Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Making a List....Waiting for China...Checkin it Twice

2 more beds/comforters/pillows: Check, Check
2 more toothbrushes sitting by the sink : Check, Check
2 car seats: Check, Check
2 more sets of slightly smaller clothes: Check, Check
Visa's: CHECK!
Watched Elf 24 times since Thanksgiving making up for the fact and hoping that my Elf viewing season will be tremendously cut short this year: Check
2 standard rooms requested at the Victory: Check
Random hotel room entertainment purchased: Check
List of places to eat thanks to my bloggin posse: Check
Trip to the bank: Check/OUCH!
Oodles of noodles purchased and in the pantry for them as they acclimate to American food: Check
Having fun saying, "Oodles of Noodles": Check
List of things to do:
Safari Park
Dinner cruise minus the dinner: Check, Check, Check!

Dare I say I really feel like we are ready to go?
Yes, yes I think I shall.....
We are ready to go! 
Medicines are purchased, antibiotics are ordered, suitcases are pulled out of the closet, house compulsively cleaned, forms needed for travel, books on attachment and parenting the older adopted child read and read and read, and read check!

Gifts for the officials:
gotta go. 

Totally random things I still need to know: 
  • Should we stay at the "Old Victory"? The West side? Or the newer annex? Bearing in mind that SPACE is what we need.
  • What kind of rice should I buy for my rice cooker? I'm not thinking my Success boil in a bag is going to do it for them? Specific brand anyone? 
  • Is La Dolce Vita really closed? Anyone been there lately? I heard it was closed but didn't know if that was temporary due to the island maintenance before the games or if that was a permanent thing.  We are a huge Italian food lovin family.
  • Can we bring our own bottled water into each restaurant or is that frowned upon?  
  • How can I access Blogger over there? (Feel free to email me(address on sidebar) in regards to this one....) cuz really, ya'll would miss me while I was gone wouldntya? Please say yes. ;)  
  • Anyone wanna give me a ball park figure as to how much it costs per person to get into the Safari Park, do the dinner cruise minus the dinner, etc.....in USD please, my yuan to USD conversion abilities are not the best. ;)
I know there is more that I can't think of right now to ask......
We will return to this regularly scheduled blog once Sonia's full brain capacity returns.


  1. ok--
    stay at the annex (if it is open )we stayed in a corner wrap around room. in the victory- if it isn't ask for a business suite.
    ok-- blogger- if your husband uses a VPN- you'll be fine-- otherwise- purchase an express VPN (don't know how to do that) for easy blogging. otherwise you have to email your posts- which is a pain and you can't read comments.

    la dolce vita is closed (boo hoo) sigh-- it was so awesome....

    DO NOT EAT DINNER on the cruise- most disgusting thing ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ugh.

    ummmm visit the pearl market there? if you like pearls that is.

    let's see.. did you pack american sweets like m and m's?

    ohooooooooooo what a leapster??


    my 6 year old LOVES legos--- maybe bring a few small sets in baggies?
    underwear?? they don't do underwear a lot there.

    magnadoodle (the small ones)

    ooooh!!!! color wonder coloring books-- no mess!
    toy story 3!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (am i helping or making you spend more money???)

  2. hmm-- the cruise without dinner- don't know we had to do both (via our agency)
    the safari park was a bit pricey- we didn't do it- plus you have to pay for a driver. the zoo is VERY cheap.
    taxi to the mall/pearl market is very cheap. there is a jade market there- but not sure if it's real or not.

    hmmm bring several hundred for the jade bangel you'll fall in love with:)

    veggie tales videos!!!!!!!!! seriously-- talking/singing vegetables is univerally funny!!!!

    do you have two cute backpacks for their goodies?
    2 cute stuffed animals?

    bring granola bars, nuts, etc to snack on instead of lunch- otherwise it gets expensive

    do you have cipro for you and DH? it's an antibiotic

    and seriously-- if you can't get a vpn-- i would gladly post for you:)

  3. dude- i could not be more serious about the several hundred--- you will see it, you will love it.. and get this-- it's the chinese equivalent to an engagement ring-- isn't Christmas coming?? or an anniversary???

    sigh-- i don'thave mine (yet) i got a cheaper version... but we'll go back... (not for another kiddo-- for "love on kids mission trips")


  4. Hey, I see that someone mentioned a leapster in a post above. You can have Jack's leapster if it still works, think it just needs batteries. I'm not sure but I will check.

  5. Still works but we only have a couple of games, don't know if they are appropriate for the boys. Let me know if you need it.
    Jack said he would be glad for "the boys" to have it.

  6. Trust me since you are staying in GZ for two weeks with TWO boys you must do the safari park and circus. It is so worth it. The boys loved it and you are going at such a better time of year than we did when it was so hot we were waving fans under our skirts and pouring water on our heads!!! If you were only going to be there the week you could skip it for the expense, but everyone I know that goes loves it and says it is a must!

    Backpacks for each of them is a must do.

    And a VPN works well in China to access blog. That what I used in July.

  7. Sonia,

    Everyone has given tons of great advice! We spent two weeks in GZ, since Teddi was from Guangdong Province. We didn't do a lot, mostly because it was rainy season (and very wet)--and secondly because we had a newly adopted three year old who we promptly nicknamed "Flit", need I say more?

    We did enjoy the zoo, and I have heard great things about the safari, and the circus (which I had no idea about when we were there). A friend who recently traveled said the circus was the highlight of their trip! I would definitely do the circus.

    I saw someone mention Susan's Place to you already. We spent hours upon hours drinking tea and hanging out with Dong and Susan (and of course shopping in their store--we also had our laundry done there). Loved them. And it was a fun (dry) place to go. They are great!

    We stayed at the Victory (new part) and had adjoining rooms for the six of us. Loved it. Beautiful hotel--not as fancy pants as the White Swan, but very comfy beds, great breakfast buffet, super service--and when you walk into the lobby (as they open the doors for you) you kinda pinch yourself . . . beautiful marble floors . . . fresh flowers . . . oh so nice.

    By what I've read the Shamien Is La Dolce Vita is closed--but I do believe there is another one still in GZ. And yes, it was every bit as good as everyone has said!

    Gifts for the officials? Is that still on your "to do" list? I bought perfume/cologne gift sets on sale after Christmas at Penneys and the BX. I'm sure you could find some decent deals right now. They were made in the USA, and were also light and easy to pack! You know how everyone tells you to not sweat the gifts? Well, I sweated the gifts. Got them to China, wrapped them all up pretty in red bags and tissue . . . and then on adoption day (which is when you take them) I left them sitting on the floor beside our breakfast table at the Victory. Yep. Still got the girl. Don't sweat the gifts. (By the way, our guide did deliver them back for us.)

    Rice. I buy Mahatma brand at the commissary. I also buy udon noodles at the commissary that Teddi loves. They are with the ethnic food-- packaged similar to Ramen, but they are already cooked and vacuum packed/ with a seasoning packet that you add. You just boil them like Ramen.

    You may already have one of those little hanging luggage scales--if not I would get one. We bought ours at Target (in the luggage section). Handy to have to make sure your bags aren't overweight both going and coming home. Not sure what your baggage allowance will be. I packed a good sized empty duffle in one of our bags going over--filled it with dirty clothes for the return trip, which freed up luggage space for everything we bought while there.

    If you stay at the Victory there is a 7 Eleven right across the street--great for grabbing snacks, dim sum (dumplings), etc. There is also a great park close by--we spent time there when it wasn't raining--and even some time there when it was!

    Okay, I'm about "idea-ed" out for now. Getting so stinkin' excited for you guys!

    Blessings as you wait . . . hopefully not much longer!


    P.S. Your bracelet is in the mail . . . I'm not speedy, but I'm reliable. lol

  8. Oops. I've always wondered if a comment can be too big to submit. Blogger popped up that my comment was "too big to process"--but then there it was. Hmm. Thanks blogger, I appreciate your understanding of my long-winded-ness.

  9. older boys will be wearing underwear. Daniel was. I checked with my other friends and their kiddos were too. But his bladder was not capable of holding "it" long.. so when he said " i gotta go" he meant NOW. ;o)
    I forgot about the pearl and jade market! IF you can get a a couple people to go with you adn buy together.. you will get a better product and a much better price. 4 of us ladies went and bought 28 strands. ;o) do a little research before you go.. you know you have time! lol the pearls appraised quite nicely.
    don't be afraid to get up and walk out -
    I bought my jade braclets from the government store for almost the same price as downtown. very pleased with the quality and appraisal back home.
    'A gift from China' is a great little shop. there is a little story behind it. they have a website. her daughter and Dan are from same SWI. porceeds to back to SN kiddos. and SN orphans are making a lot of what is in the store as part of their tradeskill.
    *There is a church on the island with services if you so desire.
    you will see a "exercise park" by starbucks. children and adults and kids are there everyday. the kids can play there everyday to work it out. maybe bring a deflated soccer ball and a ball pump - they could kicked it around there.. no grass though. but something they would be use to doing.
    also, you probably already know this.. but they don't drink their water cold. so the boys either drink it hot or at the bare mininum room temp.
    we brought our water bottles everywhere. We bought huge gallon ones from the market down past starbucks and just kept refilling our bottles.
    I brought collapsable bowls and cups. the ones in the hotels where glass- not good with my kids when they were younger. and the collapse bowls were great to pack and split food up in when we ordered out or made food in.
    I packed all of us in two (total) suitcases (under 40 pounds) plus we each had a backpack. Bob had two b/c of electonics.
    twizzlers- no trip is complete with out a bag- hahahah
    and a jar of peanut butter.
    and a bottle of pepto- one a day keeps the tummy happy if it starts to get queasy.
    plus all the stuff already mentioned.
    you can get cereal, noodles and basically everything there. shampoo, soap, anything.
    wonder if my mapquest of the island to the walmart will show up?? ahahaha anyway - it is 30 minutes .. fun little trip, eh. lol.

  10. I have no advice.
    But, I have a request.
    Please come to Kansas and get me ready to leave when it's my turn.
    : )

    You are one amazing woman!!
    I'm impressed.

    And I can't wait to watch your trip!!

    Much love and blessings to you!!

  11. If you don't have a vpn you can set up an address with blogger to e-mail your posts, the formatting is never great.

    You can also have your comments e-mailed to you so you don't miss out on that bit of sweetness in China if you don't have access to blogger. I had my sisters post for me.

    Man, so exciting that you are so close. I so remember those overdue feelings!!