Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday, 8/19: Qingxiu Mountain

We had a great day today.  Sam (as he is now starting to call himself!) is a great sleeper but not the best bedmate.  He tends to spin and kick and lay perpendicular between us most of the night.  We switched sides last night so Bryan got the kicking and I got the head butting.  We think the victim of the kicking gets less sleep :/  Sam woke up on his own around 7:30 and was happy! I keep wondering if he will wake up and be sad or surprised that it is still us looking back at him as we start the day.  

We started the day with some selfies before heading down to breakfast.  He has a huge appetite at meal times and also wants to snack a lot in between meals, yet it doesn't seem to impact how much he eats when we truly sit down for a meal.  

After breakfast we met our guide and rode about 20 minutes to Qingxiu Mountain, the tallest mountain in Nanning and a very popular tourist spot.  We paid 20 RMB per adult to enter the park (about $3) and then paid an additional 5 RMB (less than $1/each) to take the bus up the mountain. BEST $1 spent all day long folks, because it was muggy and the mountain was no molehill.  This was our view from the bus as we rode up the mountain which was covered in palm trees, lush landscape, flowers.  It was really very beautiful and well cared for.

At our first stop we saw a large grassy area that looked a lot like a very nice resort.  There were rock formations and carvings of Kung Fu men doing different poses.  Behind this large grassy area was a unique pool that our guide said is used for filming a popular Chinese sports tv show.

Our next stop was to walk to a beautiful pond.  There are no filters on these pictures!  It is really and truly that green and lush.  It was very very pretty.  We have enjoyed seeing another region in China that is very different from Hannah's region.

Checking things out

Next we stopped at a smaller pond that was full of hundreds, maybe thousands of large coy fish.  For 5 RMB you could buy a cup of fish food and feed the fish.  Sam wasn't sure at first but quickly got the hang of it.  The area to feed the fish was covered which was convenient since there was a short shower while we were there. We quickly went through 4 containers of fish food and enjoyed visiting with another American family we met on Sam's adoption day.

A quick video of all the fish waiting to be fed.  It kind of grossed me out to see this many fish so close together!

Our final stop at Qingxiu Mountain was to climb the many many steps up to the pagoda.  This was right after it stopped raining so you can imagine how muggy and soupy the air felt.  We forged ahead, wanting to take advantage of the opportunity to see and appreciate this part of China and also because the rain had cleared the skies to make for a good view up top.

The pagoda.  The original was built 500+ years ago but this was a replica built in 1985.

After climbing many flights of stairs, we made it to a level with a great view.  We didn't go all the way to the top.

One of the views from the pagoda

At that point we got on the bus and rode back down the mountain with our guide.  Our driver was waiting and Sam was worn out from being carried all over that mountain in the heat!! ;)

We came back to the room and had a picnic of fried rice from room service.  Samuel especially loved the complimentary soup that came with the meal.  Even though he took a short nap in the van, we felt like he needed more of a nap.  When he gets tired he starts getting really wild.  We have found that he is very subdued and obedient in public but once in our hotel room things get a little wild.  He is very active and a physical little kid-- not mean or naughty, just excitable and 100% BOY!  When we got him on Monday he was able to say "hello" and "bye bye" in English.  His first English word since being with us is "gentle" if that tells you anything! :)

We laid down with him for nap and he was pretty disgusted with the idea. He tried to get wound up and fuss at us but really lacked sincerity.  Ha!  He was rubbing his eyes so we knew he was tired, but he kept kicking his feet against the covers and raising his legs up and letting them fall dramatically down on the mattress.  It was kind of like a mini tantrum just for show.  We stayed by him and I rubbed his back.  If I stopped, he would pull my hand back to rub it again.  Within 5 minutes he was asleep and enjoyed a 1.5 hour nap.  We tried positioning him without a pillow but his legs still started to ninja their way over to the side of the bed :/

After Sam woke up Bryan was trying to palpate his belly to make sure his spleen was not enlarged (a side effect of not being transfused often enough).  Samuel was more ticklish than cooperative, so it basically turned into a tickle fight instead of a medical exam!

We played in the room and Sam enjoyed some Chinese cartoons and lots of snacks.  I hope we don't run out of Puffs before the trip is up!  We walked with the other American family at our hotel to a western restaurant we saw the night before.  We had walked to a restaurant recommended by our guide last night and it was ok at best.  The new one we tried tonight was actually very good!  I ordered spaghetti with meat sauce for Samuel and I to share and he loved it.  He also polished off some fries with ketchup and a milk box with sweet milk in it.  He still wanted more snacks when we got back to the room, too!  That boy can EAT!

Outside the new restaurant we tried.  Take note, future Guangxi families. It is about a 15 minute walk in the sweltering heat from the Wharton hotel.

Our view as we walked back from the hotel at one of the less busy intersections.  The city we are in is the capital of Guangxi and has approximately 3 million people so it is the smallest Chinese city that Bryan and I have been to.  It has grown rapidly over the past 10 years and continues to grow now.

After dinner we all needed baths and showers after a long sweaty day.  We FaceTimed with my parents and the kids and also with Gran Jan.  Sam laid in bed between us while Bryan read him a book.  He drank his bottle (which is purely for comfort and bonding right now, not for nutrition since he eats plenty!!) and went right to sleep.  

Tomorrow is our last full day in Nanning.  We will go to a museum in the morning and finalize some paperwork in the afternoon.  

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