March 23


Today was our final full day in Beijing!!! Yay, we get to go home tomorrow!! It's been a great trip, but I think we'll all be very glad to get home.

It was a colder day today in Beijing, with a high of just 8 degrees, but still sunny. We woke up late again (about 8:45am) so we missed the breakfast buffet again today (not much of a loss). Danny went over to the bakery next door and we had fresh baked buns for breakfast.

Danny wanted to see the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) but we knew it likely wasn't the best place for the girls, so he went on his own. The Temple of Heaven was the place that the Emperor would visit a couple of times per year; in the spring to pray for a good year and in the fall to thank the gods for a good harvest. It is hundreds of years old and the buildings are constructed entirely of wood, without the use of any nails. There are two large structures and one platform. The inside of the Temple is gorgeous as you can see in the photos. Danny described it as really breathtaking, and beautiful. The Temple is set on a huge park area, where you could walk for many kilometers. It sounds as though Danny really enjoyed the visit and we've enjoyed the photos (though we're wondering how he got into one when he was alone??!!)

We went back to the restaurant that serves dog meat for lunch, but we ordered beef noodle soup. You'll notice I don't say that we ate beef noodle soup, since you never really know eh?

This afternoon, Emily and I shopped locally (she slept in her carrier while I shopped) and daddy and Stephanie took a nap together at the hotel.

Tonight was the final group dinner, hosted by Freda our guide. We went to the Golden Apple Restaurant. The food was unremarkable, but it was fun to get together one last time. Part of the group actually left for home this afternoon unexpectedly, as Air Canada just noticed that they have booked too many babies on tomorrow's flight. No comment.

Another group of three families have to leave early tomorrow, fly through Shanghai and will therefore not be on the flight with us tomorrow evening either. This is also part of Air Canada just noticing that they have booked too many babies on our flight. Again, don't get me started!!

This evening's dinner was capped off in really exciting style as Martha and Kate Maslen from Children's Bridge, along with Ende Ma who works with Children's Bridge dropped in for dinner. They are in China for other purposes but joined us for our final meal. Even more exciting was the fact that an official from CCAA (China Centre for Adoption Affairs) joined us as well. Mr. Chi works in the Review Room at CCAA and was interested to see our families together. It was wonderful to get to meet him and thank him personally for the work he does.

Tomorrow, we check out of the hotel by 11:30am, but don't get on the bus to leave until 2pm, so we have some time in between. We plan to have one last Beijing meal. Our flight leaves Beijing at 5:20pm, so we hope that both girls will sleep at least part of the very long flight to Vancouver.
Finally then, our flight leaves Vancouver at 3:30pm their time and we arrive home in Toronto at 10:57pm via AC100.

This has been a fantastic voyage once again. We will definitely visit
China again, but just for vacation!!! China has not disappointed us this time either, since we greatly enjoyed Hong Kong, Jiujiang, and Yangchun, and of course Guangzhou and Beijing played important roles in the adoption of Stephanie Ying Hua Fung.

We will post one more time when we're home. We hope you've enjoyed our journey as much as we have!