Monday, 14 May 2012

The Zoo and a few odds and ends ~ Steph

Today we visited the Beijing Zoo.  The highlight of course was seeing the several pandas!  While most were sleeping, we did see a few of them up and about.
 We were only there for a couple hours so we did not get to see too much of the zoo.  The landscaping is beautiful with lots of water flowing around.  Some of the exhibits are great, with lots of things for the animals to do.  Monkey Hill in particular was neat.  Other animals were simply placed in basic concrete and metal cages which was pretty sad.

After the zoo trip we had 30 minutes to grab a bite to eat before we headed out to an early acrobatics show.  ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!   What those people are able to do was incredible.  We were not allowed to videotape or take pictures so sorry, we can’t share, but the visuals are inked in our memories for a very long time.

Since this is a short entry, I figured I’d share a few funny things that have happened over our time here that we have not mentioned yet.  Some of the places we have visited in China will never be the same since we were here, in particular the Civil Affairs Office where we got Li Lin and where the adoption was officially authorized the following day.  As Sara and the kids were fawning over a new and fairly receptive (at the time) Li Lin I had to sign an Agreement of Guardianship.  There were several couches and tables around.  I was standing next to a table so I sat on the corner to sign the paperwork.  One of the kids brought me one of our bags, and so I placed it beside me on the table as I slid towards the middle of the table to complete the paperwork.  Nearly done, I heard a loud ‘crack’ and I found myself sitting IN the table.  The glass top of the table was broken in half!  Luckily they were more concerned for my well being than for the table.  We did notice the 2 following trips that the table was still there, without the glass top!
Not to be outdone, the following day, we were swimming in our hotel in Wuhan.  Sara comes out of the change room with the shower curtain and bar that she had angrily pulled off the wall! (Ok, so yeah, anyone who knows Sara knows that she would not angrily do anything of the sort!)  Rather, when she hung a towel on the curtain rod, the rod (which was attached with glue) and the curtain fell into her hands.

One thing we have been doing here is some of our own laundry in the tub.  We thought of sending some out to get done, but it costs 10 yuan (about $1.60) for a pair of underwear.  Shirts are about 25 yuan ($4.00).  So hand-wash and hang to dry it is!  In Wuhan, the air was so humid that none of the clothes dried properly throughout the week. 
During our last day while we were packing, I spent about 1 hour drying clothes with a hair dryer!  Not very effective but we had to get the dampness out somehow!  Here in Beijing things dry a bit better which is good, since we don’t have a blow dryer in the room!  We did cheat a bit as the agency had an outside person come in who did laundry at a much cheaper rate.  We got a few pieces of clothing washed by him.

Every once in a while in our travels we get random strangers asking to take pictures with us.  I think the novelty is Sara with her lighter coloured hair as well as the kids.  I am sure that if I was travelling by myself, no one would be interested in taking their picture with me.  Today, we had a man asking to take his picture with us.  The thing is, he had no camera and he wanted us to use ours.  So here is the picture of the rest of my family with a couple of random men.
 Finally, I've got to mention Li  Lin's diet!  We were told that she was a fussy eater and didn't eat much.  This was true for the first couple of days.  Now, Li Lin eats a wide variety of things, though unfortunately, her favorites are junk food!  Here is a picture of Li Lin with a can of Lays Stacks.  We have to be careful what we open with Li Lin around, because she figures whatever is opened neats to be finished off immediately.  That can of stackers would be shared amongst her siblings, mama and baba until is was completely empty!


  1. Beautiful picture of Sara and Li Lin!! Sounds like you are leaving your mark in China!! :) Praying Li Lin's bonding to her Mama and her Baba is getting stronger each day. xo Sheryl

  2. The table story CRACKED me up ;) Too funny. Once again, we're loving the pics!! The last one of Mama with Li Lin is just beautiful! And that random guy who wanted you to get a pic of him with you all was hilarious. Have fun. Love Pam xo

  3. HI! Chinese acrobats made me recall those we saw together somewhere during our travels. No wonder you enjoyed them. Amazing! The kids must have really enjoyed the animals adding to all the knowledge they have already accumulated. Your pictures are fantastic and heart warming. As for your anecdotes, there are some days when ...!? Nice memories to laugh about. Prayers and thoughts are with you today and the coming ones. Say high to the kids for me. Li Lin seems to be fitting in more and more. Care! Ropa

  4. Another entry of mine that did not make it. With you guys, sometimes I cry, sometimes I laugh. This was certainly a laughing one. Enjoyed all your anecdotes. The table one was particularly interesting. I have to say that if there is nothing interesting going on, you guys find a way of making it interesting. But He, Steph, wasn't China interesting enough??? These will be great memories for you and especially for LiLin as she looks back to the memories built in her home country. Precious all around. Love you all. Mom xoxoxoxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

  5. Haha!!!!Too funny especially Sara and the shower curtain!!Enjoy reading your blog! Nice to know that Li Lin always shares snack with her family.Good stuff!Live the last picture of mama an Li Lin!

    1. Sorry ,I mean "love the last picture of mama an Li Lin!