We're home...we got home late Thursday evening and got in bed after 2:00 am! We had major issues with Blogger when we were gone, so if you are using Blogger and planning on using it to keep the family updated while you're gone, you should reconsider. I know "Journey To Me" is okay in China because I could see all of those and we even attempted to create a quick account. Many Blogger accounts (including mine) were blocked in China. We ended up using a computer in one of the hotel business centers to update that we had arrived in Nanning, but it was all in Chinese and we couldn't even tell what we were typing! I could see all comments that people left because I have a local "Insightbb" e-mail account and that's where they show up, but I couldn't send any e-mails through Insightbb and and first couldn't get any e-mails either. I finally had to use my Yahoo e-mail, but because of the 12 hour time difference, they seemed to be doing their daily maintenance at the same time I wanted to give updates to the family. We finally ended up buying a calling card to at least make quick calls home.
Shayla is doing well, although her time is a little messed up. In China, she slept all night and here she's a little out of sorts, but I think she will adjust soon.
I'll give more details later about everything (and Shayla's bonding issues with me) when I have the pictures to post...they are all still saved to the laptop we took. For now, I'll share some trivia I learned and some of my observations of China. China is a nice place...all that I saw made me love it. I know we were not seeing the rural areas, but what I did see I really loved. I'll start with Hong Kong. This part will sound bad, but Hong Kong stinks. I don't mean that I didn't like it, I actually did, but it really smells funky and was making me literally sick to my stomach. When we were in Hong Kong, we were walking down the the hall in the hotel and the smell was really weird. I can't describe what it was, but it was bad. Then we went to a 7-Eleven and the smell was so horrible that I actually felt nauseous. When we went back to our hotel room and it was time to shower, when I turned on the water, that same smell was there, so I know it had something to do with the water. I smelled funky after the shower and after a couple of hours, I just kinda got used to the smell. in Hong Kong, everyone drives on the opposite side of the street. If there's 4 lanes of traffic and someone needs to get over or the lanes change down to 2 lanes, the drivers only have a small opportunity to get to the correct lane, so the driving is a bit chaotic and they just cut in front of each other. I thought their driving was crazy until I got to Guangzhou...that's where the real madness is. In Nanning (Guanxgi Province), which was our next step (and where we received Shayla), the smell was not horrible. I did notice that the smell from the restaurant downstairs permeated up through the vent in the bathroom and made the bathroom smell on occasion. Someone in my travel group told me theirs did it too. We got lucky in Nanning though. There was huge convention going on at the Wharton Hotel and since they couldn't get all the families in the group to stay on the same floor, they gave us all executive suites. Fancy smancy I must say. Nanning was incredibly hot and crazily humid. The whole trip, I only wore make-up only twice...then regreted it. It was most humid in Nanning...I could deal with the heat as most activities were all planned earlier in the morning before the afternoon sun was too hot. Nanning is in the Autonomous Region and the grass was as green as I've ever seen. It was nice. As for the driving in Nanning, they drive on the same side of the street as us and it's very organized, however if you want to make a left hand turn or a U-turn, you simply do it in traffic with tons of cars coming directly at you. The cars stop or make efforts to go around. No one seemed to drive more than about 30-35 miles an hour, so it wasn't too bad. Lastly we went to Guangzhou...it was hot, but not so bad. There was typhoon hitting Shanghai and it was making the wind blow a bit in Guangzhou. Shamian Island is awesome. Some of the buildings have a Charleston, South Carolina Victorian look or a Georgia plantation look. The streets are small and crammed with shops. You walk everywhere and it's nice and convenient. As for the drivers, the craziest I've ever seen. If there's a curb, it's bound to be driven on, if there's a pedestrian, they become a moving target! We took a taxi there off the island...a freaking nightmare!
Baby is awake, will update more later!