Friday, December 31, 2010

I was kissed by a cute Asian girl, and my wife was okay with it....

I am obviously talking about my Julia. Last night we were sitting on the couch, waiting for Julia to get tired enough to go to bed, and I am holding her up(she is getting stronger, she likes trying to stand, brings a big smile to her face) and she opens her mouth into a cute little circle and moves forward and presses them against my mouth. Now if it had just happened that one time I would attribute it to a lack of balance, but she did it another 3-4 times. Needless to say, I was a teary mess, all while trying to keep a normal face in front of her, so she didn't think something was wrong(my face gets all scrunchy and flushed when I cry- not a pretty sight LOL).

This morning the girls are sitting at the table and Julia has hiccups, so what does Katie do? She starts imitating the sound, making Julia start giggling and cracking up the whole table.Such fun(although neither girl got much breakfast into them, fun was had by all)!

We had a nice visit with my mom who came up with my cousin for a few days to celebrate Christmas and get to know Julia a bit. We are laying low for New Years(especially after a short sleep night last night, Julia took forever to go down and then Katie was awake at 4 due to her fever going up a bit, she had it yesterday and within 4 hours we knocked it down and she was running around. Hopefully everyone will normalize soon.

Katie is a good big sister, a little possessive of us at times, but LOVES her Julia and it is mutual.Julia's eyes light up and follow her big sis everywhere. We are so thankful to my sister and brother in law for looking after Katie, they did such a great job. Katie is clingy(not surprising). Gonna be hard when Daddy has to go to work next week, for both Katie and me!

First family outing today. The four of us are going to do a bit of grocery shopping. Weather is COLD, but Cara needs to get out and Grande Prairie needs to get used to the Burtis' clan invading their world LOL!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Crazy times

Got back, the flights were easy(other than Julia blew her diaper right as we took off with diarrhea), but she is doing well, overall. She has an irritation on one of her cheeks/eye, not sure what that is. I ended up sleeping decently on the 23rd, then stayed up(not my choice, the body and brain wouldn't shut down) the entire next night and day, but that seemed to reset my sleep pattern, and got my Jan 2 sermon done in the wee hours of Christmas day morning. Caught the 24 hour stomach bug once home, but one advantage of having a high metabolism/hyper bowel, is that bug didn't have a chance,  12 or so hours and it was gone. Yahoo.

Had great time with family for holidays, still absorbing the China time, will  hopefully have time in early 2011 to reflect on it. Met great folks, enjoyed our travel group, have and treasure of a new daughter...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

In Vancouver!!!

We made it! Flight went quick, got thru the immigration and custom hoops with NO problem, our Girl is now home and a Canadian citizen!

We catch a flight to Edmonton in an hour. Julia is doing great, despite still having the runs a bit, but she is also absorbing some of her bottle and cereal, so it will be good to get home, bath, clean clothes and try to sleep!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Good byes

Julia's tummy was still upset, so mom and her stayed at the hotel, I went to the Acrobat show, it was REALLLY good, not Circe de Soleil good, but VERY, VERY good.

Julia is still dealing with the runs, but we are packed up, extra clothes to change her on the plane,and in an hour we head out to drive to the airport, then around supper time here, we board a plan to Vancouver. Once there we have to go thru immigration then wait for our connecting flight to Edmonton, there is a few hours inbetween, but we hope there are no major delays, I would much rather have time to kill in a terminal than be dashing thru an airport in a panic with lots of carry on baggage and baby...

My pocket is full of animal balloons to use at ticket counters, and check ins to "brighten" their days and hopefully keep us moving. I have tried to be the first through the lines with our group to check in so that I can do the balloons. We never got any of our bags weighed so far, and we had our in-china luggage definitely overweight. Not sure if the balloons worked or not, but, regardless I like doing it and bringing smiles to their faces.

It has just been the last 3-4 days I have felt adjusted to China time, not sure what to expect with jet lag, but it will be all good.

We are ready to go, and be our family of 4, but the time has been amazing. So many "ups" and the downs(sickness, no Great Wall, and not able to visit orphanage) have not been anything we will regret or has been too much of a downer. God is GOOD.

Now to engage the plane trip....

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

T Square and Forbidden City

Today was an odd day. first, it is our last full day here.I found by the end of this excursion I was feeling quite emotional about the fact we would be leaving. We soooo want to be home, we are missing Katie soooooo much and my Brother and Sister in Law are AMAZING in taking care of her, they have been such a gift to us, but it is time to become our family of 4. It was also odd in that I did the stuff today solo. Julia had a huge diaper blow out at breakfast time, so we decided to keep her in and I would go. It was cold and windy today, for that alone, was a good decision. She is certainly wiped out. I got back from the 9:30-1:30 jaunt and she had napped 2 time already and is still sleeping, so it was a good call. LONG time in the airplane tomorrow, hope she will be runs free...
Me in T Square.

Guards training in the security areas between T Square and Forbidden city
Entering Forbidden City.

One of the thrones inside one of the MANY buildings.

First sights upon entering Imperial Gardens in forbidden city. Some trees well over 300 years old!!!

More from Garden.

Forbidden city is quite a sight to behold, we only covered about half of it, it is a city within the city, MASSIVE, so many stories about what happens in there, what certain things stand for, ceremonies attached to each rich in history...

On our way out Dave(one of the dads) was bartering for a book and the polic came by to tell the busker to leave, Dave got the book, then I went to get one and the Police said no, so we went to leave then out of no where there is shouting and the buskers husband??? comes up and slaps the police officer and yelling and screaming. I am not sure if I got it on tape or not, I ran my battery dry with all the footage of the day so I haven't uploaded yet, it is recharging, but 3 police came and were restraining him... so an eventful end to the trip.I did get a book a few minutes later and other busker came by, tried to short be 10 Yuan in my change, so we had a little talk, and I got all my change, he then tries to sell me another book...despite the language barrier he understood what I said, I wasn't buying again from someone who tries to cheat me. I played it up saying to him, "You insult me with your rude actions, Me no buy again from you" all played with a hurt and disgusted look on my face. Heh it was fun. Overall they are pushier in some areas more than others, but are harmless, and it is fun,mostly...

Tonight we get Julia's visa, hopefully take in a show, sleep and then the trip home!!! can't wait to be with family, jet lag and all and celebrate Christmas with them!

Silk Factory and Pearl Market, plus some fun party times

What a full day. We started out by going to the Silk factory and we learned about the the life of a silk worm and got to see how they processed the silk and made silk comforters etc as well as see amazing silks. The quality is so nice, we ended up buying some gifts for the girls and family there, I was excited to find one that I will use in my magic act. I am working on Bian Lian, Chinese Opera Face changing trick. And this will become part of that act, so I was jazzed.We also got a couple of silk comforters and top line silk duvet covers(matching) for the girls beds,this was an unexpected purchase, but will be a lasting memory as well as serve a practical function as they are easy to clean and warm.

Old style silk spinning device.

After that we went to the pearl market. Cara and Julia went off shopping and Doug and his daughter and myself went across the street to take in the Temple of Heaven area. Got lots of video. This wasn't part of the trip, but there was no need for both of us to shop and Cara barters well and got some great quality pearls we will gift our daughters with when they get married. The smog was terrible this day, my throat was burning by the end of the day and we did a bunch of walking at the Temple, and we only covered about a quarter of it in an hour and a half, and we were moving. It was cool in we saw some locals doing what we would call Chinese line dancing, and took in some great sights.It will be nice to share this video with the family and it is another of China's cultural attractions so it was a nice bonus.

Julia enjoyed being out at the meal too!

Picture from the other night when we went to get Hot Pot for supper. She was happy to be there!

Eating at the Goodbye China party. We had the party a day early as Yulin was leaving a day early, it usually happens on the last full day.
We had some nice sweet and sour pork, some tasty beef and asparagus dish and Peking duck wraps.

It was a long day as we then went out for lunch, took in another market(which really wasn't necessary imo, it just made for too long a day). We had a bus load of cranky kids and hungry. Julia did awesome, but we packed enough to provide 2 bottles plus cereal to eat, other families weren't as prepared. We had been told half a day out, but it pays to be prepared. At 4:20 we got back to the hotel, she crashed, we then went out for the good bye China supper. Then there was a magic show, which was all done with music in the background, as there is an obvious language barrier. It was fun, the older kids there enjoyed it, it was all pretty basic magic shop dealer stuff, but it was fun. Yulin then asked me to come up and I did a couple of things for the group which was really fun and figured that was the highlight of the day for me, but wait!!! I looked up at the balcony in the restaurant after we had eaten some Bday cake and saw a fellow dressed in Chinese Opera robes and FACE Changing gear. NO WAY, get to see it live, OH YEAH!!!Front row seat , 7 feet from it, it was great. Really motivated me to get home and finish my practice of it so I can perform it. I am one of only a select few Westerners to be able to perform this long kept secret performance art. Got me pic taken with him after. Fun night, but a LOOOONG day.

Thumbs up. Magic is awesome!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Summer Palace

Us just inside the Summer Palace.

Some of the over 40,000 DIFFERENT pictures along the longest corridor in the world.

Concrete boat, part of the history of this place.

In the summer palace.
Lady who gifted Julia with the hat. She took quite a liking to our little Jewel!
Mom and Babe, reading together.

Been a bit since I posted. We had a couple of lazy days, Cara caught a 24 flu bug, it has been going around our group and needed some time to recover, so we opted out of the Great Wall visit. The next day we hung around, did a trip to the mall, got a few groceries and did a McDonalds lunch.

Last nite we had a meltdown, Julia was crying HARD in her sleep. We had had a great day with her, and I believe it was just part of her grieving her loses as she continues the process of bonding and attaching to us, it is good to know what the reasons are, but it broke my heart to see her little heart in pain. We will see how tonite goes. She ahs been sleeping in bed with Cara, we have twin beds int he room, and I know that is really comforting for her, and helps the bonding process also.

Today, Monday, was the Summer Palace visit in the afternoon.It would be gorgeous in the summer, when all the plants were in bloom, but I enjoy looking at the trees as they have so much character, as they "train" as well as trim the trees so you get beautiful shapes. I love bonsai trees, and still hoping I can see some before we leave...time will tell.

The street vendors are really pushy here, and it is one of the places where counterfeit money is used, the vendors will give you fake money for change from purchases or switch out your bill and say it is no good and actually give you not good money back. My magician spirit was roused and I so wanted to see if we could find one who would do this as I had a fun trick up my sleeve to change money, in front of their eyes to something else, but alas I never got the opportunity to do it.

We draw a crowd where ever we go in public, and one group of 3 ladies took a shine to Julia and ended up buying her a panda hat from a vendor, very sweet, I make her a balloon teddy bear as a token of thanks.

We misheard instructions and thought we could venture off on our own, so we did, but we were supposed to stay with the group, so they sent Faye off to find us(sorry group, but we had fun exploring...).
It was a lot of fun and so much history. I live that about China they have such interesting history and culture.

We were able to go out with our group for supper together and had hot pot( I have had it a bunch in Canada, I don't know why I didn't think to ask about it here, to see if we could get it, as it would be safe food for us...) so that was fun and I broke out the balloon animals and made some for some of the kids who were in the restaurant and for our travel group. Had a blast, totally my element!

Tomorrow is a visit to the silk factory( I can't wait) and the pearl market(Cara is excited!), we then have a "birthday" party in the evening. They have hired a magician and we will have food, etc, should be fun, interested to see what HE has up his sleeve.

It was really nice to get out of the room and explore, and I love walking through the historical areas of China and soaking in the culture, which we could spend more time and more relaxed time doing that. Julia travels well, and is soooo happy and enjoys soaking everything in.

Friday, December 17, 2010

First 7 hours awake in Beijing thoughts

Saying goodbye to her home province...

Asleep on the bus heading to the airport in Nanchang

Waiting in Nanchang airport to head to Beijing
Saturday morning group picture. Yulin trying to get us all together, I stepped out to take this shot :)

First nite in Beijing with Julia, elevator picture
Well the last leg of the race begins here. Baby and I slept well last nite, not long enough but okay. Cara had something that upset her stomach and has the runs, she is resting now and we have taken a few things to try to deal with it, hopefully today will be the recovery day.

Julia and I had our first adventure together today.

With mommy not feeling great I took babe down to breakfast and had a quick bite, then off to Yulin's room to do paperwork.After filling our citizenship papers and trying to get her picture for it( she wouldn't look directly at the camera, made the girls who were taking the pictures REALLLLLY work for it). We finally got a picture that worked. We then went to the lobby of the Presidential Palace Hotel we are staying at for a group picture. Then Cara crashed again, her tummy has not been good today, she has slept most of the day as she was up most of the nite.
Those thoughts above written at the 7 hour it is later in the day.

After the group picture Cara slept and I got Julia ready to head to the grocery store so we could continue our daddy daughter adventure in Beijing. Hooked into the Snuggli away we went, it wasn't too far, she loves looking up and checking out the tall buildings and soaking in the sounds. We found the grocery store no problem, it was in the basement of a nice mall. Once in the grocery store she was napping, it is soooo warm in nice buildings in China, I think I lost 4 pounds from sweating. So got some water and few odd things and back to the hotel. We much prefer the hotel in Nanchang. Better service, better space, nicer environment. Now this place isn't a dump or anything, it was just that at the Galactic, everyone was super nice, super available and lots of folks to help you, and the room had great features, full fridge, big bathroom, rooms to move. This room has too much furniture and no flat spaces to set up a food prep area, a change area etc. but it will do.

After that trip, got to change her, and feed her for the first time, both her cereal and her bottle. For attachment reasons we have left these areas for Cara, but fortunately she is realizing slowly I am a good guy and she and I are starting to build our friendship.

Although for Cara this was her worst day, it was my best, after gotcha day. Julia and I played together, explored the hotel a bit, got a couple little things to bring home, I tickled her, was able to comfort her when she was fussing, and she has fallen asleep in the snuggli with me, and rested so well after the bottle. To be able to hold her that close, snuggle her, and have her soak it in was beyond words, it so filled my heart, and then as we were playing she looked at me, I mean REALLY looked at me, eye to eye connection, and smiled her huge smile, then blew a raspberry at me, I returned the spit (mixed with tears of joy), flying raspberry to her, it was our moment, a significant first step in our lifetime of building that beautiful sacred father daughter bond TOGETHER.So cherished.

Cara was up a bit in the late afternoon so I had as shower, ran some laundry to the guy who will do it for us, did a solo run to the grocery for more water( I couldn't carry that much with Julia during the first run and who knows when we will be able to make another run, things get busy, if we are able to do the excursions. The group went toe the zoo today, seemed like a good time, from teh few reports I have heard so far, Marina and her little one also stayed and crashed her to build up some energy.

So tomorrow will be the great wall and jade factory, if we are up for it, it is a 9-5 day, so that is a lot to bring baby on, and a hopefully recovered Cara, so we will just have to see if we do it or not.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Friday-what is happening

Today is the last day in Nanchang. We will clean up, pack and hang out until 3 pm then head to the airport to go to Beijing. then it will get busy, papertrails, and some major excursions(these are optional) so we will just see how everyone feels. We will connect with the other 2 families from our travel group, and hear of their adventures. Next posts, internet willing will be in Beijing!

Thursday in Nanchang

Well due the weather of yesterday our guide told us our orphanage visit was likely not going to happen, the roads would be too dangerous, and that was the case. We are somewhat disappointing, but we know the timing and events of this trip are in God's hands, so we are content.

So it was mall day today. We went to a nice mall, it was huge, but with one exit, you take escalators up or down but it s all contained inside one building that goes straight up. Today would be a day of just being in China and being amongst the people. It was great, lots of interactions with the locals trying to talk to us, pleased we were adopting, lots of "Beautiful girl" comments about Julia which we heartily affirmed.

We got a couple pieces of clothing for Julia, as nice coat, as the one she came in is not one we want her to stay in, this one is warmer and nicer.

Our morning started at 4:30 with a secret adventure of eating the dragon fruit we bought, and chatting about life as a couple(haven't had much time for that with baby, it was nice) however those whispers got Julia awake early and she ended up being up by 5, then having to nap at 7, didn't nap while we were out so she collapsed once we got off the bus, as the photo shows. We also went to bed early Thursday nite and I got 8.5 hours of sleep, OH YEAH BABY!!!! bring it on! Back to Thursday...

Prior to the mall we went to a porcelain shop. This area is famous for it, so we wanted a piece of that to bring home. First chance to barter, LOVE it. It is such a game. They bring a calculator, punch in a number, you look shocked, counter with a number about half of it or less, they laugh or shake head rigorously no, counter, and back and forth you go. At one point it is good to shake your head no and walk away and they will bring you back and likely "settle" for your last number, and all walk away happy.

We did a mcdonalds run for lunch, wasn't hungry so I never ate, I took some video(got in trouble for it, but it was worth it :) ).

On the way back from the mall the husbands jumped off the bus and we did another Walmart run and walked back to the hotel,about 2 km walk, but it was nice Got some nice video of the August 1 monument, a historical area commemorating 1927 battle.

1927 – The Nanchang Uprising marks the first significant battle in the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and Communist Party of China. This day is commemorated as the anniversary of the founding of the People's Liberation Army.

Also got to walk thru the streets of China, see everything from rich area to poor. The little shops, and you see the laundry hanging out the windows, to unlit, unheated areas that house shops. We walked past poor people asleep on the ground,with a small lid of a box with a few coins in it, to fancy hotel area.

It has been fun walking across the street, I think I totally have the mindset for it and have navigated across, babe in arms, with ease(hearing Cara tense behind us and me saying, just follow our lead!)

And note the best part of the day, in 3 words in that last paragraph...babe in arms!!!

Had an awesome morning in that she let me hold her without her fussing, some time with mom in view, some without her in view, it was awesome, longest holding time so far.So it is a small, but oh so delightful first step towards her coming to accept my love and comfort. YES!!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

travel group thoughts and a link

This link takes you to the blog of one of our travel group they have a couple videos up so far, one of our group storming the elevator to get our babies...

Cara and I were talking last night about our travel group. They are a good group to be with. we are sad we aren't able to eat many meals with them due to us hanging at the western food side of things due to allergies, but we have managed to connect a few times for breakfasts and of course during travel events.

All our kids are similar ages, and great kids. Jenn and Jeff(the ones in the blog link)brought their 2 girls with them. Fun couple. We have connected a bunch with them, and really enjoy their company. Dave and Wendy brought 3 of their kids(left a younger one at home, so we connect that way) and Dave's mom is also along. Another great couple, They seem to be our breakfast buddies. Wendy knows a bit of the language and Dave is aces with the camera. Great Family! Marina and her friend Kathy round out our Nanchang group(we will connect with a couple other families back in Beijing). Enjoy Marina, we did a number of info exchanges via email prior to coming, she, like me, likes to be armed with info, and it is cool seeing her just engage everything with her best friend who is a great support for her. We are all having a great time, the babies sleep well overall, jet lag is probably the bigger issue for us Canadians to deal with than the concept of the new babies sleep stuff, so that is a real gift.

I seem to gain 30 minutes of total sleep time each night here, up to 6 hours for Wednesday nite Yippee!!!

Weather forecast says couple degrees Celcius, possible precipitation, so mot sure what that means for out outings today.Post again when I am able.

Teng Wang-Day 3, or 4...who knows :)

Teng Wang pavilion history, swiped from wikipedia:

The Pavilion of Prince Teng (simplified Chinese: 滕王阁; traditional Chinese: 滕王閣; pinyin: Téngwáng Gé) or Tengwang Pavilion is a building in the north west of the city of Nanchang, in Jiangxi province, China, on the east bank of the Gan River and is one of the Four Great Towers of China. It has been destroyed and rebuilt many times over its history. The present building was rebuilt in 1989 on the original site.

* 1 History
* 2 The Present
* 3 Influences
* 4 Construction Timeline[3]
* 5 See also
* 6 Notes
* 7 References

The Pavilion of Prince Teng was first built in 653 AD, by Li Yuanying (simplified Chinese: 李元婴; traditional Chinese: 李元嬰; pinyin: Lǐ Yuányīng), the younger brother of Emperor Taizong of Tang and uncle of Emperor Gaozong of Tang. Li Yuanying was enfeoffed as Prince Teng in 639 and spent his early years in Suzhou. In 652 he was assigned the governorship of Nanchang where the pavilion served as his townhouse. Twenty years later, the building was rebuilt by the new governor. Upon its completion, a group of local intelligentsia gathered to compose prose and poetry about the building. The most famous of these is the Preface to the Pavilion of Prince Teng (simplified Chinese: 滕王阁序记; pinyin: Téngwáng Gé Xùjì) by Wang Bo. This piece made the Pavilion of Prince Teng a household name in China down to the present day.

The Pavilion was to be destroyed and rebuilt a total of 29 times over the next centuries[1]. The building itself changed shape and function many times. The penultimate construction was in the Tongzhi era of the Qing Dynasty. That building was destroyed in October 1926 during the chaotic warlords era
The Present

The present Pavilion of Prince Teng was completed on 8 October 1989, and is now a landmark of Nanchang. The building is of reinforced concrete structure, but decorated in faux-Song Dynasty style. It is 57.5 metres tall and has nine stories. The building has a total floor area of 13000 square metres.

The building sits atop 12-metre tall concrete platform, which is intended to symbolize the now-destroyed ancient city wall. A stainless steel tablet at the entrance is engraved with a calligraphy work of Mao Zedong.

The building mainly serves tourism purposes. Apart from internal decoration, attractions include a theatre staging simulated period musical performances, and displays of reconstructed ancient instruments. There are some restaurants and souvenir shops. The streets around the pavilion have been designed to conform with its style. This area has become the centre of Nanchang's antiques trade.
[edit] Influences

The Pavilion of Prince Teng achieved national fame through the Preface to the Pavilion of Prince Teng. As a result, it was endowed by later generations with almost legendary status as an example of magnificent architecture. When the Forbidden City was built, its corner towers were built to imitate the Pavilion of Prince Teng and the Yellow Crane Pavilion as depicted in Song Dynasty paintings. (Strangely, both pavilions are depicted identically in surviving paintings.) These uniquely structured corner towers remain some of the most valued architectural treasures of the Forbidden City Construction Timeline[3]
Year Event
653 Constructed
675 Reconstructed
790 Reconstructed
820 Reconstructed
848 Reconstructed after being destroyed in a fire
1108 Reconstructed. Smaller structures added to the north and south of the main pavilion. The northern structure is named "Pulling Emerald-Green Pavilion" (Chinese: 挹翠亭; pinyin: Yì Cuì Tíng) and the southern structure is named "Pressing River Pavilion" (Chinese: 压江亭; pinyin: Yā Jiāng Tíng).
1294 Placed on top of the city walls after being damaged several times during wars.
1336 Reconstruction started in 1334 and completed in 1336
1436 Reconstructed after sinking into the river. It is renamed "Greeting Kindness Hall" (Chinese: 迎恩堂; pinyin: Yíng Ēn Táng).
1452 Reconstructed after being destroyed in a fire. It is renamed "Number 1 Building in Xi Jiang" (Chinese: 西江第一楼; pinyin: Xī Jiāng Dí Yì Lóu).
1468 Reconstructed after it collapses. Its original name restored.
1527 Reconstructed after being destroyed earlier in the Chen Hao Uprising (Chinese: 宸濠之乱; pinyin: Chén Háo zhi Luàn).
1599 Reconstructed after being near collapse.
1616 Reconstructed after being destroyed in a fire.
1634 Reconstruction starts in 1633 and completes the following year.
1648 Destroyed when it catches fire while defending Ming generals torch surrounding area to open a clear perimeter against advancing Qing troops.
1654 Reconstructed
1679 Reconstructed after being destroyed in a fire.
1682 Reconstructed after being destroyed in a fire.
1685 Reconstructed after being destroyed in a fire.
1702 Reconstructed
1706 Reconstructed after being destroyed in a fire.
1731 Destroyed in a fire
1736 Reconstructed
1743 Reconstructed and again renamed "Number 1 Building in Xi Jiang".
1788 Reconstructed after it collapses.
1805 Reconstructed
1812 Reconstructed
1847 Reconstructed twice after multiple fires.
1853 Destroyed with much of Nanchang in a three day fire during Tai Ping Rebellion attack.
1873 Reconstruction started in 1872 and completed the following year.
1909 Reconstructed after being destroyed in a fire.
1926 Destroyed by defenders when Nanchang is attacked by the Northern Expedition.
1935 An attempt to reconstruct is halted due to the Japanese invasion.
1985 Reconstructed
1991 The smaller buildings "Pulling Emerald-Green Pavilion" and "Pressing River Pavilion" are restored.

Okay, now the adventure:
You see some of the area covered with snow, it is more like ice pellets, we didn't get as many pictures because we were holding on to our spouses and babies to ensure the wind didn't make them slip, winds so strong, turning our umbrellas inside out and pelting us with hard ice pellets, slush on tiled steps making climbing 6 or more stories quite an adventure. but we made it to the top. Wet feet, happy babies, relieved parents, and guide. Poor Mary was so concerned for us. And then there is Jeff.

We were prepared for weather in Nanchang to be 12-17 celcius. We got minus 3 and an ice storm, so due to luggage restrictions Jeff and family only brought certain amount of clothes, we left some of ours in Beiijing too, anyhow, he ended up having to give up his coat to keep his family warm, so here is this group of crazy Canadians braving this storm and Jeff short sleeves leading the pack...awesome!!!! Wish we had video, but it would have wreaked the camera.

Anyhow, once there were were good. Unfortunately they aren't prepared for this weather and the building has water leaking in several areas, including the theatre, so the performance was canceled, This was a bummer, but we did get to go on stage, fool around with the instruments on there, and we took lots of pictures and video inside. Lot of history and art, it was SWEET!. We also picked up a picture of ourselves dressed in ceremonial robes sitting on a royal throne, yup real touristy, but will be a fun memory.

Half the floors are open the other half closed, it was cold on the open floors, felt bad for those working there. I took some video from the top of it, and the wind was so strong I actually was moved(slid) while standing in place.

Despite the weather, it was awesome, so nice to do something that got us into the history and culture of our Julia's homeland.

What a character!

Here are a few faces from her captured in around a 30 minute play time session. We are noticing she is sitting up better, she is working it, she will even work up a sweat working those little muscles, she so wants to engage this world(and keep a close eye on mummy, she is in love, can't take her eyes off her!

I'm full now...

Happy Girl

Oh yeah, I got it and I flaunt it

Play is serious stuff!

No caption conveys what this picture says all on its own LOL!