Saturday, July 20, 2013

China Day Thirteen - Shamian Island Shopping and a Cruise

Monday.  A week since we picked up Davis! Such a different day this time - it was a day full of touring and shopping. And it was raining, well drizzling really all day long. That was thanks to Typhoon Rumbia that was hitting south China. 

Five of the six Lifeline families headed out with Helen in a big bus to Shamian Island. It's a small island in the Pearl River where pretty much all of the consulates used to be located, including the American consulate. So up until about three years ago, pretty much all of the adoptive families coming to China stayed on the island when they came to Guangzhou for their consulate appointments. Traffic on the island has dropped way off - in part because of the US Consulate move into town and also because the famous White Swan hotel has been closed for 2.5 years for a major renovation. Many of the shops that once flourished on the island have closed, but some remain. We visited two different ones and picked up most of the remaining souvenirs that we had on our list. 

The famous Squeaky shoes - they have a squeaker in the sole of the shoe.
We didn't buy any but some of the families with us bought tons!

One of the other things we wanted to see on the island were the famous statues, mostly of children. The architecture and the gardens were beautiful as well. 

East meets West - English and Chinese businessmen. 
A statue depicting the stereotypical idea of American adoptive families. 

In recent years the island has become a popular destination for photography shoots - especially for weddings. Well-to-do Chinese brides and grooms often do a photo shoot before their wedding involving several elaborate costume changes and have these pictures on display at their reception. 

We ate lunch at Lucy's a famous restaurant 
in the adoption community serving American food. 

After lunch we went back for a nap and then shopping (needed more pull-ups and snacks) and dinner was with our Lifeline families again as we took a dinner cruise on the Pearl River. Even with the drizzly rain it was still so neat to see all the building lit up from this angle - after having been above them so high at the Canton Tower a few days before. 

Grandmommy and Granddaddy with our guide Helen. 

Grandaddy and his shirt twin, Kenny Cook from Kentucky. He and his wife have two boys from Ethiopia and were adopted a little girl from China.  

I took the big boys up to the top of the boat to see the captain. 

There was also some entertainment on board. The clown did a good job at juggling and other stuff - and involved the crowd a lot. And there were also balloon animals to go around! 

When we docked, we all headed back to the Garden hotel. It was time to start getting organized and pack up. Tuesday was the big day - our Consulate appointment for Davis.

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