Today was our last day in Guangzhou.
We woke late (7:30). Our little girl waited patiently in her crib for mama and baba to get up. While we were getting ready to go down for breakfast Penelope was playing with the keys to the luggage. In a flash Jenn and I were frantically looking over the hotel room, trying to figure out where she had hid them. While Jenn checked the trash I looked in the suitcase. There they were.
Breakfast was chaotic since we got down late. We were seated by a large group of French families who were feeding their new daughters and sons. Right before we left Jenn gave Penelope some cereal, a huge hit.
Back in our room we trimmed Penelope’s nails for the first time. The orphanage or foster parents must have done this because she seemed to like it. For every successful nail trimmed we gave her a piece of cereal.
After the trim it was down to the metro to get to the park by the hotel. D1 to B1, a hop, skip, and a jump and into the sauna we went! The park was expansive and beautiful, but the humidity was more than we could bear for too long. Jenn said she was sweating in places she did’t know produced sweat. As I walked behind her I saw her shirt was saturated from the hour we had spent outside.
Back at the hotel we freshened up and went down to Four Seasons for lunch. Finally we could have some good green tea with our meal! I felt we were out of place in the immaculate dining area, with our denim and t-shirts and rambunctious child. Jenn thought the meal was great (fried egg rolls and fried noodles), I was surprised at how filling it was. They could have just sat a tea pot in front of me with that delectable Oolong tea and I would have been content. After lunch we headed up to the room, listening to the rain beat against the window as we closed the curtains and put Penelope down for a nap. I tried to rest while Jenn went downstairs but couldn’t fall asleep. Hopefully this means I will sleep well tonight. While Penelope slept Jenn tried to watch The Next Food Network Star streaming. I’m not sure why but it wouldn’t work. She resorted to watching movie trailers on IMDB. I’m amazed it’s taken this long for us to crave our American TV.
Speaking of TV, we were browsing the videos we had on the tablet a few days ago. Videos of the pets made us homesick. There was one episode of a British sketch comedy show, Big Train, and Jenn’s workout videos. Penelope was entranced by the workout videos. We had to hold in our laughter, watching her fixation with Jillian Michaels stretching exercises. She also enjoys watching track and field on TV. Jenn keeps saying she will be a gymnast, I’m leaning towards cross country like her mum. After a 3 hour nap (thank you!) she got up and sucked down a yogurt with a massive grin. I hope she likes the yogurt back home as much. A boiled egg swiped from the breakfast bar and the afternoon snack was done.
We went downstairs to see one of the couples off but they left shortly before we got downstairs. Jason, our CCAI guide, presented Penelope’s passport and visa, along with her “brown envelope”, a sealed package containing all the information necessary for our baby to become a US citizen (though not one that could become president-sorry baby).
With time to spare before dinner we went up to Jeremy and Mindy’s room to prepare the gift for Jason and hang out. It was great to see Penelope start to play with Moon, their 3 year old. Both their daughters are absolutely adorable. Unfortunately for us they live in CO, so Penelope won’t be seeing much of them. We marveled at the Japanese Michael Jackson imitator coaching a group of kids to sing and dance to “Thriller” and laughed about the absurd and baffling t-shirts we’ve seen. (Jenn and I saw one that just said BOTOX in rhinestones at the park).
Moon showed Penelope that stuffed animals are not scary and shared her coloring markers with her. Penelope laughed as Moon threw confetti in the air and sat transfixed for a few moments at the “Finding Memo” iPhone game.
We ate our last hotel meal at the Cafe Veranda, the same place we ate our first night here. We were all the wiser this time, ordering just what we needed. Jenn got soup and salad, ate from the bread basket, and ate Penelope’s remaining spaghetti, and I had the best meal of the entire trip; Indonesian filet steamed in banana leaves with rice. The fish, which upon investigation turned out to be red snapper, was seasoned to perfection with curry and cilantro, the banana leaves allowing the dish to retain all the flavor. Why, oh why, had I not ordered this sooner!
Back in our room we continued with the packing, making our list and checking it twice. Jason said a lot of people leave things in the hotel safe since they are so excited to get back home, yet have no time to return to the hotel once they leave for the airport. We’ll make sure that doesn’t happen.
When we disrobed Penelope for her evening bath we we greeted with a welcome sight, her first firm BM. So far they have all been oatmeal consistency, never liquid which we are very thankful for. She loved her bath, standing there trying to soak us by putting her hand on the running faucet. When Jenn dries between her legs she has a habit of clamping down on the towel so hard Jenn cant pull the towel out. Our laughter only makes her squeeze tighter. We joke that we will need to remind Penelope of this when she gets to be dating age.
With the bath over we dried her hair with the hair dryer, scrunching her head up to avoid the blast of air, and brushed her teeth. She got to stay up longer while Jenn and I packed. I told Penelope that tomorrow we were going home. She shook her head yes. That sounded great to Jenn and I. We all agree, it’s time to come home.