"Tell your children of Him, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation." Joel 1:3

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Trip to Hong Kong

If I said we had a busy day would you believe me? I mean, it's not like we've been busy any other day, right? Well, couldn't help it today....we had to go to Hong Kong. We got a better deal on our plane tickets by flying out of Hong Kong rather than Guangzhou. I was up late packing last night and then we were up early to get everything ready and have some breakfast with Mark and Barb before our driver came for us at 10am. Before leaving though we had to do something very important that we hadn't done yet. We had to get the kids' pictures done on the Red Couch. It's the famous red couch in the White Swan hotel that all adopted kids have to get their picture taken on. It's become a real tradition for all people there for adoptions.

I got some of Olivia on her own......

Then we added Logan and Megan too.....

I've seen so many pictures on that couch with other kiddos so it was very cool to finally be there taking pictures of our own.

We had to be at the train station on time for a 12:12 ride. Our driver brought us and Lucy had arranged for someone to go in with us and make sure we got to the correct place. I've been pretty nervous about this trip all week because I just couldn't figure out how we were going to manage with all our luggage and Olivia in tow. We had 4 suitcases (this included the extra one I bought last night for shopping stuff) a computer case, a duffle bag, a diaper bag, and Jay's C-pap machine case.....plus a 2 yr. old. Luckily I had brought the snugli so Jay was able to "wear" Olivia while we each pulled 2 suitcases, each with a carry on on top. It was enough to make us both literally sweaty by the time we finally boarded the train.

There was one strange thing that happened when we boarded the train. I was ahead of Jason a bit and when he got on the main car where the seats were, Olivia totally freaked out! She about jumped out of the thing Jay was carrying her in. She acted terrified....but of what? It took me a while to calm her down, we've never seen her so upset. There was nothing obvious that triggered it....just getting on the train. So....here's what we think. We think she actually took a train for her trip from the orphanage and we wondered if maybe she thought she was going back. Maybe? I know she's only 2, but she's smart and something that significant in her life only 10 days ago is not easily forgotten. It's the only explanation we could think of.....I mean if she could have jumped out of Jay's arms and off that train, she would have. I just rocked her and held her tight and just kept whispering in her ear...."we're not taking you back......we're taking you home.....we're not taking you back....we're taking you home" ...... I realize she doesn't understand my words....but I believe a lot can be said with just a tone of voice, and I think, somehow, she understood.

We arrived at our hotel at about 3:30 and were completely amazed at what we saw. Holy cow....I had read all good reviews about this place and it was listed as a 5 star hotel, but SHEESH!!! I said last week that the White Swan was the nicest place we've ever stayed in.....it's now the 2nd nicest place. Funny thing is....I found it on Expedia for only $90. What?! Is that a typo?!

The room is twice the size of any room we've ever stayed in. We have this amazing view. And....we have an entire balcony overlooking the beach. It could fit 40 people...it's huge...and it's only for our room. Sweet! Off in the distance you can see the mountains and the coast line.


I'm going to go take a hot bath, so Jason is going to take over and tell you more about our evening in Hong Kong......over and out.

Unbelievable!!!!! We walk in this place and marble floors everywhere, stone granite tops for the check-in area, beautifully decorated. Outrageous views! As you walk inside there is a huge water fountain area, nice restaurant, gazebo type hut which the bar wrapped around, and also a lounge area where you could play games or socialize this was equipped with nice couches and love seats and then two coffee tables made of stone granite. The floor in this place sparkled just gorgeous!!!!! Did I say the floors looked nice.

Then outside there was another place just off the courtyard where they were serving an outside buffet dinner. NICE!!!!!!!!! This is also right off where the huge outside pool area is as well.
We then checked in at hotel, and then noticed they have both inside elevators as well as outside elevators to your room. Wow, what a view!!!!! We can see the hotels, yachts, boats, ships, and beautiful channels of the ocean. And our room is huge as Jenny already explained!!!!

We sat in our room at just chilled for a hour watching an actual English speaking movie called Premonition. Good flick.

Then we ventured out to the restaurant and seven eleven grocery area. We ate, you won't believe it, we ate at an Italian Restaurant. We ate BBQ chicken pizza with bell peppers and onions and mushrooms. Not bad!! I forgot, we started off with some bruschetta and Olivia ate for the first time, tomatoes and some bread. She loved it. Then Jen decided to try to give Olivia some chicken from the pizza and she ate it. She is really trying some new things lately and surprised both Jen and I tonight. That is good news!

We were done eating and waiting for the check, when two small children from the area I guess, a boy and his big sister (maybe 7 and 9). She stopped as she walking on by and looked and asked Jen, in English, "what's wrong with her lip?" Curious !!! So Jen asked them to come over to the table and proceeded to explain to the girl and the boy Olivia's cleft lip and palate situation. Explained to them that she is okay and some babies are born like this, but it is okay, this can be fixed very easily. And I have to say this little girl was very sincere and cute and she made a final comment and said, " I thought she was bleeding from her nose". We laughed and said , "No she is okay". And then the little girl took another look closer and asked, "can she breathe through there?" And we said absolutely she is okay, she has adapted to this condition all her life. I'm sure when Jen takes Olivia to Epiphany for lunch room duty on Monday some of the kids will have something to say or talk to their parents about that night.

Afterwards, we went and got Jen a Diet Coke!!!! They actually had some coke light at the seven eleven. And then we headed for home. We decided to look around and take a few pictures of the hotel entry level area. We went over to the fountain area where there was 3 fountains creating little bubbles in the water. So Livi and I took to the bubbles and decided to start popping them. We had a good time, and I think she did too.

I have to say, that Livi is getting more and more brave with each passing day. She will wander off sometimes a little bit from us and then look around and notice that she is too far away, and come running back to us with this big grin on her face. It is so cute!! She is pretty daring too, she will go right to the ledge and lean over to see something without hesitation. She is becoming very independent little girl at times. But, this means that she is getting that much more comfortable with us and trusting us to care for her.
Hi, Jenny again......Thanks dear........Well, this is my last post from abroad. Tomorrow we board a United Airlines plane (that will certainly have REAL diet coke!!!!!!!!!!) and head home. We leave at 12:30 Hong Kong time and arrive home 4:30 Minnesota time. Kinda funny, cuz it will be about 20 hours later but only 4 hours later in the day. I doubt I'll feel like posting tomorrow night so I'll try and catch up this weekend. Thank you sooooo much to all of you for your sweet comments and for caring enough about Jay and I and our family to even follow along all this time. We feel very blessed.

Okay......America or bust!!!!!! We're going to be home soon boys!!!! We miss you!!!! XOXOXOXO