I think that there are pictures below this in a separate post - I don't think I can post pictures and write a post at the same time, and since I'm unable to actually see the website, I'm assuming that's the case and am posting an update separate from the pictures. The pictures are: Tanner in front of the Maglev train (the fastest train in the world, it goes 270 mph), Jon and Tanner in front of the Oriental Pearl tower, Tanner and I in front of the old Shanghai American School (where my Grandfather attended) and Tanner and I waiting to take the train to Nanjing (I look happier than I felt at that point)
Sooooo, we all got some sleep and woke up early and ready to go! We decided to brave the traffic and take another taxi to try to find the school my Grandpa DeKorne attended when he lived in Shanghai in the 1930's (I think it was during that time). It was exciting to find it - the school still exists, but, no longer in the same building. We went to the building that Grandpa attended and wondered if he rode his bike on the same streets we were on! We also surmised that he would be astonished at the differences now (including the Papa Johns pizza next door.) I was really excited to see this as it was the thing I most wanted to do in China. While I'm so happy for him that he's in heaven, I was sad that I will not be able to share this experience with him, as China held a very special place in his heart.
We then went back to our hotel to pick up our train tickets and have a cup of coffee. Tanner would have been content to sit in the lobby and watch the glass elevators go up and down all day long. He pointed them out about every 30 seconds :). Then, we walked around our hotel area and enjoyed walking by the river. We took a boat tour and had fun seeing all the buildings and a different view of Shanghai. There were some things that we saw here that were very different from what I expected. Some great things, and some that made us long for something different.
We then took a taxi to the train station. Today is the 3rd day of a 3 day holiday in China, there apparently are normally a lot of people (@23 million in Shanghai), but, there were many more because of the holiday. It made me extremely nervous and concerned with Tanner and our luggage - Jon did a great job of putting up with me and we were happy to pay some workers to help us get our luggage up several escalators, through all the people and to the right place at the train station. One very kind gentleman who spoke English helped us figure out where to find our seat numbers on the tickets. I was thrilled to finally just be ON the train and headed to Nanjing. This train only got up to 205mph along some stretches of track.
We arrived in Nanjing and our guide met us at the train station. They finally had a vehicle big enough for us and all our luggage (we've been in small taxis where our luggage needed a trunk and a seat of its own), and we didn't have to worry about where we were going for once. We are now checked into the Holiday Inn in Nanjing. It's a nice, new hotel with a big pool (Tanner's favorite). We walked around the mall, ate McDonalds (Tanner's request) after ordering from a picture menu, came back to the hotel and unpacked (since we'll be living here for 2 weeks) and are settling in.
Tomorrow morning we will meet our guide at 9:00am and then off to go meet our new son! We are excited, and nervous. Wondering what is going through his mind (if he knows we're coming, how much does he comprehend?), wondering how it will be for all of us adjusting to a new family member (and becoming a part of a family), wondering how nervous he will be, how nervous I will be?! I'm glad to be experiencing this culture and country, even if for a short while, to help me see how difficult it can be coming to another country, not knowing the language, different smells, different landscapes, different everything! During the many hours of traveling and not sleeping, I've been thinking back on some verses in Phillipians 3:20-21 "but our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body"
So, friends, tomorrow is the big day! I hope I'll be able to upload some video, but, we may have to wait until we arrive home. If I can't, we'll definitely download pictures as soon as we're able! Thank you for following along with us, and for your love and prayers on this journey!