Sunday was a day of relaxation...kind-of. Touring with toddlers is still hard work. But for us, Shane made it pretty easy. Shane had gone to bed a little later than usual since we had dinner with our adoption families, Shane slept in till almost 7:30 am. In fact, we have found that he is pretty quiet and cuddly in the mornings. Not like our Olivia who is ready to play and discuss the problems of the world at about 6:30 am no matter what time she goes to bed. We were off to the hotel breakfast and then on the bus for a visit to a folk art museum. We are still hit and miss at breakfast...Shane is a light eater at breakfast and prefers to graze throughout the day. Also we are still struggling on breaking the code on getting protein and a source of calcium in him. Everyday is a little bit different with what he prefers...but very consistent on the crackers and fruits--especially apples and watermelon. I think he is almost on a on a Daniel Fast except for the bread... :) After breakfast we started with a visit to the Folk Museum. Now if I listened to our guide, I probably could tell you all kinds of interesting facts about the historic area we visited. However, our focus was on Shane. I believe the museum was built by one of the richest and most powerful families in the Guangdong province. It has some stunning Chinese architecture that includes some detailed wood carvings and ceramic painting. The museum also included some fascinating period furniture, a show room some incredible embroidery that was so intricate it gave the appearance of being a painting or photograph, a great art shop, and some beautiful gardens that included some great bonsai trees. Shane enjoyed the outdoors and walking around the gardens. In the art shop, for a very small fee($16), we had a calligrapher write both Olivia's and Shane's Chinese name which included a personal poem about each child below their name. It comes on a hanging scroll and we thought they might cherish it as part of their heritage when they are older. Since so many of the families had made the same order, I think we slightly overwhelmed the artist. Our scrolls were not complete by the time we were ready to depart. But in Chinese fashion, no problem, "we will deliver to hotel"--problem solved.
After the museum we were off to visit the new Guangzhou city center. In the last few years, several cities in China have surged in their construction of high rise buildings to build a distinct sky-line for each city much like we are able to recognize cities like New York, San Francisco and Chicago. The city center was amazing and makes much of American architecture look bland. The have a beautiful TV antenna tower that is is 600 meters high and stands out with a unique artistic look like what the Eiffel tower does for Paris. We strolled through the beautifully designed town center taking several pictures of the skyline as well as a stadium that was custom-designed for the Asia Games and basically sits empty like many of the Olympic venues in Beijing. Shane loves his stroller and was happy to be pushed along watching all the people walk by. He seemed to be very comfortable out and about and even talked and interacted with us a little. It was definitely good to have him amongst all the loving families in our group and the wonderful children they had recently adopted.
We returned home for a little rest and a visit to the hotel playground. Shane loves the play area ...especially the little houses which have doors to go through. He spends most of his time going in and out of the little doors. This particular visit, there ws a little girl with toy cell phone. He took an immediate interest in her phone and therefore decided it was worth getting closer to her for A better look. He approached her on one side...then walked around to her other side...then got up the courage to sit down beside her. It was very funny. Then he got up and she began to pat the seat beside her for him to come back and sit down. Well, our little "hen-pecked" man did it! Like to know her secret : )!
Afterward, we met with several families in the afternoon to grab a late lunch at McDonald's...yes, they have one right next to the hotel and it is always busy with the local population. We grabbed take-out and headed to the hotel park which has some great open air rooms set up for tea. We turned it into a family picnic area and chewed down on some great American staples. Shane experimented with his first Happy Meal....fries as expected were a hit but he passed on the burger. We thought that he has real affinity to small soft buns that he might at least try it...we were wrong. The real hit of the meal was his toy. It was a plastic figurine of Alvin the chipmunk that when you pressed the top of his head it said "ooh la la." Alvin got a lot play that afternoon accompanied by a lot of giggles and laughs.
After a short play on the play ground we decided to head to the pool. It was an outdoor pool. The pool was heated but the air was little chilly--about 72 deg F with a gentle breeze. Once you got past the initial shock it was fine as long as you stayed in the water. And we did because Shane loved it. He was a big splasher and enjoyed being spun around in circles-- lots of smiles. After about 30 mins he was a little chilled. So we returned to the room for a warm transition to bath time, snacks and then bedtime. We were all exhausted...so we were all in bed early. Tomorrow is our TB check and then some lunch and shopping on Shamian Island.