The last couple days in Guangzhou have consisted of more sightseeing and shopping and have been nice, but WE ARE READY TO COME HOME!!! Yesterday we visited the new city square of Guangzhou. It is truly remarkable with impressive buildings and gorgeous landscapes. This city rivals New York City in size and archetecture, and I dare say that is more beautiful and unique. Unfortunately it was so hot and humid (around 95 degrees and full humidity) that is was tough to enjoy. Emmie had a small meltdown, but honestly, I couldn't blame her....I was almost ready to meltdown too! She was fine after about ten minutes on the bus. Our next stop was an art and history museum. Again, it was lovely and very interesting, but the heat was just too much. Thankfully there were some shady spots where we could sit and relax. Our guide told us that June isn't even the hottest month- July and August are much worse! Thank God we won't be here then, and may God have mercy on any families that will be traveling then! We enjoyed a nice meal at a western style restaurant nearby our hotel. We ate dinner with another family in our travel group and met another family from North Carolina. Emmie did wonderful again in the restaurant. She is so well behaved! We enjoyed interacting with Emmie yesterday through just playing around in the room, tickling each other on our bed, and playing superman- she really loves that! She is getting more and more comfortable with us, and allowing us to show her affection and care. She will give us kisses and allow us to hug her- most of the time. She is still fiercely independent and at times appears to want nothing to do with us, but even then, we can usually get a smile.
Today we went shopping at Shaman Island for the first half of the day. This island is constructed to appear as a European town and the shops and other structures share this type of architecture. It really is a beautiful place. We found some nice souvenirs here and the weather was much nicer- cloudy/rainy and only around 90 degrees- it felt like heaven! Emmie enjoyed the shopping and she got some new squeaky shoes which she loves to run and skip in. We had a great morning on the island. We ate lunch in our room then visited a nearby park. It was beautiful and felt like we were walking around in Florida with all the palm trees and the nice breeze! For the first time since we have met her, Emmie reached up for me to carry her! Of course I picked her up as quickly as I could!! I carried her for as long as I could, then offered her to Zack, but she isn't quite ready for that yet. She really has made tremendous progress these last few days. We also played a fun game where we swung Emmie down the steps on the way to the park. Now everytime she sees steps, she expects us to do this :) It was great to see her smile as she held our hands.
This evening we went on a dinner cruise on the pearl river. The food was so-so, but once it got dark, the views were spectacular! The city of Guangzhou lights up like Las Vegas at nighttime and is quite a sight to behold. We went on the top floor of the boat, and the views were phenomenal! Emmie loved watching our boat and other boats move through the water. They also began playing fun music and had a short show for the kids. After the show, our very sweet guide began speaking to Emmie and playing with her. I knew what was coming. I could see it in her eyes. She began withdrawing from us and interacting only with the guide. This guide was a different guide that the one we had in Nanning, so she did not know the experience we had there with Emmie and her attachment to our previous guide. Sure enough, after the guide had finished talking and playing with her, Emmie didn't want very much to do with us at all. It is heartbreaking for us, but we do understand. She began to cry and would not allow me to pick her up. Thankfully she did let me hold her hand and we made it back to our van okay. She calmed down shortly after, and everything was normal again. We explained to our guide the situation so from now on she will be aware. It just makes us even more sure that the best thing for Emmie will be for us to go home! I can only imagine what she must be thinking- every morning we wake up, go eat breakfast with lots of other Chinese people and white people with Chinese kids at a huge buffet in our hotel, then we get on a big bus with other white people and Chinese kids and go to random places. Then we eat lunch. Then we play, etc. I keep trying to show her pictures of home and reassure her we are going there, but I am sure it is difficult to understand. Please just keep praying for her!!
Attached are some pictures of sights we have seen the last couple of days, and of course, sweet Emmie. You will notice that some of the same buildings are in the pictures during the day and night...pretty cool!