Tuesday, November 14



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We started our day by having dim sum with Mrs. Yu, Mrs. Chen, Mr. Chen, and the second in command from the orphanage. The food was okay, but frankly, we were ready to get on the road and start our day. Mrs. Yu and Mrs. Chen presented the girls with a lovely local decoration and a book about YangChun City, and we said our goodbyes.

Today was a day of travel, a day ahead of when we originally planned. We had hired a private van to drive us from YangChun City into GuangZhou. There is a super highway but, unfortunately, our driver opted for the not-so-super roadway, so it ended up taking much longer than needed. It was a scenic drive, though, so it was okay. The van wasn’t too bad and the driver was quite capable so the ride wasn’t unpleasant, just long!

We only made one quick stop along the way (over 4 hours) at a roadside gas station for the washroom. Before you assume what I did, although it was dirty beyond your worst nightmare, there was no door at all, so the scent wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It was hard on the eyes, but my nose got a break!

When we arrived in GuangZhou, the China Hotel by Marriott was a real sight for sore eyes!!! We stayed here in August 2003 so we expected to find luxury and, for once on this trip, we weren’t disappointed. I had booked us into the Executive Floor, in a King Suite, but when we got up to the floor, they told us it was fully booked, except for smoking rooms. As hard as this is to imagine, I got really mad, and demanded that they honour the reservation that I had made months ago that guaranteed me a non-smoking room. I guess it was easier to accommodate me than listen to me, because they quickly decided to upgrade us to an apartment! Yes, we are in a full-sized apartment, complete with two huge bedrooms, THREE bathrooms, a full kitchen, living room, dining room, and bar! I bet this is no less than 1,500 square feet of Marriott luxury! It’s gorgeous and makes up for the prior two hotels. Danny wondered out loud if we should cancel Hong Kong next week and just stay here!

The first thing we did was take baths and showers, trying hard to get the “day” off us.

We had dinner in the casual Cantonese-style restaurant called Food Street just downstairs in the hotel and it was really good. Expensive by local standards, but worth every penny after a long day of travel.

We weren’t up for long after that. We were all asleep very shortly after hitting the pillows and slept better than we have in days.

November 20

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November 24