12/4/2004 - 8:15 p.m.
Well we made it!! Exhausted, but we are here!! The hotel is nice, the food is AWFUL!! - I will start
at the begining..... We arrived from our flight right on time, and a little concerned as the airport is out in the middle
of no where and there didn't seem to be a city anywhere! Got off the plane and immediately remembered that this IS a
communist country! Fortunately, the paniced look on my face registered with a member of the military and while at first
he scared the pants off me and I thought I would just faint right there in the airport from fright - which would have REALLY
upset Rhett,- he was actually VERY kind and helpful and saw us through the screenings, etc. and helped us fill out all the
paperwork. God sent an angel - thanks to whoever prayed for him to find us!
We had our first SARS screening - temp. and everything!
It took us about 20 mintues and the overly effusive welcome from the hotel staff there to meet us to enable us to relax
and enjoy ourselves again.
Immediately upon entering the Hotel, we were rewarded with not one other adoption group - but TWO other groups - one
from Spain who left this morning adn one mainly from Northeastern US. The babies are all about a year old and just beautiful.
We have enjoyed talking with other American families and getting the scoop on food, etc. - more on that later!!!
Ashley and Rhett took a nap immediately upon check in while I unpacked. I got everything (and I mean EVERYTHING)
all stowed away and then noticed a funny smell coming from the bathroom - we got housekeeping to come in this morning and
hopefully we will not have to change rooms - It took me over 2 hours to unpack the first time!! The room is small -
about the size of the White Swan, however, the beds can be pushed together to make a king bed, which is what we have
done. Ashely is currently sleeping on top of Rhett's duvet cover and under mine which eliminates the crack. I
guess we will be stair stepped under the covers tonight.
Back to the story!... Anyway, after they woke up, we went for a walk around the hotel - and decided to eat dinner
in the Western style restaurant - buffet. One thing I will tell you - if it isn't a Western Hotel - don't belive the
western style menu selections!!! It was pretty inettible (?) We ended up eating bread and butter for dinner and
drinking a sprite with no ice - only one comes with the meal we were informed! and dreaded the thought of breakfast and
paniced at the thought of 8 more days here!
Off topic - for most of the trip, we have been thinking of Knox, Rhett's nephew, who we originally though might get to
come with us on the tirp - How much he would have loved Hong Kong - his reactions to the airplane ride, etc. - well after
dinner - We were so thankful that he wasn't here - he would have DIED!!!! I can not imagine the phone call that would
have gone out to his parents - and what we would have told them when they called us back demanding to know what was going
Back to the story....
We are still not sleeping through the night - usually we are up around 2 or 3 and can't get back to sleep and sit around
watching Chinese TV or the DVD player - what a lifesaver that has been. No ESPN or any English news on TV here in Nanchang
- Rhett is going through severe withdrawls! Ashley then falls asleep around mid morning and then again around 6.
I can't figure out how to get her on a schedule - by the time she is ready to cry it out and just fall asleep at a decent
time, Rhett is on his last nerve and we are back to square one.
Then, this morning I was sterilizing Ashley's sippy cups and scalded three of my fingers on my right hand and got a paper
cut on my left all before 6:30 a.m. - Then we went to breakfast!>>>> Oh, my gosh, and we thought dinner was bad!!
Can you belive that they ran out of bread??? no jelly and no honey, and no sugar for the coffee!! Ashley actually ate
butter from the container! We did find some rice crispy's and Ashley ate that pretty good, so for the next 8 days we
will be eating rice crispy's and toast for breakfast.
My hand was hurting so badly at breakfast, I couldn't sit there - so I went to find out about food! Much to our
relief, there is a Pizza Hut - ate there tonight, a KFC - ate there for lunch, and a McDonalds!! We then got directions
to Walmart and another shopping plaza.
We decided to head out to the Walmart first - It was clean and new, and they had fresh fried chicken that SMELLED like
fresh fried chicken, coke, cookies, coke light (China version of Diet Coke), chips, crackers, fresh fruit, banana's, oranges,
etc. WE WERE SAVED!!! Also while at Walmart we stopped by their pharmacy and I showed the girls my hand and asked
for anything to help with the pain. After much giggling, smiling, gesturing, stating, restating, and finally writing
everything out using as many antonyms as I could think of, I got some really cool smelling oil, put it on and within 2 minutes
my hand was great, like I hadn't done anything! What a relief!
Ashley was about dead and got really whinney at the store, poor thing, and Rhett was irritated, tired as well and we
were all kind of hungry so we all melted down for about 30 minutes, recovered and Ashley fell asleep. We ended up shopping
two different malls before stopping for lunch - I was able to get Ashley the cutest cordoroy chocolate jumper with pink polka-dots,
shirt, sweater (tan with horses)and matching leggings for around $30.00 US. She was asleep while we tried shoes on her
- never even budged!! Rhett tried to find some shoes while she and I shopped for her - he ended up with an entourage
of around 3 - 4 people helping to interpret! They went to five or six different departments all with the same result
- gales of laughter over what size he wanted. Knox would have loved it!
At lunch we were the talk of the restaurant! So many points and giggles coming our way. It was fun, but makes
you wonder if you have something on your face or a boogy or something! We had one girl stop us and ask us the time -
I think she wanted to pracice her english! Then tonight, two little girls around Buck's age kept coming by the table
asking us questions and introducing themselves. It was real funny....
We got back to the hotel around 1, Ashely of course then woke up and wouldn't go back to sleep (the point I mentioned
above), so we spent some time in the lobby talking to other families and relaxed. We finally went back to the room around
2:30 and Rhett and I took turns power napping while Ashley watched DVD's.
We got up around 5 - 5:30 and headed back out to the other shopping mall and Pizza Hut. Of course, she fell asleep
in the taxi - more on that later! - and slept through all the shopping and dinner. She didn't wake up upon her return
to the hotel, let us put on her night gown and went right back to sleep!!! Which is why I am here doing this!
Taxi's!!! OH MY GOSH!! and we thought the food was bad!! The thought of the trip tonight was how funnny it
would have been to watch Knox have to ride in the front seat while the driver is darting around traffic, pedestrians, busses
- most of the time on the wrong side of the road in full traffic!! I swear I think that they must go through brakes
every 2 to 3 months! It is a wonder.... and I mean a wonder that there aren't any accidents - but there haven't
been any that we have seen. The seat covers are currently white, but after that ride tonight, I am sure that if Knox
had been with us, the driver would have had to wash his!
Tomorrow, our 'group' arrives and hopefully we will have something to offer them by way of a scouting expidetion with
food and shopping. Then Monday is the DAY!!! We are so looking forward to Rhenay. All these families with
their babies have brought back so many memories! I think that Ashley is finally begining to understand what is happening
Keep us in your prayers - How did BonJovi put it??? Living on a prayer ?- keep us bouyed up.