The hotel was very nice and cold for being the winter. I would think in a big hotel there would be heat. I was cold, but the Kesters probably were just right. I discovered too late that the shower was like a rain shower. It was probably the best bathroom I have seen in Asia that I remember. To be honest I don't remember the accommodations when I was adopted or when we adopted Sarah. I do want a rain shower one day.
The Kesters arrived and it was a joyous occasion. We hugged and laughed. I tried to talk to Niu Niu and she just wasn't ready. We walked to the bus with all of the group (well almost all of the group, some were already there). It was about a 45 minute ride from the airport to the hotel they were staying at. On the bus Andrea and I got to talk a little about my story and my family. We shared adoption stories we had heard from others. We made it to the hotel around eight pm. I was very hungry and ready to eat all the treats I had packed for them in my bag. We decided that all of us were hungry. Their guide/CCAI reps recommended a sit down family style restaurant to eat at. It was a good thing that some of us were listening on the bus when they said the name of the place. It was a restaurant called "Muslim food" in English the Chinese had no mention of such things. It was delicious and I would gladly go again. We got back and got ready for bed. The kids went to bed and the adults talked.
25 November 2017
The airport in Guangzhou is huge. They have waiting areas zones with all the check-in stations and then some downstairs near the arrival hall. I got here about one am and tried to waste about fifteen hours. I found a nice seat area where I could sleep because it was dark. Then at about three, they turned on the lights. At three thirty they told us to go to the waiting area. Found more seats and curled up on a chair to doze. Not the best sleep but better than no sleep. Woke up to find coffee because no one wants me with no coffee. Got breakfast there, too. I was hoping to figure out the wifi situation but kept being stubborn about the VPN. Sent messages to people. Found out that the Kesters would be three hours later than they thought. Oh well got in exercise, reading, and grading homework for one class of twenty that I need to grade.
24 November 2017
But I guess that sign is from old plans of the area. I ended up walking through this empty hallway and no one stopped me. I finally made it to a glass door and it was locked. I could see signs on the other side that I needed to get to. Security guy heard me and decided to ask me what I was doing in that area. He came to the door and was confused as much as I was why I was there in the isolated hallway. He unlocked the door with his many keys only to tell me that I needed to go back. (Ps - He had already talked with me through the door.) Anyways I walked back through creepy deserted hallway without anyone stopping me and asking what I was doing. I finally was brave enough to ask about the signs and why I couldn't find the gates. They told me to exit then go to the third floor of the mall like building. Should have known, this is Asia. All airports are malls. Found the gate without any glitches. Our gate was 44 and my seat was 44A. Many people kept trying to sit in the 44 row, too.
Well planning for the trip, I thought I was over-prepared. I had found a sub for one class and moved another class so that all I had to do was get on the public transportation and get on the planes. Little did I know that cockiness got to my head and I ended up forgetting my wallet. Guess what? No wallet, no money, many problems! I didn't have any money to get from the HSR station to the airport. Thank goodness I found an exchange across the street. Got on a bus and then the bus went to the other terminal and got stuck. I finally ran to my check-in desk. Knowing that my flight was about to leave and there was no way I was getting through security. God provided though. The flight was delayed about forty minutes. Went through security and misplaced my ticket through the magic conveyor belt. Had to explain to the immigration people that I'm just forgetful, but showed them photos of my ARC. Made it to my first layover in Nanjing. Got off the plane and followed the domestic flight signs.