | Xi'an | Chengdu | Boston | . | Tianjin | Lilly's Return Trip to China 2012
2: Lilly is going to visit her homeland. She has dreamed of this day for many years and in just a few short hours she will be in China. She is filled with anticipation. What will it be like? Will it provide the answers to the questions she can't put into words? Will she climb the Great Wall, hold a baby panda, take a boat ride on the River Li? Will she see the orphanage she lived in years ago, What will the people be like? Let's see where this journey takes her... | April 10-24, 2012
4: Guangzhou | April 12- 14 Victory Hotel Guide: Daniel Wednesday: Arrived late Thursday: Shopping in Guangzhou, bought pearls for Lilly and Sandra Lunch: Dim Sum Walked around Shamian Island Dinner: Victory Hotel Friday: Banyan Temple Guangzhou Children's Social Welfare Home Lunch: a banquet at the orphanage Concord Medical Center Memorial garden for the Martyrs in the rain, heavy rain Shopping for language help Phone calls, text and picture messages with Karen at home to get the location. Dinner: Victory Hotel Saturday: Leave early for the airport and stop at SanYuanLi on the way. Fly to Guilin
6: Our first hotel in China is the Victory Hotel on Shamian Island. The original plan was to stay at the White Swan Hotel where we stayed in 1998. But it was closed for renovations and they did not meet the scheduled reopening on April 1st. We had a suite reserved but when we arrived late on the first night we found our room had two double beds. It was too late to deal with it so we made do. In the morning we discovered the room had a beautiful balcony. The bathroom is beautiful and the room is quite large. The next morning when we got downstairs, Daniel our guide had already made the room change to a suite. The service here is incredible. As an energy saving measure each room has a switch with a card holder. Once you take the room key card out of it most of the power in the room is shut off. | Lilly's first full day in China. She brought a few friends to keep her company.
7: Gerry and Lilly discovered this little gem in the stairwell. | This is the suite we were moved to. The king sized was great for Gerry and Sandra but Lilly didn't appreciate the cot and ended up sleeping on the couch.
8: Shamian Island We stayed at the Victory Hotel and spent some of our time strolling in this beautiful and peaceful park.
9: Shopping in Guangzhou We spent our first full day in China shopping. First stop, the Pearl Market to get Lilly a pearl necklace, earrings and a ring. On to clothes shopping, a traditional Chinese dress and then some more modern things. The best part... the clothing sizes are proportioned for Lilly.
10: Temple of the Six Banyan Trees | April 13, 2012 | Guangzhou | Sunny morning in the Temple | In China people can no longer be buried when they die. Cremation is mandatory. Now the loved ones can buy a slot on the wall to put a small photo and information tag, The monks will then pray for those people. And it gives them somewhere to go since they no longer have cemeteries.
11: Guangzhou Martyrs Memorial Park | Rainy afternoon in the park | This is the park we walked in just before leaving China in 1998. It's where we said goodbye to Tony, who helped us during Lilly's hospital stay.
12: Guangzhou Children's Social Welfare Home
13: In 1998 the orphanage was in farm country, a 30 minute ride outside the city of Guangzhou. In 2012 the city has grown up around the orphanage. Now there are just small plots of land for the people who still want to farm.
14: Where it all began... In 1998 Lilly met Mom in this courtyard, 14 years later they are returning, with Dad. The people at Guangzhou CSWH welcome us with open arms. Miss Chu greets us and after a few emotional minutes in this courtyard we tour the orphanage. There are toddlers in different classrooms, singing, dancing and playing. In another room, there are many babies being cared for by several Ayis (nannies). They seem as curious about us as we are about them. Next we walk to a new building and in a beautiful board room there is a Welcome Back sign and we meet with the Assistant Director, the Dr. who gave Lilly her Chinese name, Bai Xiao Qun, two of the Ayis who helped care for Lilly, and the Director's wife. After a time of introductions, memories, questions, revelations, thank yous and photographs we are taken to a banquet with delicacies from the Guangdong Province prepared just for us. We could not have dreamed of such a warm reception. | MEMORIES
18: A banquet is prepared for us by the chef at the Guangzhou Children's Social Welfare Home
19: In 1998 Lilly was not well and spent several days here until we were able to go home.
20: SanYuanLi | In 1994 SanYuanLi was a small farming village outside the city of Guangzhou. This is where a beautiful little girl was discovered on June 10, 1996. Since then the village has been absorbed by the ever growing city. The farm land has been planted with concrete high rise buildings to house the booming population. And that beautiful little girl is now our amazing Lilly.
22: Guilin | April 14- 15 Sheraton Guilin Hotel Guide: Tao Saturday: Arrived after lunch Elephant Trunk Hill Dinner of Local flavor Walked around Central Square shopping and nightlife Sunday: River Li Cruise Lunch on the cruise Country farm land tour 300 year old farm house Yangshuo Guilin Art Museum Fly to Chengdu
24: The Sheraton Guilin Hotel When we checked in and went to our room someone was already there. They gave us the wrong room key. The occupants were as surprised as much as Gerry. The bellboy ran to get the right key and the clerk from the front desk came with him to apologize and they gave Lilly a doll to make up for the mistake.
25: Elephant Hill Guilin
26: RIVER LI | Cruise | GUILIN
27: RIVER LI is one of China's most famous rivers and among the world's most well-known rivers! The river is long and is located in the southeast of China and runs through the cities of Guilin and Yangshuo. Definitely one of the words most beautiful and most often painted rivers!
28: On the River Li | This is our "tour bus" | China's Communist Flag | Fishing boats like this this small boat pull up and unload their fish onto the tour boats. Fresh fish for lunch.
29: On the Yangshuo Road | Burial site | This is our "tour bus" | Canola plants | Rice Paddy
30: River Li Map With Guilin and Yangshuo
31: Yangshuo | A typical tourist town at the end of the River Li cruise | Snack shops | Crafts people | Souvenirs Souvenirs Souvenirs "T-Shirt 1 dollar" | Tourists
33: This 300 year old farm house has been in the same family for 11 generations. There are still two generations living there and it is working farm. Tools include a soybean mill, a spinning wheel and well water from a pump in the front courtyard. The pomelos tasted somewhat like a grapefruit.
35: Bai Xiao Qun | At the Art Museum in Guilin we saw paintings and drawings of the beautiful landscapes we saw earlier on the River Li. | We had Lilly's Chinese name carved in a stamp.
36: Chengdu | April 15- 17 Tibet Hotel Guide: Andy Driver: Sunday: Arrived late, ordered room service at the hotel Monday: Giant Panda Breeding Research Facility, Lilly held a Panda! Lunch: at a restaurant in Wenshu Yuan Wenshu Monastery People's Park Tea Dinner: Hot Pot Tuesday: Fly to Xi'an
38: Chengdu | Lilly is holding a 6 month old Panda cub. He has a bamboo stick dipped in honey to keep him happy while visitors hold him for pictures. We also see red pandas and panda kindergartens. There are some Pandas that catch food off fishing poles to strengthen their back legs. There were also black swans and hundreds of fish in Swan Lake. In the end, Lilly takes a (stuffed) panda home. | Giant Panda Breeding Research Facility
40: Do you see the moth?
41: UMBRELLAS Not just for rain any more!
42: The Tibet Hotel Chengdu | This is one of the rare times that we had to just relax. Lilly took a bath, I started my knitting project and Gerry packed.
43: People's Park - Chengdu | Split pants work great for easy potty training. This worked better on the farms than in the city. | The parks in China get lots of use. Most people live in high rise apartment buildings and do not have yards. | Exercise | Singing and dancing | Tourists | Personal ads placed by impatient parents of unmarried children | Practice your calligraphy | Tea in the park. "Want a massage?" "Read your tea leaves?"
45: Tuesday: Arrived before lunch Lunch: Local restaurant, DQ for desert Half day city tour Xi'an Ancient City Wall Big Wild Goose Pagoda People watching in town square Dinner: Chinese Dumplings Shaanxi Grand Opera House, Tang-Dynasty Palace Music and Dances Wednesday: Terracotta Warriors factory Terracotta Warriors Museum Late Lunch: at a local restaurant Swimming at the hotel pool Dinner at the steak house in the hotel Thursday: Mr. Li brought us to the airport, early flight Fly to TianJin/Beijing | April 17-19 Sheraton Xi'an Hotel Guide: Michael Driver: Mr. Li | Memories
46: Tastes of Home | Michael's favorites | Gerry's favorite | Xi'an
47: The city walls are still intact. The nine miles of walls encircle the center of the city.
48: Tang-Dynasty Palace Music and Dancers
49: Xi'an Art Ceramics & Lacquer Factory | The techniques used at this factory are the same as those used in the 3rd Century BC.
50: TerracottaSoldiers | Xi'an | @
51: An Ancient Army of 8,000 terracotta men, horses and chariots were amassed in the 3rd Century BC to protect the Emperor after his death. The warriors were discovered in 1974 by farmers trying to dig a well. One of those farmers is on hand daily to sign books about the site. The detail is amazing right down to the tread of the warriors shoe. | The Terracotta Warriors
52: Children playing, Adults flying kites in the square, Peonies - National Flower of China, The sun is trying to break through, Lilly climbed all the way up to see the view from the top of the Pagoda | Big Wild Goose Pagoda
54: Big Wild Goose Pagoda Xi'an
55: The Sheraton Xi'an Hotel This is a beautiful hotel. It's brand new and luxurious. The pool looks like it is floating across the floor. The ladies dressing room is like a spa. The exercise room is well equipped and has a great variety of equipment. There are two hot tubs with different water temperatures. Luxurious towels, comfy lounge chairs and very friendly staff made it very relaxing after a day of sightseeing. The steak house was wonderful and the service excellent. The laundry service very quick. The only improvement would be to air condition the rooms. Our room was 80 degrees! The moved us to a larger room but it was just as hot. The steak dinner was delicious and only cost $200 US. The load of laundry that we had to have done was just $130 US. The staff was extremely courteous and made quite an effort to help. With all of this it is still a magnificent hotel.
56: AND FRIENDS | OUR GUIDES | Chengdu Andy | Guilin Tao | Xi'an Michael | Beijing Helena | Guangzhou Daniel | "Oh, for sure" | "OK, let me hear you say...." | "We don't really have time to go to Dunkin' Donuts! You didn't really want to go there, did you?" | "Do you really need a fork?" | "I know this village!"
57: Our trip has been amazing!! The locals are as warm and nice as expected. We've been able to visit all of the places on our list and Lilly got to hold a baby Panda! She loves it so much here it's going to be hard to leave, but the fun isn't over yet...we still have more days to explore beautiful and breathtaking China.
59: Memories Honking horns constantly Driving and parking on sidewalks Spitting, anywhere and everywhere Walking arm in arm to keep from getting separated Pushing People staring at Lilly Cars without dents Umbrellas in the sun Leaving heads on animals to be served for dinner T-Shirts with English words that don't make sense Dressing according to the calendar not the temperature Government controlling when heat and air con gets turned on Tour groups who wear matching hats Taking the family for a drive on a scooter Silent but deadly electric scooters Serving meals to one person at a time Iced coffee Rules of the road, right of way goes to the largest vehicle Squat toilets BYOTP and paper towels Soda and water warmers not coolers Zebra Crossing is a crosswalk Frogger street crossing 4+ clerks per transaction Fast food on real dishes Split pants for potty training Haggling expected when purchasing Never flush toilet paper 6.25RMB=$1USD
60: Tian Jin | April 19- 20 Shepherd's Field Children's Village Guide: Helen Driver: Mr. Gao Thursday: Arrived mid-day Drove to Shepherd's Field, got lost a few times but we made it Tour of SFCH with Jamie American Cook out at Tim and Pam Baker's Fellowship and Prayer Friday: Visit Grady and the other children Shop in the gift shop Helen and Mr. Gao came to pick us up Drive to Beijing
64: Hands of Hope Wall | Julie | Melanie | Kennedy | "I'm a little teapot short and stout Here is my handle Here is my spout When I get all steamed up Here me shout Then tip me over and pour me out."
65: Samaritan's House The health clinic at Shepherd's Field is staffed with 2 full time doctors for the children. | School at Shepherd's Field
66: Beijing | April 20- 23 Asia Hotel Guide: Helena Driver: Mr. Gao Friday: Arrived mid-day Lunch: At the hotel Walked around Beijing in the rain Dinner: McDonald's Shopping for snacks at the grocery store Saturday: Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Dragon Boat Ride, Rickshaw Ride, Tour of Hutong, visit a house Shopping at a local mall Dinner: Fast food at the mall Sunday: The Great Wall of China Lunch: Local restaurant, Tour Cloisone Factory, Tea Ceremony, Silk Factory, Shopping at Yaxiu Market Dinner: DaDong Roasted Duck Packed for the trip home Monday: Lilly and Sandra went shopping at a local mall Went to the airport, plane was late leaving Beijing Fly to Chicago
68: Tiananmen Square | Great Hall of the People | Chairman Mao Mausoleum | People People Everywhere Tiananmen Square can hold one million people! They line up for hours to walk by the body of Chairman Mao. Two massive video screens show events from all over China in real time. A monument to the People's Heroes obelisk is near the mausoleum. | 4/22/12 Beijing
69: The Forbidden City
70: The Summer Palace | Dragon Boat
71: The Painted Corridor | The longest painted corridor in the world is at the Summer Palace.
73: Chinese Tea Ceremony | Has Gerry been converted to a tea drinker?
74: Life Cycle of a silk worm | Eggs | Worms | Two worms in the chrysalis will make a netting that can be stretched and stretched and stretched , layered, layered and layered into the softest warmest batting in the world. | Chrysalis
75: One worm or two will determine the type of silk they will make. | A single worm will make a single strand of silk that can be unwound and spun into thread, which will be woven into luxurious soft silk.
76: The Great Wall at Mutianyu
77: Gerry and Lilly made the long trek to the highest point at Mutianyu Sandra's fear of heights got the better of her and she decided to stay behind.
78: Signs on the Wall
81: Our last hotel in China, the Asia Hotel. This has been a great base for walking around in Beijing. McDonald's and a grocery store right across the street. Three shopping malls within walking distance. You need a bathing cap to swim in the pool. Lunch for three.... only $100 USD, that's 625 RMB | Packed and ready to go home. | There has been a scale in every hotel.
82: Children of China
83: Pets of China | Stevie
84: Flowers of China
86: Dumplings XI'AN | Hot Pot CHENGDU | American Iced Coffee BEIJING | Szechuan XI'AN | Steamed Bread SAN YUAN LI | The Breakfast Buffet in every hotel had a great variety of Eastern and Western food. | FOOD of CHINA
87: DaDong Roasted Duck Restaurant BEIJING | Dim Sum GUANGZHOU | Gerry even learned how to eat with chopsticks! Xi'an | Chengdu | Blooming tea Beijing
89: Traffic | traffic
93: GOOD | BETTER | BEST ! | OK
94: Farewell CHINA until next time....
95: Chicago | April 23- 24 Westin Hotel Monday: Arrived late and missed flight to Boston Worked with United Airlines to get hotel and meal vouchers Dinner: Airport Chili's Tuesday: Breakfast: McDonald's Fly to Boston