December 14

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Today we were on the move again.  This time, we were moving on up in the world.  We woke up to the disgusting hotel and trust me when I say it didnít look or smell any better in the morning light.  I took a shower, but the shower stall and curtain were so filthy, I wasnít sure I saw the point.  I was probably cleaner before that shower!

I made the decision not to subject the kids to the gross bathtub, so just go them dressed and headed downstairs.  Since last December this nasty hotel has decided to add ďfree breakfastĒ to their fare (though why they wouldnít spend the money on some cleaning supplies is beyond me!!!)  As I expected, the breakfast was pretty awful.  The crowning glory was being served tea made from water that had not boiled!! !

After lunch, we again had nothing to do.  The town has suffered more closures since our visit last December and even the little bakery I used to walk to is gone.  So, the girls used their PSPís, the laptop, and some pencil crayons to pass the time.  Danny took his mother and aunt out again, to see the old family home in town.  You can see the home in all its glory.  Never mind our home in Richmond Hill, this is the real estate weíre really most proud of!!!

We had invited many of the local family members to join us for a big sit-down luncheon, since Dannyís cousin hosted dinner last night.  Lots of them came by and we had yet another huge, delicious meal.  Thatís the only thing that continues to be okay in this town--the food.

We had pre-arranged to have the same van and driver from yesterday take us to the White Swan Hotel in Guangzhou this afternoon.  We are spending two days in Guangzhou, just for fun.  The White Swan is where we stayed back in 2005 when we got Stephanie, and itís the hotel that many Americans stay at while adopting their Chinese babies. 

We werenít disappointed when we arrived.  Although the adoption program has slowed considerably, there is a large group of Americans here with their new babies, so the place is hopping!

Our room (Executive Suite, hee hee!) is lovely, top notch service and we were able to give the kids a hot, relaxing bath as soon as we arrived. 

Just down from the hotel is a 7-Eleven and we remembered how much Emily liked their ice cream cones, so we walked down to the store for water, Diet Coke, and ice cream.  We hadnít walked 10 metres from the store when Emily dropped hers and the tears started.  We had to go back and get another to appease her, so itís good theyíre cheap!

We met Dannyís mother and aunt for dinner at a local restaurant that we remembered from our last visit.  Last time it specialized in pigeons.  This time, they still have pigeon, but many other dishes too. 

This year, it was Stephanie that went crazy for pigeon.  She took the birds, didnít mind the bones, and was covered in grease from head to toe by the time she was done, but she was also all tired smiles!  Emily ate some pigeon too, but her behaviour had deteriorated more, because she was really tired.

We finished dinner as quickly and painlessly as possible, although none of us were really very hungry, and we walked back to the hotel.

The nicest part of the White Swan, and the reason I chose it for this trip, is that itís located on Sha Mian Island area of Guangzhou and itís primarily pedestrian friendly.  We can get into the crazy busy part of the city by taxi in about 5 minutes, but we can also walk around the hotel in safety, and have access to the shops, etc.

The weather continues to be around 21 again today, although they are forecasting cooler weather for the rest of the week, so we might have to break out our jackets!