Monday, November 25, 2013

Thursday, 10/10 pics
Nanchang - Tangweng Pavilion

Second full day with Ellie Kay: We visited the Tangweng Pavilion - the most famous structure in Jiangxi province.  It is so beautiful!!  

On our way - view from van.  We saw many, many people on bikes, motorcycles, etc.  

View of Tangwang Pavilion - one of the 3 great towers of China

 Inside - just gorgeous!

Short program of a traditional Chinese singer, 

and dancer, 

and instrumentalists.

View from bottom floor looking up to top floor where we were

Evelyn explaining the meaning of the murals.
Views from the top level of the pavilion - work boats, houseboats, homes.  It reminded us of the children's book, Story of Ping.

Outside - beautiful guardian lion 

Most of our Jiangxi group
From left: Bujnosek family (with Aubrey far left), our family, Emma Jackson (10 yrs old) center front, Medray Carpenter beside Matt, Tina O'Brien front right, TW., Jennifer, and Lillia Jackson and far right: Thomas and Tia O'Brien.  I think Susan and Marin stayed back at the hotel this day.

We walked a bit to get to the restaurant for lunch.  There were outdoor street vendors selling their wares.  Evelyn showed us lotus seeds and let us all try one.  They weren't bad - kind of nutty.

Obrien's, Jacksons, and Medray

Yummy, yummy food.  This one was spicy and delicious!

 Rachel ate very well here!
 These were so good!  (shrimp)

 Ellie Kay couldn't make it through the whole meal and at this stage would only fall asleep on Daddy.

 Later: back at the hotel

 What do little boys do for recreation in a hotel?

 Aidan, Emma, and Mr. TW swam a bit.
 And this - silly boys!
 This was supposed to look like Aidan punched his head off.  :)

Afternoon nap

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

First Full Day With Ellie Kay

First day to get her dressed.  So fun!   Jacob wanted to be the one privileged to carry her down to breakfast first.  :)

Saw this as we were driving by in the van: A site memorializing the August 1st Nanchang uprising (the start of the Chinese Civil War in the 20s).  It started on that street in Nanchang, Ellie Kay's province.  This long war finally led to the communists' control of China.

Pretty much the only thing we did outside of the hotel this day was take all the babies to WalMart with our guide.  Such an interesting experience.  It was huge - a 3 story building that carried very different things from our WalMarts.  We were able to stock up on baby food, diapers, snacks for us (from the "imports" aisle), and wipes.   After much searching and finally help from our guide, we were lucky enough to find hand sanitizer since we had run out from our supply we had brought with us pretty quickly (people who know us well know this was a victory!) ;)  

She liked the Chinese squeeze packet baby food. 

We got quite a few smiles back in the hotel room. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Pictures from Nanchang including Gotcha Day!

First full Nanchang day
Our first day in Nanchang was laid back.  It was basically just a day to unpack and get prepared for getting Ellie Kay.  This hotel was the hardest to stay in for us because we stayed their several nights, but nothing was within walking distance.  So our choices for food were a Chinese restaurant or a Japanese restaurant or a convenience store.  We tried all 3 with several meals just being snacks from what we brought.

 Our hotel - Crown Plaza; Nanchang, China
 We were on the 31st floor, so it was a long way down.  This was our view - mostly buildings.  We could see an orphanage from this window that little Lillia Jackson (a little girl in our group) was fostered out of.

This is what was waiting for us!!  How exciting!  It made much more real.

The boys were a bit bored on our rest day, because there wasn't a whole lot to do.
Other than a little swimming at a very serious pool that didn't really cater to little ones.  The Chinese are serious about their swimming and it's pretty much just for exercise.

We did meet up with Evelyn, our Nanchang guide, for a bit in our room and the Bujnoseks came over so she could just meet with us all at once.  They came over early since we were all a bit bored and anxious for the next day!
Tanya and sweet Aubrey at the Japanese restaurant in our hotel.  Our very LAST dinner before we got Ellie Kay!

 Jacob making a joke?  ;)  He's using toothpicks like tiny chopsticks.

Matt enjoying his sushi

Gotcha Day!!!

We had a meeting with our guide, Evelyn (at the end of the table) who discussed baby issues with us.  We were all very anxious during this hour because we knew babies would be coming through that door in a little bit!!  

Matt, me, Medray, and Susan

Our first look at Ellie Kay. She looked scared and so little.

So many strange looking people!!  She decided she didn't want to be there!

I love this shot.  You can see Jacob and Aidan's expressions when they first saw her!

 I don't remember at all what the lady told me, but I was obviously listening to her tell me something. 

 She calmed down a bit with the bottle again, but with worried eyes.
 I'm looking at Matt like, "Can you believe this"?!

Poor baby!  Don't worry - this was a super quick pose for pictures!

 Poor baby!  Such worried looks. :(

Still not calm, but crying a little less desperately.

Then she decides to study Matt's face and he did something that got her attention and 

 she laughed!!  It was our breakthrough!

Still with tears in her eyes, but a smile!  Notice Daddy's smile too.  :)

 This was in the registration office and it felt like it was 90 degrees.  Also, many people were smoking. Not a fun wait.  

 I loved looking at her face!!

The first few days she cried very, very easily - at the least little thing.  Everything was so new to her.

She finally conked out for  a few minutes!  It was very hot in there!  You can tell she was sweating. 

 Our group going into the notary
 In the van to one of our many places that afternoon.
 On the hotel bed after all the crazy wonderful day was over.  She loved her water bottle toy.