Sunday, September 26, 2010

Adjusting to home

We've been home over a week and everyone is adjusting well. After a few sleepless nights Cadence is back to sleeping all night and taking a 2 hour nap. She was pretty freaked out by the animals (should furry little things be walking around like that?!) but has warmed up to Shiloh and Rummy. Not enough to pet them, but enough to not cry when they walk in the room. She was imitating me saying "cat" the other day! In no way, shape, or form does Cadence like the carseat. We made it for about 15 minutes today with no crying, but usually she whines and fusses until she falls asleep. I'm sure the tolerance will come with time.

Sierra has gotten back into the swing of school. Her face lights up everytime she sees Cadence... she sure loves that little girl! Laurel is infatuated with Cadence. Unfortunately it's unrequited at this point. Laurel desperately wants to be the big sister who holds her, plays with her, takes care of her. Cadence will tolerate it at times but is quick to whine when she's overwhelmed. We are trying to help Laurel find a balance and we hope that Cadence warms up soon! We did keep Laurel out of school for a couple of days to have some uninterrupted play time with her little sister and they both had fun.

We took Cadence to the pediatrician and he said that her ears look terrible. (She had developed a 102 degree temp on Sunday.) It looks like she has chronic ear infections which we had expected. I was able to book an appt. with a great ENT for next week. We take Cadence to the plastic surgeon tomorrow and I am anxious to figure out the game plan for her. Brad is getting ready to start work next week (yay for 2 paychecks!!) and we are scrambling to figure out childcare. It would be easier if we knew his schedule!

Here are a few pictures of our time at home. I'm posting lots more on Facebook so feel free to check those out!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First day home

We actually got some sleep last night! After being up for about 27 hours we all went to bed around 6:30pm. Sierra had a hard time sleeping, but Cadence slept until 5am. Not too bad considering she's hardwired to a 12 hour time difference. Laurel had a baton performance at her school this morning so I took her and Brad made a brief appearance with Cadence. It was so great to see everyone... it feels like we've been gone for months!

After her second nap of the day it seems that the jetlag has hit Cadence. Actually I think it's hit all of us. Two kids were in bed and asleep by 7pm and I'll be following soon. It was a big day for all of us after being away for so long. I think we'll lay low the next few days. Thank you, everyone, for all of your comments and kind words. I could never see the blog from China, so I had fun reading it all today!

Day 16/17/18

Sorry for the slackness! By the time I post this most of the people that are reading it to see what is going on with us will already have talked to me! We are home!!! So, so happy to be here!

The last day on Shamian island was spend shopping. Lots of cute shoes that will probably fit Cadence til she is 5 years old as well as many things for friends and family. Just when I thought I was done I figured out something else I needed to buy. I took the girls to a local park and walked the island one last time. It is really so beautiful there that I'd love to go back and visit. We had a final meeting with our guide, Jason, and received The Visa Packet. This is Cadence's ticket to becoming a US citizen. We will hand it over to someone at the security/immigration checkpoint in Chicago and they will hopefully pass it on to all of the right people! Once they stamp it and her passport she'll be an American! I packed and repacked our bags to make sure they were 20 kg or less and found out that at least one would be overweight.

We woke up early Thurday morning to fly from Guangzhou to Beijing. Cadence slept for a bit, but generally she doesn't like to be restrained, so she's not a happy girl when she can't walk around. In Beijing we were back on our own without a guide so we attempted to get a taxi from the airport to our hotel. Three taxis refused to take us to our hotel (too much luggage?) and when we finally found one he wanted 400 Yuan ($60) - for a 5 mile drive!! Brad refused and we were able to get a regular taxi for 1/4 the price. The hotel was beautiful with a soft bed (finally!!) but Brad became VERY sick. So sick that I was afraid they wouldn't let him on the plane the next morning to come home. The girls and I stayed out of the room as much as possible. Cadence loved the swimming pool and we had a long dinner.

The alarm went off at 3:30am on Friday morning. Thankfully Brad was feeling better! We got to the airport early enough to be blessed with bulkhead seating - yippee! We left Beijing at 6:55am on Friday and arrived in Chicago at 6:25am on Friday. Crazy! Cadence actually did beautifully on the flight. A few naps and a few other entertaining babies in the same row and the time went quickly. The layover in Chicago was 5 hours long but there was a great play area for the kids. The last leg had terrible, nauseating, "oh my gosh we might crash" turbulence, but we finally arrived in Richmond! Since all of our immigration stuff was taken care of in Chicago we were able to head right out. As soon as I saw my parents and Laurel I started crying. I felt like I couldn't get to Laurel fast enough. It felt so good to finally hold her in my arms! I think she has grown a few inches since we left! And Laurel couldn't take her eyes (or hands) off Cadence. They had an adorable welcome home poster. It feels so good to finally be home in our own bed, own house, with our whole family.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 14

We are getting so close to going home!  I cannot wait to hold Laurel, see my friends and family, eat my own food, and sleep in my own bed!
The weather is much better and we walked to Starbucks this morning.  Shamian Island is beautiful and very picturesque.  Early in the morning people are out dancing to music, playing badmiton, doing tai chi and playing cards.  It all feels so relaxed and easy here!  I braved and iced frappucino, so we'll see how that works out!  Sierra, Cadence, and I headed out for some shopping.  All of the stores are named after the owners... Jordon's place, Jenny's place, Amy's place!  Jordon was a very sweet man who told me all about his cousin's cleft lip and how it's fixed now and he can say "hello, Jordon"!  He wrote Cadence's name in Chinese and the meaning of the characters.  Sierra and I got lots of presents for friends and family back home.  We had fun posing for pictures with all of the people statues!
We had our consulate appointment today.  It was anti-climatic (knew it would be) but so exciting that we are a step closer to home!  We took the oath for Cadence that all of our paperwork was correct and that she can become an American citizen.  We get her visa tomorrow then leave for Beijing the next day.  We got a taste of a very impatient toddler who did not want to stay in our laps for the bus ride to the hotel... it will be a long flight home! 
Pics include posing with the statues, hacky sack, they keep preschoolers together the same way we do in the states!

Monday, September 13, 2010

day 12

Another rainy, rainy day so Brad and the girls decided to skip the tours while I got some downtime to take pictures and relax.  We started out at the beautiful Six Banyan's Tree Temple.  It is over 1400 years old. It's amazing to think of all of the history here. The babies that came today were blessed by a monk. Despite my lens fogging due to the rain and humidity I managed to get a few good pictures.  Then we went to the Provincial Folk Art Museum that featured almost every art form popular in China.  Then on to a local arts and crafts store.  I was able to buy a lot of nice things for friends and family back home.  When I asked Sierra if she wanted to go to the "arts and crafts store" with me she said "Mom, we can go to Michaels at home"!
Brad and the girls survived without me and we headed to the White Swan for the famous red couch photos.  Both of the girls got dressed in their pretty silk dresses.  Neither were too thrilled with them!  Cadence did great... even during the baby group photo when they all end up crying!  Lastly we head to a great Thai restaurant, the Cow and Bridge.  The food was great and service was amazing considering we filled the entire place in about 10 minutes.
Pics include "beware of falling" or "beware of falling people"?! on the bamboo scaffolding, my favorite sign at the temple

red couch

the papparazzi!

red couch


The infamous red couch!  There are actually a bunch of them!  Yes, one of the kids actually slept through the group photo.  This is only part of the group that is here with our adoption agency.

Day 13

Today was our visa appointment at the US consulate.  Our guide, Jason, went for us so we only had to stay at the hotel unless there were any questions.  Everything went without a hitch!  One step closer to home!  Since the sun was actually shining I took Sierra and another little girl here with our group (Caylee) swimming.  The pool in on the roof of the hotel.  It's small and cold, but they didn't care!
Later Sierra and I head off to the pearl market.  I've been saving my money since our referral for this specific shopping trip!  I purchase pearl bracelets to give to all of the girls on their wedding day (or when they are old enough to declare a life of singlehood!) and a pair of black pearl earrings for myself.  The market was huge... 5 stories of all beads, jewels and pearls!  We stopped at McDonalds with a few families and then attempted to get a taxi back to the hotel.  Sierra got in the taxi first and then there was some confustion about who was going in one taxi together, horns started honking and the taxi driver pulled away from me.  She was going to try and get closer to the curb, but Sierra freaked out!  She thought the driver was taking off without me.  Poor kid!
We decided just to lay low the rest of the day and headed to the famous Lucy's for dinner.  They serve good, cheap, American food.  It's where everyone goes for their comfort food while they are in China.  We went with Bill and his son Zane.  Zane is from the same orphanage as Cadence.  They were "classmates"!  Bill's wife and 6 year old daughter are at home, so he's on his own while in China.  All of the local folks can't believe that a dad is taking care of a baby on his own!
Cadence continues to amaze us everyday!  She wants to walk everywhere and is always a big ham!  She loves to laugh and make others laugh.  Cadence is starting to fuss  a little more when we put her down for naps and bed.  While it makes it harder, it means that she is realizing that we are here for her.  There probably wasn't much point to cry and fuss in an orphanage, but now she is learning that she has a mom and dad who will respond to her needs. 
Pics include the pearl market, rooftop pool, and Cadence isn't sure what to make of her footie pj's!

Day 11

One of our toughest days was off to a bad start.  Brad woke up feeling like he had been hit with the flu.  We found out last night that Cadence would have her visa physical, shots, and photo done today.  It was planned to be a three hour journey and only one parent needed to go, so I had already said that I would take Cadence so Sierra wouldn't have to sit through it all.  Sierra would have to babysit Brad! 
We headed to the clinic with 8 other families from our agency.  Our guide, Jason, said there would  be about 100 other families there and he was correct.  It was packed!  Every hallway was filled with people.  We waited for about 30 minutes before we saw ENT and then got in line for height and weight and physical.  That took at least an hour (55 minutes of it waiting in line).  Then to find out what shots Cadence needed.  I had her shot record, but the US requires certain immunization before she could come home.  We found had that she needed 6 shots... today. :-(  We waited almost another hour before it was her turn.  She cried but settled down quickly while we waited 20 minutes for a reaction before we could leave.  It was an exhausting morning (to say the least!).
In the afternoon I had to do some paperwork with our guide but otherwise we just relaxed today.  Brad took some antibiotics and was feeling a little better.  We ordered Papa John's for delivery.  It was like a Seinfeld episode watching Brad try and order it!  Cadence rallied pretty well after her shots.  Our hotel and Shamian Island is beautiful.  There is a typhoon going through so there was a lot of thunder last night.  I'm looking forward to a nice day to walk around.
Pics include the clinic, Cadence and I at the clinic, a wedding couple or a photo shoot (I've seen lots of these here).

Day 10

Nothing too exciting today.  We mostly hung around the hotel today and packed up to fly to Guangzhou.  Sierra and I ventured to McDonald's for a milkshake.  Everyone wants to touch Sierra's hair and she gets a little freaked out when they do that.  We left Hohhot around 5:40pm and had a 3 hour flight to Guangzhou.  Cadence has been on the move a lot and was not happy about sitting on our laps for 3 hours.  She seemed tired and got a little slap happy... crying one minute and laughing hysterically the next!  Another adoptive couple who were flying with us said that they had never seen such a happy baby.  We checked in to the Victory Hotel around 10pm.  It's a big room, a suite, and everyone said how soft the beds were here.  They were wrong!!  Feels like we're sleeping on a cardboard box.  Only a week til we are home in our own beds!
Pics include our smiling girl and the lobby where we met Cadence (with our guide George).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 9 con't...

I forgot to write about the All-American event we took part in yesterday... drum roll... McDonalds!  I realized in disbelief that I have gone these whole 9 days without chocolate!  Can you believe it?  And my head didn't even start spinning and I didn't die!  So we decided to show Cadence one of the hallmarks of America and we went to McDonalds for dessert after dinner.  We successfully ordered Sierra a lime flavored cone and Brad and I got chocolate flurries.  It all tasted just like at home.  The "greeters" who work there wear nifty little outfits.  I gave Cadence a little taste of ice cream.  Typically, in China, they give the babies very hot food and drink.  They don't think it's healthy for them to eat or be cold.  So when I gave her a taste it was obvious that she hasn't had anything that cold before.  She wasn't a fan!  Made a terrible face.  When we gave her tiny tastes of the chocolate she liked that, but no ice cream for this girl for now!

Day 9

We're halfway through our time in China!  I'm anxious to get to Guangzhou where there's a pool for Sierra to swim in, a playroom for Cadence, and some good shopping for me!
We went to the Museum of Inner Mongolia today which I had assumed was a museum about the history of IM.  Not so much!  The place is humongous and has a lot of different rooms that seem to be all of the various Smithsonians rolled in to one.  We stayed for a little while but I don't think we covered everything there.  I was anxious to get to our next stop. 
 We went to Huhhot Hospital No. 1.... where Cadence was found.  It is on the outskirts of town and there was a lot of construction going on around it.  We weren't able to go inside, so we just took a picture of all of us outside.  So many emotions while we were there.  I feel so thankful to Cadence's birth mother who carried her for 9 months and when she realized that she couldn't care for Cadence she took her to a warm, safe place where she knew that someone would find her.  My heart breaks for her birth mother imagining what it must have been like to leave Cadence behind.  I'm sad that this society wouldn't accept her because she was a girl or had a cleft palate and that there isn't the means to have her palate fixed if her family had no money.  I'm thankful that fate, God, or destiny has brought us this beautiful little girl who we will come to know and care for and whom we already love with all of our hearts.  I know that she is "lucky" that she gets to leave the orphanage and have all of the opportunities of living in America with a loving family, but mostly I feel like we are the lucky ones to have this child come in to our home and our lives.
Sierra had collected money at her birthday party (in lieu of gifts) so that we could buy clothes and supplies for the oprhanage.  Our guide, George, asked at the front desk where we could do some shopping.  He wrote the name down on a piece of paper for me.  Brad stayed at the hotel while Cadence napped and Sierra and I set out to try and get a taxi.  We hailed one, I showed him the paper, and he dropped us off at the Shangri La Hotel.  They had one store to shop in... Louis Vuitton!  We decided to pass!  We walked a ways and found some "shops" down an alley and bought a bunch of clothes.  We also found a mall and got some toys and diapers.  And we successfully caught another taxi home!!
We've had another fabulous day with Cadence too!  She is a rowdy jokester... always trying to make us laugh!  She loves her daddy and would prefer Brad to hold her over anyone, but she's still fun and playful with me too.  Sierra has gotten lots of big sister time today. 
Pics include Cadence's finding place, our donations for the orphanage, Cadence loves to walk, Sierra's nemesis - the squatty potty.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 8

It's been a good day!  We've seen so much of Cadence's personality today.  She loves to laugh and be silly.  The sound is music to my ears!  She will fit right in to Brad and the girls' wrestling matches... she's a tough girl!  Cadence was playing with a calculator and she held it up to her ear (like a phone) and started babbling - I guess she's seen that before!
We went to the Dazhao Temple today.  It's also known as the Silver Buddha Temple.  It was amazing and really neat to see all of these monks walking around.  We were all blessed by one of the monks.  Sierra was a little overwhelmed by all of the incense, but she managed to make it through!  Cadence did really well despite being there through her nap time.  We went down one of the local streets where they sell all different things... furs (they claim leopard, I think they are hyenas!), swords, Buddha statues, bodo bags.  Cadence gets a lot of looks.  Some people are very friendly and interact with her the way they would any baby, but others don't look so happy when they see her.  I'm sure it may be unusual for a person to have an unrepaired cleft lip,  but a little more discretion would be nice!  I know it's bound to happen though when we get home.  Most people have probably never seen one and it does look quite different.  I'm sure her dazzling personality will win everyone over though!!
Pics include smiling Cadence, Dazhao Temple lion, one of the monks

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 7

Cadence slept all night again and except for falling out of bed I slept great!  (Hey, these beds are SMALL!)  She still seemed a little anxious this morning and Brad and Sierra went out and around town so Cadence and I could hang out.  She wasn't very interested in playing too much and went down for an early nap. 
Shortly after lunch we had to leave the hotel to go to the notary and passport office.  All of the taxies we have ridden in have been vans until today.  Driving here is CRAZY!  There were no seatbelts in the taxi and it feels like you are going to hit a car, bike rider, or pedestrian at any moment.  There is continuous honking but no one really seems angry or annoyed.  We made it safely to each place.  One of the best parts is that in the notary office we met the family who is adopting one of Cadence's classmates from the orphanage!!  Cadence didn't seem particularly interested in him, but we'll be seeing them more on this trip.
Once we got back to the hotel Cadence really opened up!  George had translated some of the info we had received & it all seemed very accurate based on what we had seen.  He did say that "she will sometimes take toys from other kids if she wants something" and that "she plays with toys so hard she breaks them sometimes"!  This evening she has been an absolute riot!  She has loved playing the "I drop and you pick up" game with me and has completely cracked up when we tickled her.  She picked up a small toy and stuck it between her chin and chest to hold it there.  When we laughed histarically she did it over and over and over and just grinned!  She bobbed Brad and the nose with a cup by accident and when he said oww and grabbed his nose she thought that was so funny! 
I know this will all go in phases, but right now I am so thankful for every smile and laugh that we get from Cadence!
Pics are Sierra & Cadence,  the assistant orphanage director

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 5

Cadence slept all night last night.  Down to bed at 7pm and Brad got impatient and woke her at 6:30am.  I don't think she was quite ready.  We had a good morning... some smiles and laughing while we played in bed.  She ate a good breakfast and then we had to start another paperwork marathon.  We were busy in the lobby for almost 2 hours during which Sierra fidgeted a lot and Cadence fell asleep in Brad's arms. There were 2 other families there from the Netherlands completing their paperwork too.  We had also met another family from Seattle this morning who were planning to meet their daughter today!   Cadence has started pulling her shirt up in her mouth and sucking on it to soothe herself.  We came back up to the room and I laid her down for a nap.  She had to be woken again at 2pm.  She has seemed a lot more disjointed since then.  I feel her grief when she cries... she seems so sad sometimes.  She always settles down when we pick her up and hold her, but it seems like she has shut down a little.  After lunch/dinner she fell asleep again at 4:30 for about 45 minutes.
Earlier in the day (after lunch/before her 2nd nap) Sierra and I left the hotel to walk around a little.  There is a huge, interesting park just down the street.  We rode in a paddle boat for a bit, stopped in one store where I got another baby book, then back to the hotel.  Brad and Cadence had had a big time!  She was very interactive, playing games with him and reciprocating in "tickling" him.  She crawled down off the bed on her own & even took a few steps around the room!  As soon as we came back she went back to shirt sucking and quieted down.  She's probably a  little overwhelmed with 3 people always in her face, trying to make her laugh and smile and play.  So, we had a low key evening, small bottle & snack then she layed down in her crib to sleep around 7pm.  Hopefully we'll all get a good night's rest (not so easy with the "extra firm" beds!
I'm trying to figure out how to post video here... it's too cute to see Cadence's happy smile & laugh!
Pics include Sierra's big sister shirt, the "Health Beer" you can get here in China!, and Cadence's first outfit from home.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Day 4 - aka Gotcha Day!!

We arrived in Hohhot around noon & our guide (George) had been talking to the orphanage since before we left the airport in Beijing.  I thought he has said something about getting Cadence tomorrow, but then he made a big deal out of telling us not to leave the hotel room and then we would meet for paperwork around 3pm...either in our room or in the lobby. We still weren't sure if all of this meant that she would be here today or not. I promptly unpacked (organization calms me!) until 2pm and then waited what seemed like an eternity.  During that time they brought a crib up to our room and I said that it would be a very long night if I had to look at an empty crib all night!  At 3pm sharp the phone rang and George told us to come to the lobby with our paperwork.
We arrived in the lobby and he pointed in the direction of some couches where 2 women were holding 2 children, both with cleft lips.  Cadence had her back to us, but I recognized her when I saw her eyes.  (I've been staring at them for 5 months!)  The woman immediately handed her to me and she cried for just moment then settled down.  George and the woman (assistant orphanage director I believe) talked about paperwork, we signed some forms and put a red thumbprint on our names, and they gave us a wonderful memory book that Cadence's nannies put together.  I'm so anxious to have it translated & find out what it says!  The woman answered a few questions I had (about sleeping & eating).  They took some pictures of Brad, Cadence, and me (Sierra was very upset that she was not allowed in the picture) and then sent us up our room.
She is a very sweet little baby!!  Her clothes were clean and so was she.  She seems very well cared for and developmentally seems great!  This evening she ate some eggs, half a banana, & some gerber treats.  We tried a little bottle (they said she eats mostly solids but occasionally she drinks formula) but she didn't take much.  She definitely shows us what she wants and what she doesn't want.  Anytime she has gotten upset she settle immediately if Brad or I pick her up.  She let Sierra hold her once and they took a bath together (Cadence wasn't a fan).  Around 7pm she started rubbing her eyes.  We were able to skype with the grandparents & my friend Kristi.  Unfortunately Laurel is at her other grandparents so we won't see her online til Monday.  We read Cadence a book & sang her a song.  I layed her down in her crib and patted her as she cried for a about a minute and then she fell asleep!  It all feels way too easy!!
Sierra has been fabulous!  She's worn herself out entertaining Cadence & being a wonderful big sister.  She wants to do more (feeding, holding, playing) but we are trying to find her balance.  Thanks for all of the good thoughts & prayers and keep them coming,  I'm sure the days ahead won't be this easy, but we are so thankful to have our daughter in our arms finally!  What an amazing blessing.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Great wall pics

That's Brad starting out at the bottom of the great wall.  Are we going to that building? No... that's the first of 4 (or 5 - I lost count).  If you can make out a tiny, tiny building shape over the top of that tree to the left, that's where we were headed.
And that is Sierra going down...down... down.  Yes, it was that steep and that far.  I couldn't look ahead as we went down, just had to look at the step in front of me.  And the steps are all different heights too - just to add to add to the fun!

Day 3

Another packed day!!  We started off with a moment of panic as we watched Sierra drink the water at breakfast.  She's been ok so far, so hopefully she avoided the badness.  We left the hotel at 8am and returned after 7pm.  We went to the jade market where we got the girls' chinese new year carved animals, a ring for me, and a pendant for Cadence (I plan to wear it on Gotcha Day then give it to her on a big day in her future).  Then on to the Great Wall of China.  Despite Brad's objection I insisted that we take the "hard" way that would make us "hero of heroes" if we managed to make it to the top... and we did!!  It was challenging, scary steep, and took lots of bribes to get Sierra to keep going, but we all made it!  My legs felt like jello coming down and I know we'll feel it tomorrow, but it was worth it.
On to the Cloisonne factory (no purchases) and another fabulous lunch.  We briefly stopped at the Olympic stadium & birds nest, but we were wiped out.  Finally got to rest at the acrobatic show which was amazing.  Found out that we need to be on the bus to the airport at 8am to head to Inner Mongolia.  Our itinerary states that we will meet Cadence on Monday.  It is not uncommon (particularly in Inner Mongolia) to have the time and even date moved up for your Gotcha Day.  Sometimes even as they have checked into their hotel!  So, I'm mentally preparing that we may meet Cadence tomorrow, but still emotionally preparing for it not to happen until Monday.  As I've asked before, please send good vibes this way and pray that Cadence's transition is as smooth as possible.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Day 2

Today was better than yesterday!  Everyone stayed healthy enough to tour ALL of Beijing!  The hotel lobby was filled with American families when we got up this morning.  There is another adoption group here besides CCAI, so lots of people waiting to get their children.  I was excited to meet up with some of the women that I have come to "know" through yahoo groups and the waiting process.  Sierra quickly hooked up with another 8 year old girl.  We headed out at 9am for a rickshaw tour, the silk factory, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, lunch at a local restaurant, the Imperial Gardens.  It was wonderful and we learned so much, but arrived back at the hotel at 6pm completely exhausted!  We got beautiful silk dresses for all of the girls, a few little knick-knacks, and some cool postcards for Sierra to take to class.  We were able to skype with Laurel and she is very happy with the fun weekend ahead!
Pics include our guide, Devon, Tiananmen Square, Brad & Sierra are superstars (they keep getting asked to be in locals' pics), and the Imperial Gardens.
( I have to attach pics one at a time due to the size)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 1

We slept for a few hours this morning then had breakfast at the hotel buffet.  We ran into another couple who I knew was getting in a day early like us!  It was nice to be able to communicate easily with someone else... the barrier has been both challenging and humorous!  Brad, Sierra, and I decided to walk around the city.  No particular destination, just checking things out.  Around dinner we decided to head back out to attempt the subway & meet a fellow baldie (she shaved her head for St. Baldrick's the year before I did and is now teaching in China).  The plan was to meet her at the silk market where she could barter some good deals then take us to a "good" place to eat.  Unfortunately, I have gotten sick... already.  We didn't make it, sadly.  Fingers crossed that there is a quick recovery tonight.  I'll try to attach a couple of pics.  I can't see the blog (blogspot is blocked) so excuse any typos or general weirdness.
Pics are of the real time video flight path on the plane as we were going over the north pole, the view from our room (note the smog), and a funny advertisement.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

We're here!  Flights were all on time & we got all of our luggage! Sierra made a friend on the airplane. I slept some on the plane and we are going to try and nap now since it's the middle of the night.  Hope to feel more grounded in the morning.  More tomorrow!