Friday, February 5, 2010

A really loooong day(s)

It all started Thursday our time. We had an 2:00 appointment at the U.S. consulate to pick up Lisi's passport and visa. From there we bussed to the train station and checked our bags and headed to Hong Kong. The train ride was nice but we were all very tired and upon arrival in H.K. we still had a 45 minute bus ride to the hotel. We got to the hotel and they told us to leave our bags and the bell boy would bring them up. By 11:00 I still had no bags and had to go hunt them down. I slept off and on till 7 a.m. then off we went to the airport. It is conveniently attached to the hotel...or maybe the hotel was attached to the airport. They made me check my guitar with baggage. grrrrrrr. We went to the Burger King in the terminal and had some breakfast. Then through security. We moved on through customs then to the gate. Lisi did as well as we could expect through the flight and became a U.S. citizen at our first port of entry in San Francisco. That required a trip through immigration, then we had to get our bags and go through customs, then we had to RE-check the bags, then through security again. There was EXTRA security and I got to be close friends with an agent....he was gentle. Having disappointed him by not concealing any weapons on or in my body our relationship came to an end. Then we went to find our gate to head to Eugene. We made it back fine. Lisi HATES the car seat. We are home. We are tired. The kids are having a blast.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Almost time to head home.

Yesterday was a free day.  We wandered off the island across a foot bridge and found a park.  We saw several older guys doing Chinese calligraphy with water on the sidewalk.  It was cool to watch. There is one picture of their efforts.  We walked around the park and down a side street and just wandered around.  Everything to do with everyday life is so different than what we are used to.  Later we walked to Starbucks on the island and shared a Latte.  We have really enjoyed the experience and had a great time.  Today we had an "exit meeting" and then the U.S. consulate appointment and swearing in ceremony.  Afterwards we met up with some other families for dinner at Lucy's.  We are tired and ready for bed.  We love China, but now we are ready to head home.  Tomorrow we are prepared (or not) for chaos.  We check out of the White Swan at 2:00 and head for the consulate again to pick up Lisi's passport and visa.  Then off to the train station to head to Hong Kong.  Because many people are already traveling for Chinese New Year this may be a crazy ride.  We have 3 large bags 2 carry ons and my guitar I hope to gate check plus managing Lisi and ourselves.  Yikes.  We will not get into our hotel in Hong Kong until 9:00 pm our time.  Then we fly out the next day just after noon and we are supposed to check in 3 hours early.  In San Francisco we have to get our bags, go through customs, then recheck the bags.....ugh.  We also have to go through immigration for Lisi (this is were she becomes a U.S. citizen).  Then...on to Eugene.....I probably will not blog tomorrow evening but will plan on a final word when we get home....

Monday, February 1, 2010

red couch picture

This morning we walked to the clinic to have Lisi's t.b. test checked.  All clear.  We had an easy day just strolling around, napping, and playing with Lisi.  At 3:00 we met to have some group photos done with other Holt families.  You can imagine the result but you don't have to as I have pictures....a couch full of screaming kids.  Lisi looks very cute in her traditional Chinese dress.  After the pictures we decided to stay in.  We have played a lot.  Lisi likes to pretend to feed us and we've eaten lots of pretend food today. Tomorrow is a free day....not sure what we will do, if anything.  Just playing with Lisi is very amusing. 

Sunday, January 31, 2010

a little success, a little failure, and a huge fit.

Success.  I found the music stores (with a guide) and bought a cheapo guitar for a nice memento of our China trip.  It's a traditional acoustic, but is a unique style and sounds good.  Lisi seems to like it.  Now, how to get it home????  I should be able to check it at the gate I think.

Failure.  Michelle lost her camera in a cab on the shopping trip.  We neglected to get a receipt from the cab so we have no way to call to ask if it had been found.  Not likely it would be turned in anyway.  So the little video camera is going to do double duty until we get home and get shell a new camera.

That leads us to THE FIT.  Maybe she was tired.  Maybe she got hot (it was warmish and she was bundled up).  Maybe a legion of demons took up temporary residence.  Whatever the reason Lisi SCREAMED, KICKED, CRIED, THRASHED I think her head spun around while puking green goo too.  People were staring...ALL the people...for a 4 block radius...were STARING.  

"look at the white people trying to steal the Chinese baby, should we call the army?"  I imagined them thinking.  

I offered Cheerios to no avail.  Apple juice had no effect.  No exorcist could be found.  Then on the horizon, our salvation appeared.  I sprinted up the sidewalk and found my refuge under the golden arches.  At the register of MC Donald's I ordered a large fry.  It took her a minute to register what it was then with tears drying on each cheek and a fry in each hand there was peace.  We shopped for a while longer then back to the hotel.  We ate dinner from the deli.  Lisi for the first time played a little by herself and looked at some books.  Now we will find something to watch until bed time.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Lazy day.

I had a great omelet at breakfast and a sampling of various other items.   Lisi had less appetite this morning.  I think she still feels bad from all the shots.  We went for a walk, got some ice cream, had a nap.  Later Shell went to do some paper work for Lisi's visa.  This was a one parent only meeting and I elected to stay with Lisi to bond a bit one on one.  We had a rocky start without Shell but soon we were having a great time.  We went for a walk again.  I bought her some barrettes and a bracelet for Shell.  We came back to the room and had a snack and soon Shell was back.  We walked down to the Deli and had a REALLY good ham and cheese bread thing.  I want another one!  Maybe for lunch tomorrow.  

Friday, January 29, 2010


Medical check and shots....ouch!

Lisi has slept through the night every night so far.  This morning after breakfast we walked around the island a while then met up with the group at 9:30 to go for Lisi's medical check and Visa photo.  The visa photo place was a short walk from the hotel and right next to the medical clinic.  Photos for all the kids in our group took only a few minutes then we walked over for the medical check.  Lisi had her ears, nose, and throat checked, was weighed, measured, and inspected thoroughly.  She was very unhappy with all of that and they saved the worst for last.  5 vaccinations and a t.b. test!  There were at least 4 nurses in there and they did a great job and got it done quick, but....Poor baby, ouch!  She did very good though and was very concerned that she got blood on Shell's white shirt.  One of the pics you can see her pointing at the blood spot.  After the med check we walked for a while then picked a place for lunch pretty much at random.  I think it was Cantonese, but some of the menu seemed thai.  There were some adventurous items on the menu but we just had a couple chicken dishes and some noodles.  The food was good and the people were super nice.  A local granny came and played with Lisi and tried to talk to us but she new VERY little though.  With full bellies we walked and shopped then came back to the hotel.  Lisi may be feeling a little unwell from the shots so we took a nap and had some tylenol.  She seems better now so we might go try to find her a coloring book.