We almost didn't make it to our flight though.
Here's the scenario.
Our guide brought us to the airport, showed us our gate number on the tickets, and brought us to security. Here is where I got nervous. We're in China, I don't speak the language, not many foreigners there, flying in-country, trying to go through security.....well, no reason to be nervous, security apparently has a different meaning in China, I'm not sure they even looked at our bags as they went through the x-ray machine. Phew, ok, step one down. Now, we follow the signs to gate 28. We walk down a long hallway, down 2 escalators and to a very big waiting area with very few seats and many, many people. It looks like we'll need to take a bus to our plane. OK, no problem. We were early, we'll sit close to the gate and hope for some English. It looked as if they were serving food if you had a ticket. We don't know if there will be lunch on our flight, so, Jon attempted to get food. The lady just waved him away. So, when it was close to boarding time, Jon went to check with a gate attendant if we were at the right gate, she replied - 15. "What??" Who knows what that meant. OK, we'll just wait a little longer. Then, we realized a man sitting close to Tanner had the same city on his ticket, excellent! We are going to stick close to him. I had eagle eyes on him, and freaked out a little when he got up to go to the bathroom, he was probably a little bothered by the foreigner stalkers, but, we felt like he was our ticket to Guangzhou! A few minutes later they took a chain and locked the doors to go to the buses. Hmmmm, well, they'll be back. Our guy stuck around looking out the window, and didn't seem concerned (there's a picture attached of the unwitting assistant - it's the last picture). When it was past boarding time, Jon went to another gate attendant close by and asked her for help, she pointed at the gate we were at, OK, good, we're still in the right place. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 12:50pm, and it's now about 12:35, we're starting to get a little nervous, but, our friend that we were stalking was still there. Suddenly, our guy starts moving, we get up and start following and then we hear our flight announced in English, flight ZH9618, is in final boarding at gate 15. WHAT???!!!! OK, our guy starts running, so we start running. Up 2 escalators and down the hall - WHEW!!! We were almost the last people on the plane. Apparently they did not feel a need to make the flight announcement in English until the last minute, what a great idea! Oh well, we were SO thankful that we made it. We enjoyed a noodle or rice lunch with some sort of meat and coconut cake for dessert. We got drinks in dixie cups, and were delighted to be on our flight!
Jian was thrilled. We've attached some pictures of his first flight. Tanner was disappointed that he didn't get the window seat. Jian took tons of pictures from the plane and then, couldn't believe we had to wait another 2 hours until we arrived. He could hardly believe it when we told him that next week our flight will be 25 hours.
So, now we're here in Guangzhou. Our guide met us at the airport and brought us to our hotel, The White Swan. It seems strange here. Now that we're not in Jian's hometown, we'd kind of like everything to be done and head back home. Jian agrees too, he's counting down the days to fly to America. But, it's a nice hotel (the common areas are beautiful, the room is a bit smaller than our room in Nanjing. In fact, Jon and I get to share a twin bed! The room is also a bit smelly, but, not a lot different than the rest of China. I'm thrilled to not have a window from the bathroom to the bedroom too!) The pools are beautiful and we get to sit outside and watch the kids swim, this was a nice activity after finding dinner at Starbucks. It's a lot less crowded here in this area, much more touristy, but a lot less traffic. We're on a small island, so, it's easy to get around right here by walking. While walking around in the hotel tonight, we met another family who adopted a 2 year old boy with a heart condition from a different province. They live in Dallas! Jian was excited to see another adopted boy and both Jian and Tanner had fun playing with the little boy.
One of the pictures attached are a couple of the amenities we're provided at hotels in China. We have both of these things at all our hotels so far :) You can't drink the water here, so you get 2 bottles a day (we have a hot pot to boil more water), AND, the amenities are not complete without your breathing mask in case of.....!
Tomorrow we go for Jian's medical appointment and TB test. I'm hoping to get his vaccination records translated as well. Then, I think we're free for the rest of the afternoon.
So, one week from now we'll be halfway home! Yeah! Our trip though, has truly been amazing and fantastic. We couldn't have asked for it to be any better, and all the glory goes to God. Thank you so much for all of your prayers. Our communication and bonding is going great and we're looking forward to one more week all together. We loved having 2 weeks in Jian's hometown and meeting many new friends there.
OH, that reminds me of one more thing - if you're still reading..... :) This morning, before leaving Nanjing, we were leaving a gift for Jian's "Chinese mom and dad." Our guide, Michael, called them and they said they were close and so stopped in to say goodbye. We gave them the gift and she asked when we were returning to China. We tried to explain we were unsure and it's so expensive. Our guide said maybe we could come back for Jian's 20th birthday in 6 years and we laughed. Well, in the van on our way to the airport, she called Michael and told him to let us know that she'll take care of all the arrangements and we don't need to do anything to help with Jian's 20th birthday party! YIKES! We didn't really necessarily plan to come back then - we'll have to see what happens there. :)
OK now, goodnight from Guangzhou.