Tuesday, July 18, 2006 

There's no place like home

Originally uploaded by hollysbaking.
Wonder how many times that has been used as a blog title??

Well we are home, safe and sound. Got in a few hours later than expected due to a delay in Hong Kong which caused us to miss our connecting flight and the re-booked connecting flight. The fine folks at United re-re-booked us on a pretty late flight but also put us on stand-by for an earlier full flight. I told the gate guy our very tired story (I figured out between leaving the hotel and arriving home, we spent about 30 hours in airports or airplanes) and he so very kindly got us on the stand-by flight. Not only that, but in first class!!! Yay United!

We were met at the airport by Mom, Sean and 3 very special ladies, Wendy, Shelley and Jalan. It was so good to see friendly faces! By the time we actually got home and unwound enough to sleep it was after 2am :::zzzzzzzzz::::

Sean is being an incredible big brother. Hank adores him even though he's (Hank) is a little rough on him. Sean is so patient and kind, really warms a mom's heart!

The last few days have been good. Hank is getting more comfortable and while still *incredibly* busy, is starting to slow down slightly. He'll watch something on TV for 5-10 min at a time instead of 1. He'll play with a toy for a few minutes rather than picking it up and flinging it back down again. Much less hitting, much less pouting and yelling. He's picking up all kinds of English too. He can count to ten in English. Yesterday it was 9 and I realized it was kind of silly to stop there so I was able to get him to add 10. He knows about 6 colors in English, including "ba-looo"

Maggie, our elderly Golden is still pretty scary. It's ok if she isn't moving (a pretty common state for her) but should she walk around or even worse...bark! he shrieks and climbs the nearest adult. Sometimes he'll forget she is there (or forget he's supposed to be afraid) and accidentally find himself standing right next to her. That results in him launching himself in the air shrieking "EWWWWewwwEWWWW" as if she was a large spider or something. I think it will be a little while before busy Boomer comes home.

There are a few more "home" pics if you click back to the main album.

Gotta run, it's too quiet out there...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006 

Quicky video

Not much, but you can see our little guy in motion

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 

Hank at the medical exam

Hank at the medical exam
Originally uploaded by hollysbaking.
That was on Monday (it's Wednesday now, right???) It was a fairly quick once over. Hank didn't mind. He's 104 cm tall and 18.5 kg in weight (both with shoes on) which I think roughly translates to 40" tall and 40 lbs.

Monday afternoon the girls went out shopping leaving the men to fend for themselves with the children. Everyone survived.
Monday we decided ordering in would be a good idea. Jeff called Danny's Bagels and asked for a pizza and a hamburger. The person taking the order kept repeating "A hamburger??" Yes, a hamburger, what's the big deal?? He told me the total was 318 yuan which seemed kind of expensive but it was the first time we had ordered from them. Well, when our food came we got a pizza and *8* hamburgers lol! It actually worked out pretty well. We decided we'd all eat hamburgers and put the pizza in the fridge since pizza is better cold than hamburgers are. Hank ate two whole burgers himself.

Tuesday we did a little walking around. We've been trying to keep things low key which seems to be helping his moods...some...
In the afternoon we had to go over to the White Swan hotel to meetour guide and handle some paperwork. Got the obligatory red couch pictures (it's traditional to take pictures of the kids on these red couches they have in the lobby). We then went to dinner at Lucy's with the Thompsons. Hank was a pistol :::ahem::: there, throwing a 'tude even with the waitresses who were talking to him in Mandarin. After that we walked back to the WS and visited the playroom. Excellent time burning off some energy!!

On the way out we were wrangled into a store by some of the shop girls who were making a fuss over Hank. Picked up a few things and finally got smart enough to borrow a stroller. Made the walk "home" much nicer. Of course no walk home is complete without a stop at the convienience store to stock up on food for the bottomless pit lol!

Go to the main photo section for more pictures of the last few days!

Monday, July 10, 2006 

Mea Culpa

It's been a while, I know.
Hank is still doing really well, but really well is a relative term. Really well includes some tough times too. He's 5, he's a boy and he's been taken from everything and everyone he knows and plopped with these two people who don't understand 90% of what he's saying. All the new stuff is really cool and fun, but it's also overwhelming and overstimulating.

We've had some whopper tantrums over the last few days. Sunday was the worst as far as frequency (about 2-3 an hour) and intensity (wow..he can get MAD) . The good news is yesterday was a lot better. Still lots of tantrums, but less frequently, less intense and he recovered from them faster. I'm hoping Sunday was a corner that was turned and we will be able to slowly walk down the street away from it. I'm sure there will be other corners along the way, but knowing there really is another side once you get around it is a big help.

Even though it's exhausting, it's entirely worth it. Between the tantrums is this funny, smart, silly, charming little person. We really are thrilled at how well he's attached to us and how relaxed he is (most of the time). I'm so grateful for all the online support and yahoo groups I've been involved in over the last few months. Being able to hear other people's stories and experiences was so important in being prepared for this. Understanding what he's going through and knowing that all this is normal goes a long way towards being able to handle it and be patient with him.

Saturday, July 08, 2006 


We're still alive, I promise. Last 2 days have been nuts. Everythingis fine, just very busy, lots of going from here to there. Boy isincredibly busy and wearing us out!A real update later, I promise!!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006 

Friday in Suzhou

This is going to be super quick, our guide will be here in about a half an hour and the room is trashed yet once again.
Yesterday it was finally sunny out. We went out to the Pearl and Jade market with Teresa. Wow!!! It's a large building that has about 50 different pearl vendors on the 1st floor and 20 or so jade vendors on the top floor. She knows one of the vendors well, has bought from them many times because they are honest and have very good prices. Very VERY good prices! It's overwhelming, they lay huge hanks of pearls on the table for you to select from. Differnt sizes, colors and quality. You select the strands you want, tell them how you want them strung and they make up your things while you wait. I can't show pictures yet, some people are getting a surprise ;-) I did get a double strand necklace and stud earings to put away for when Hank gets married (for his fiance', not Hank!!).
She also took us to a great little shop that sold antique furniture and all sorts of other small doo-dads.
Picked up McD's for lunch (yeah..sorry, I needed something familiar) and back to the hotel for a little rest. Went to the Suzhou Silk museum and then again, back to the hotel for a nother little rest.Went out for an early dinner, got treated to a full blown typical 5 yr old tantrum. Fun!!!! Actually had to leave the restaraunt shortly after our meal was served. I shoved a wad of money at Jeff and told him to get things boxed up while I carried him out. Now *that* gets looks...American lady carrying blond boy who is screaming in Chinese.
Back to hotel, watched some Gi-Gi Mao and we all fell asleep about 8.
Today we are going to try to see one of the gardens, probably Tiger Hill. We have to check out of the hotel around 2 to catch the train back to Nanjing. Hopefully we'll have a better internet connection there and can get some more pics up.
He really is doing so well, tantrum not withstanding. 97% of the time he is very sweet and funny and polite. He loves to share, anything he is eating he offers to everyone around.
Ok, really have to go!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 


Originally uploaded by hollysbaking.
And a visit to the orphanage.

This is going to be a short one kids. It's late and Hank just went to sleep. I know why he eats so much, it takes lots of food to fuel this much busy!

Our trip to the orphanage was very interesting. Hank was quiet on the ride over but didn't seem too nervous. You always have to wonder if it's a good idea to bring them for that last visit or not. Will it be traumatic or will it be good closure. Thankfully for Hank it was the latter. He really did seem to be popular with the workers, they all came running to see him and talk to him. One lady somehow managed to stuff his backpack full of chips and snacks again.

We were shown around to his classroom and his bedroom. We also got to meet the director and got to walk around the grounds. It is a huge complex, much bigger than I imagined. It's beautifully landscaped with lovely ornate gardens. Inside the children's areas are clean and have lots of cheerful decorations. It's still has an overall institutional feel, but it's obvious there was a lot of effort put into making it as nice as they could.

Hank told the ladies that once he was grown up and had a job, he'd come back to visit ::::sniff::::

Have I mentioned lately what a good, sweet, funny boy he is? I am still amazed at how quickly he has taken to us. He's still seeing what kinds of things he can get away with (mostly throwing stuff) but really, it's no worse than any other 5 yr old.

Sean, we're still trying to figure out what things he likes. He does have two cartoons he likes but they are Chinese, not shown in America (Aeotman and Gi-gi Mao) We found a DVD of one of them today so you will be able to watch them with him.

It's still hot hot HOT and today it rained hard all day. Makes it a little tough to do sightseeing.

tomorrow we are off to the pearl market in the morning, not sure what's up in the afternoon.

More pics at the main album, just kind of tossed them up there but all the ones dated 7/5 are from the orphanage visit.


Tuesday, July 04, 2006 

Where are we and what day is this???

I’m not entirely sure, lol! Ok, I exaggerate. It’s almost 6 am Wed morning and we are in Suzhou. Yesterday was so busy, didn’t have a minute to post.
Hank woke up around 5 am. I happened to already be awake, not up, but awake. I was nervous that he would be confused and/or upset when he saw where he was. He rubbed his eyes and with a yawn said “Mama, da-pee-en-ma” AKA “I need to go potty” Cool! Still mama! We took care of that and he crawled into our bed for a few snuggles and giggles and hit the floor running.

Had a big breakfast at the hotel. Hank ate his weight in various goodies. It’s kind of strange typing Hank now. We still haven’t used that with him, he likes Su Le (luh) Bai. I’m sure no one at the SWI called him Hank. We’ll give a shot at phasing it in over the next day or so. I don’t mind if he’d rather use his Chinese name but right now he doesn’t know there is another name.

After breakfast we all hopped in the van to go back to the Civil Affairs office to make everything nice and official. I asked Judy to explain to him that we were just going back to visit, he was going to stay with us and *leave* with us. He said he understood but I’m sure it wasn’t entirely clear. The nanny and assistant SWI director were there, we went over to talk to them. Hank didn’t cry but he was very very quiet. He sat with the two ladies while they asked him questions about his day. He was very subdued, giving only the slightest nods and one/two word answers. After about 15 minutes passed, I think he started to really understand he was staying with us and he perked right back up. He got very chatty with them. When they asked what he had for dinner the night before he told them we only gave him cookies!!!! Ok, while he did have more than the daily recommended servings of cookies he had a heck of a lot more than that too!!
He also told them that we had said we had 2 dogs, but we don’t really. He decided it wasn’t true because we didn’t bring them with us (to China!) When it was time to leave the Civil Affairs office he cheerfully waved goodbye to them and trotted off with us.

Next stop was Walmart!! Little monkey man was a chorus of “OOOH! Mama!!” especially since the grocery section was at the entrance. Judy was walking with us while he was proclaiming pretty much every package of food his “favorite” She teasingly told there wasn’t anything that wasn’t his favorite. He scowled at her, looked around and finally pointed at a package of dried fish. Not my favorite. We decided to scoot up to the 2nd floor before we went bankrupt. Going up to the 2nd floor (yes, a 2nd floor!!) was fun! You push your cart onto an escalator/conveyer belt and up you go! Lots of favorites up there too. We let him pick out a few books (Aoetman and some blue robot cat) Picked up a few shirts & shorts and socks. A new pair of blinky cat flashing sneakers and some crayons. Judy said we’d need a 5th suitcase if we didn’t leave immediately.

Oh! Someone just bounced up out of bed! I need to get us all going, we are leaving at 9 to visit the orphanage. Quick rest of the day. 2ishour train ride to Suzhou. Up and down stairs to get out. Scary taxi ride to the lovely hotel. Suzhou Garden View. It’s a new hotel but it was built in the old courtyard style.

He is still so sweet and funny. Smart too! And I’m not just saying that as his mom! Nancy (our Suzhou guide) was very impressed at how well he speaks Mandarin (rather than the local dialect) and how many English words he’s picked up already. I’m sure he doesn’t understand half of them but he’s quite the little parrot. Including running through all his new phrases when trying to avoid bed or when he thinks he’s in trouble.

Really have to go now! I appreciate all your thoughts and hopefully we can get some more pics up tonight!!!

Monday, July 03, 2006 

One more

I just remembered! At the buffet tonight I took him up for 2nd's while Jeff stayed at the table. After he picked out what he wanted he started looking around saying "Baba?" There was a Chinise man about 5 ft away. Hank ran over to him saying "Baba" and I was thinking "Ah, ok..any port in a storm" Well he looked at the guys face and spun away from him, looked to me saying "baba???" I took his hand and started walking back to the table. Once he saw Jeff sitting there, still about 15 feet away, he shrieked "BABA!!!!" and ran right to him, passing a few other Chinese men. I thought that was a HUGE thing!!! He was specifically looking *for* Jeff and was happy to find him.


Gotcha Day part 2

Boy can that boy eat! We went to the buffet dinner at the hotel and he had a marvelous time. He knows what he likes and what he doesn't. We let him choose what he wanted, he pondered each chafing dish and gave a hearty nod or a dismissive shake of the head. Two large platefuls of various things and a bowl of tomato chunk/egg soup went down. He was very excited when he saw the soup. He had pointed to the kettle and I dipped some in the ladle to show him what kind it was. He started jumping up and down and “oooh OOH OOOOHHHH!!!” then said something in Mandarin to anyone within earshot. All through dinner he would offer us bites of whatever he had on his plate. A few times he requested something of ours too. When he decided he was done, he gathered up his big spoon, his soup spoon and his fork and stuck them in the hand of the first woman who walked by (one of the front desk staff..not a waitress). I don’t think she was amused….. He calls all the ladies at the hotel "ayi" which means Auntie/nanny.

Our guide came down partway through dinner and sat with us. She asked the waitress about ice cream. Hank let out a long speech that cracked the waitress and Judy up. Seems he quite matter of factly informed them he would also like ice cream and “white” was his favorite flavor. If they did not have that, he would like coffee :::nod:::

After dinner he wanted to go outside. We were walking in the shopping area, Jeff was carrying him (Baba! Up!!!) and ::::zonk:::: he was out. Back to the hotel, it was only a little after 6 but I got him into his jammies and laying down. I laid next to him rubbing his arm and face and he went right back out. So did I. I just woke up and I need to do *something* with this tornado struck room before I go to bed for real.

On to the good stuff. Hank is SUCH a doll!!!! Or should I say Monkey! Karen you were right on the money there!!! Everything new or good is greeted with an "Oh" or "Ooooh!" Sometimes he's just running around going "Oooh Ooooh Ooooh!!!!" No more tears after the short bout at the civil affairs office, not even at bedtime. I'm sure he doesn't grasp how permanent this is, but so far he likes us pretty well. Our guide chatted with him a little before/during dinner. I asked her to ask him if he liked us. He gave a shy nod. He's calling us Mama & Baba freely and now giving lots of hugs & kisses. When we were walking around the hotel he wasn’t trying to get away from us and he sat nicely at dinner. When we went outside after dinner, he wanted Jeff to carry him. He is so funny and so happy. Full of giggles. He was nonstop motion from the moment we arrived at the hotel until he passed out on Jeff’s shoulder. He thinks I'm ok, maybe even a little better than ok but Jeff is Da' Bomb for sure (how could he not be?).

We haven’t tried calling him Hank yet at all. He’s mostly LeBai or when he’s really making a point, he calls himself Su LeBai. He likes all 3 of us to stand in front of the mirror then he points at each of us “Mama, Baba, Su LeBai!!!” He looks a little on the small side to me, but compared to other Chinese kids I’m not sure. If I didn’t know, I’d say he looks like a young 4 rather than almost 6. He seems a good weight for his height. We changed him into a Gymboree 4 shorts and a Gap XS (4-5) shirt and they both seemed to fit just right. And no, we didn’t get any more pictures :::bad parents:::: Way too crazy.
Hard to tell what his eyesight is like. He tears around like there is no tomorrow so that’s good. With the language barrier it’s hard to tell if he recognizes pictures of things. He doesn’t seem to be awfully light sensitive. Several times he would be looking directly at a lightbulb when he turned it on and didn’t flinch. Also we had the drapes closed thinking he might nap (ha!) He’d go over and yank them open several times in a row without a problem. He’s eager to wear his sunglasses outdoors but doesn’t keep them on too long indoors even if the light is bright. We have several pairs of sunglasses sitting around the room and always say “Good job” when he puts a pair on. If they do help, I want him to know he’s allowed to wear them indoors. The nystagmus is rather noticeable, not sure how much it bothers him.

I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot, today was such a blur! Tomorrow we go bck to the Civil Affairs office at 8:45. That is when the adoption is official so we get an adoption date of July 4th! What fun!!!!!

Also tomorrow we will be taking the 3:30 train to Suzhou for 3 nights. We will visit the orphanage on Wednesday. Hopefully the pearl market on Thursday!!!!!


Introducing Henry Su LeBai Miller!

We have another son!

Wow! What a day! Sorry I couldn’t write sooner, we have a whirling dervish here!!!!
One with the most infectious laugh and an incredible sense of adventure, whirling like there’s no tomorrow.

We left the hotel a little after 10. It was us and two other families from our agency. Their children (just 2 and about to be 2) were coming from a different orphanage.
We walked into the civil affairs office, there were several other families already there.
The Landrey’s and the Thompson’s boy and girl were already in the room. We stood there for a few minutes while Judy went to get paperwork started. Suddenly I saw a little boy in an orange snoopy ball cap & sunglasses walk in!!! There he was! I ran over to him and the nanny, she seemed to realize who I was and started pointing to us as
“Ma-ma” and “ba-ba” Hank cheerfully waved to us and then was looking around to see what/who was next. I tried to take his hand and bring him over to our things. He pulled back clearly saying “Ok lady, I said “Hi” I’ve got other things to do” Not upset per say, just exasperated that this strange lady was keeping him from checking out what else was going on.

I tried picking up the boneless boy a few times, very heavy when they turn to jello like that. Still no tears, just annoyed at me for keeping from what he wanted to be doing. Everyone was busy with paperwork so there wasn’t anyone explaining or translating at the moment. I finally got him over to the couch and tried pulling out some things (ok, bribes) first few things did not do the trick. Then came the Magnadoodle. Success! Now I was a person of interest!!! Jeff came over, he is much better at such things and he also was granted person of interest status. Until Hank wanted to show the nanny the Magnadoodle (nanny was on the other side of the room) We finally let him go to her because he was starting to get panicky. She said something to him and he not-so willingly went back to the couch with us. More Magnadoodle fun.

After signing all the papers the Nanny and Assistant Director said goodbye. So did Hank. To us. He was not so pleased to find out they were leaving without him. Apparently he thought he was coming here to play and then going back.
He was starting to get upset so the nanny came upstairs with us for the official pictures.
While we were busy with that, she slipped out. A few minutes later Hank started looking for here and then the tears came. He kept repeating something over and over while our guide was trying to comfort him. I asked what he was saying
“I want to go home” Quivering lip and all.
I knew to expect that, doesn’t make it easier when it comes.
He did let me carry him downstairs, quietly whimpering.
While we were waiting for the bus, he tearfully asked our guide for a drink. We had something that we gave him and pulled out some cookies as well. That seemed to smooth things over a bit. Our guide explained some more to him, not exactly sure what she said but he became very calm. On the van ride home he was looking around. We hit some big bumps which proved to be worth a laugh. More Magnadoodle fun and by the time we were out of the van we were MaMa and Baba.

Elevators are fun!!!!! Into the room willingly. Then he was willing to check out the contents the backpack we brought. More Magnadoodle fun. He came with a backpack from the orphanage, we got to look through that too. He had the monkey, the book and the photo album we sent back in January. They all still looked brand new so I don’t think they let him play with them but I’m glad they sent them along. He had a bag of various snacks and I kid you not, at least 2 pounds of candy. Amazing. I think he’s eaten about ½ a pound this afternoon. Yeah…I know…but wrap a bow on it and call it bonding and we’ll deal with the sugar crash later.

He’s been happy as a clam since we got in the room. Freely calling us Mama and Baba. We’ve even gotten a few kisses though he’s moving to fast to be really snuggly. There’s a little testing behavior going on but a firm “Bu-ya!” does mean something to him. He’s happy to let us play with his knew stuff but if he thinks we are going to take something away (we haven’t ) he quickly sweeps it up and hovers over it. He only knows a few words of English, about as many as we know in Mandarin. He likes to hear “good job” and will pick up toys and put them in the box to hear it. Then dump them all out as they should be dumped :::grin:::: We thought we might be getting a nap in for him a few times. He turned off all the lights, laid himself down on the bed with us, feigned a few snores then bounced back up and turned all the lights on again.

Overall impression is he’s a good, happy boy. His laugh lights up a room. I know there is still plenty of potential bumps in the road but I think we are off to a great start!!!

Just as I was about to hit enter, he almost took a flying leap off the side of the bed. Jeff said "Careful kiddo!" and a little voice repeated right back "Cawefuw kiddo"

Click on Hank's picture to get to the main album and see a few more from today!

Sunday, July 02, 2006 

Sunday in Nanjing

Sunday in Nanjing
Originally uploaded by hollysbaking.
Click on the Foo dog for a few random shots around Nanjing today. We didn't get too ambitious today, more wandering around the local market, going a little farther afield now that we had our bearings (and a map). It was incredibly hot and humid here. The kind of humidity that makes you feel like someone is actually spraying you down. We didn't stay out long. Did get brave enough to fing the laundry stall on the street and made another stop at the grocery store for more bottled water and some snack for Hank tomorrow.

Eeeek! Tomorrow! Well it's today now because I didn't get to post this before crashed last night. We are supposed to go to the Cival Afffairs office to meet him at 10:30 this morning (Monday morning here now). That would be around 10:30 pm Sunday if you are on East Coast tme.

We're excited, nervous and scared all at the same time. My biggest fear is that he really won't like us. I've read articles and experiences from other parents, I'm not expecting a Hallmark moment but I will feel awful if he's hysterical though. Having reasonable expectations doesn't mean it doean't stink when the "hopefully not" portion does come true.

Going to spend the next 5 hours rearranging luggage, deciding what things/toys/snacks to bring to the meeting.

Just a note about the blog. China restricts access to many websites. For some reason I can post to my blog but I can't actually see the posts or any of the comments people have made. So plese forgive me if you have asked a questoin that and I haven't respoded. I'll read every single one when

Saturday, July 01, 2006 

Nanjing Train Tom

Originally uploaded by hollysbaking.
Woke up early this morning, got our stuff together and managed to squash the two tote bags into suitcases so we’d have two less things to wrangle. At 7:30 Evita met us in the lobby to walk over to the train station. We were so glad she was there to help us figure this all out! The station is several floors tall and you have to wait in the specific waiting room designated for your train which is actually quite a ways away from the actual platform. She was allowed to help us get our bags onto the train and show us where our seats were before saying goodbye. I’m sure without her assistance we would still be in Shanghai right now.

The train ride itself was very pleasant, took about 2 ½ hours stopping only at 1 other station (Wuxi). We had “soft seats” which means reserved seat numbers in a clean, comfortable air-conditioned car. Several times during the trip attendants came through selling bottled water, juice and snacks.

Sitting across the isle from us was a mom and a very bouncy ten year old boy named Tom. He was very happy to show off how well he spoke English. He proudly told me he got a 99 in English class! Tom also was happy to show off his yo-yo skills…..several times. Some things really are universal…ten year old boys being one of them!

When we arrived in Nanjing it was raining. Another guide, Nancy, met us right on the platform. She will be coming back on Tuesday to go with us to Suzhou (found out proper pronunciation is SOO-jo) On the ride to the hotel we chatted about other families we both knew. I showed her pictures of Hank and she immediately recognized him from times she has been at the orphanage! She said he seems like a very sweet boy.

Got to the Mandarin Garden Hotel safely. Traffic is still a bit hairy, but not anywhere near as bad as it was in Shanghai. The room is lovely, a nice size and everything is immaculate. We crashed for a little bit and then went downstairs for lunch. I must have misunderstood Nancy when she said this particular restaurant had an English menu. The menu is written in English but all the selections were clearly local specialties. I can’t help but wonder how mute ducks it takes to make the duck tongue dish. I crossed my fingers and ordered Beef with Water chestnuts (very tasty!!!!) and Jeff ordered sautéed chicken with peppers which turned out to be a large tureen of soup with cherry-tomato sized HOT peppers. He loved it (and half of mine..)

By the time we finished lunch the rain had mostly stopped. We were able to borrow an umbrella and wandered off on our own. I’m sure we ended up several places we never would have seen with a guide! The shopping is endless. A mix of storefronts and little stalls and around every turn it goes further on and on. I was very restrained, didn’t want to go nuts on our first time out. You have to be prepared for a hard sell and be prepared to say no and keep going.

We did wander a bit farther out than we planned and got to where we had *no* clue of where we were. Just when we were thinking it might be time to pull out the hotel business card we stumbled upon it…no, not the hotel…a YARN STORE!!! Interestingly enough, yarn stores are also universal. It was the one place where the clerk wasn’t the least bit interested in if I wanted to buy something and almost seemed annoyed that I did. Ened up getting two giant hanks of a purple marl wool blend yarn (not sure what it’s blended with..have to ask Judy tomorrow) for 40 yuan (approx $5).

Thankfully we wandered in the right direction after that and found the hotel a few blocks away. Made a quick stop at a grocery store to get some bottled water and a few munchies for the room. Came upstairs, crashed, missed dinner again!

We have a few pictures from today here http://www.flickr.com/photos/bringinghankhome/sets/72157594183542062/
Hope to get more of the local things tomorrow, we didn’t have the camera with us while on our long wander because of the rain. Not sure what’s in store tomorrow. The other two families from our agency are coming in, it will be great to meet them!!!

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