I can't believe it, we're home. The last few days in Guangzhou are kind of a blur. We went to the group farewell dinner at The Cow and Bridge. Its Thai food but I didn't recognize a single dish from any of my Thai restaurant experiences. We ordered a veggie and a meat/noodle dish, it was tasty but was pretty pricey for China food. Anyway, it ws nice to get everyone together for a last group activity.
Next day, we all met in the afternoon to go to the US consulate for the swearing in. It was a quick thing basically just swearing that everything we put in our application was true and that was it! Most of the group's families left right after to take a train to Hong Kong, stay that night in a hotel and then fly home in the morning. We went back to our hotel, did some final shopping and got Subway sandwiches to go. Then came the major packing which went better than expected. Bobby bought a duffle bag to bring home all our hard bargained for treasures.
The trip home went as well as can be expected but truly was pretty torturous. We left our hotel at 9am and went to the GZ airport, caught our plane to Beijing. G napped the whole flight. We then had a LONG layover in BJ (6 hours!!!) where we walked through every single shop, had dinner and wandered around. Our plane was supposed to begin boarding at 8:30 pm --at 6:45 we thought we would start making our way to the gate. First we went through security, again, then we had to take a subway to the other terminal. Our gate was, as luck would have it, at the very end of the terminal so we walked and walked and walked through the nearly empty airport. We finally found it!!! Gate 51 or so we thought but, no. It was downstairs. After taking the escalator down we saw a very large group of people waiting but to our surprise, we were not going to board the plane from there, we had to take a bus!! Picture it Bobby and I, with G and her stroller and tons of carry on luggage including backpacks and bags hooked on each arm. Still doable except Bobby and I had assumed, wrongly, that we would never be leaving the BJ airport so even though it was about 25 degrees in BJ we'd worn flip flops, Bobby was in shorts!!! Luckily we had nice warm clothes to put on G. By the time we made it off the bus, across the airstrip and up the ladder to board the plane, we were nearly frozen!!! The other passengers, almost all of which were chinese and so bundled with coats and scarves, thought we were completely nuts. I kind of thought so too.
The plane ride went well. G slept about 6 of the 10.5 hours and was pretty content wiggling and squirming the balance of the time. We arrived at LAX at around 4:30 pm and had to get through immigration --pretty quick-- and customs--even quicker! We called for the shuttle and were picked up and driven to our car. We loaded the luggage and got G in her carseat right about 6pm. Just in time for rush hour traffic home. Ugh. We finally got home around 8:30. What a relief!!! It was almost 27 hours of traveling from the time we left the hotel in GZ until we walked through our door--we were exhausted.
The kids were excited to finally meet G and seemed to like them right away. The cats were a little less thrilled with the situation. Because they hadn't seen us in a few weeks they were skittery and once they got a look at the baby monster, they were very unhappy.
We've now been home 2 days and are all dealing with the jet lag. G is still as happy as can be during the day, fun loving an sweet. Brett and Casey enjoy playing with her and the cats are learning to run!! She's eating great and brings joy to our days. Nights could be better, she really doesn't sleep well. She didn't sleep well in china either. She wakes up and fusses, sometimes she falls right back to sleep, sometimes she doesn't. We'll keep working on it, I'm sure it will get better.