We slept "in" today because we didn't have to be anywhere today. Le An had a major fit last night and we couldn't calm him down to go to sleep for a very LONG hour! So sleeping in was a good thing. We also found out last night that the other families that had been interested in going to the Six Banyan Temple had bailed because they were afraid of the crowds that would be there due to the beginning of the lunar month. The cost of the van was also apparently very high. I asked about a taxi and Joyce said we could take a taxi there but getting one away from there would be difficult. She said that we will be doing a group picture at 10:30 instead. OK, I was disappointed we couldn't have Le An blessed but I was glad we could do a group picture because nothing had been said about that yet.
So we went down to breakfast and ate with my blogging friend Bridget and her family and saw others of the CCAI group from Zhengzhou. We've met so many nice friends on this trip! I hope we can stay somewhat in touch!
I then continued to pack while Tony watched Le An. Right before 10:30 we put a traditional outfit on him. Not everyone had them this time so, again, we were unusual! (Last time Meighan was the only one WITHOUT a traditional outfit!). This was truly a GROUP picture. All of the families stood on the steps and we all gave our cameras to Phoebe and the guy (we never caught his name). They took pictures with all cameras then Phoebe took some with her camera. Le An's head only partially showed in all the pictures we have. They did not do a picture with just the adopted kids. That would have been nice.
We went back up to the room and I finished packing about 12:30 or 1:00. Holt had told us we could check out at noon but stay in the room till 4:00 or so. Tony went down to check out and was told to check out at 4:00. OK! So the waiting began. We had to entertain Le An without toys (they were packed already). We also had to figure out something to eat. We decided to walk back to the restaurant where Catherine and Phoebe had taken the group the other night.
Hmmm... The waitress did not speak English but the menu had pictures and some English on it. We ordered rice (had to draw a picture), seasonal steamed vegetables and bread with BBQ pork something with honey. Also cold bottled water (instead of the hot water in a glass that they'd already given us). The rice came just right and the bottled water came, too (had to draw a picture of that, too). The vegetables were actually good. I liked whatever sauce was on them. The "bread with BBQ pork something with honey" was really different. It looked like perfectly browned dinner rolls. Inside was the "meat" (I think there was more fat than meat). We ate the bread, veggies and rice. Le An wanted all of it and got mad when we weren't feeding him. (Can't wait to work on his food issues. It's orphanage behavior.) We gave up after a while and left the restaurant. Probably everyone in the restaurant was glad we left!
We walked back to the hotel and waited some more. I called the room of the CCAI family who had adopted the 12-year-old girl because I wanted to get their family picture. The mom knows a couple of board members of Show Hope so she took our picture and was going to send it to them. We will also send a picture to Show Hope after we get home. They don't get to come home until Saturday.
Finally, 3:30 came and we put our luggage out into the hall for the bellman to pick up and take downstairs for us. We hung out in the room just a little longer and then went down to check out. At 4:30 Catherine, Joyce and Phoebe came down with our visa packages and brown envelopes. We said goodbye to Phoebe and Joyce (Catherine earlier) and got on the bus. Eight families! The families that weren't leaving today were outside waving goodbye.
We took the ride to the train station and our guide gave us instructions on what to do, where to go, etc. She collected the tips and checked bags fees from everyone. She was only able to go so far and then we were on our own. We were all on the same car--took up about 1/2 of the car! We were sitting near the Amish family so we got to visit with them more.
Two hours and 15 minutes later we arrived in Hong Kong. We went through Immigration (we seem to go through Immigration when we leave AND when we arrive!) and our bags were all there. We found out we had to pay another 10 Yuan per bag for the porters to take it all to the truck.
We found our guide and he took roll call and then we all went to the hotel. A 30-minute bus ride later we arrived at the hotel. He said only one person per family come with him to check in. The rest of us stayed on the ground floor waiting for the luggage truck to unload. Soon Tony came back down from the 2nd level reception area. He took us up to the room. We found our room number range and headed down the hall. We had to make a turn and there was ANOTHER long hallway! I just started laughing! I couldn't do anything else! Our room was in this hallway, though.
There was no crib. We were hungry. We ordered room service--a grilled ham and cheese sandwich and potato chips. Le An was mostly asleep but saw us eating and started crying. We ate fast. Tony called for the crib again at 10:30. They said it was on its way. He called again at 11:00.
Le An was asleep and Tony laid him on our bed. I laid down for bed and Tony went in to take his shower and then went to bed. At 11:45 the phone rang. Tony answered and I heard him say "It's too late now. He's asleep on our bed." The bed was HARD. It would be a long short night!