Friday, September 13, 2013

Almost home.

I tentatively titled this post, "Day 16... more chinese food" but I figured I'd focus on the brighter side of things and talk about our preparation to come home.  Maddie was successfully granted a U.S. Visa to enter the U.S. with us, so we will be bringing her home : )  We were waiting to get her passport back with the visa from the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou Thursday afternoon, and as soon as we secured that, we headed out back to Hong Kong.  Leaving Guangzhou was somewhat bittersweet.  We were all VERY ready to leave, but this also meant parting ways with our travel companions and in-China support network.  I was a bit skeptical at first that such strong bonds could be created when traveling with a group of people, but the shared experiences, triumphs, and tribulations will surely tie us together for life.  We were blessed to have so many great families on this trip.  However, life goes on, and so does our trip.  We took some group photos, said our goodbyes, and hopped in a van to Hong Kong.  When we found out we'd be traveling back through Hong Kong, Darlene had the idea to take a quick day trip to Hong Kong Disneyland as a reward to the girls (and to herself) for a successful trip with limited meltdowns.  This served as a time for us to celebrate, as a family, the best way we know how - spending some time with the Mouse.  Hong Kong feels like the closest thing to home this whole trip.  It truly is a modern-day city that feels like any other metropolitan area in the U.S.  We navigated the public transportation system with no problem, went to a local grocery store and found all our familiar snacks, and have pretty fast wifi in our hotel room.  We'll have one last night in Hong Kong, and be on our flight to Chicago tomorrow morning.  We leave Hong Kong around 11AM on Saturday the 14th, and get to Chicago at 2PM on Saturday the 14th - talk about super fast flying...  We can't wait to see our family!

Maddie wore her USA gear to the U.S. Consulate for our Visa appointment

We spent a LOT of time at the pool both to stay cool and alleviate boredom.

Darlene feeding the local feral cat colony

The girls got some Chinese dresses, which they wore our last day in Guangzhou for our group photos.

Here's the motley crew!

And here are all the "babies" that were adopted.


Maddie's first ride was the winnie the pooh ride, and her second was the carousel.  She enjoyed all the rides (whew).

Entrance to "It's a small world"  

The castle at Disneyland is MUCH smaller than Disney World.

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