I was up and moving before 5 am after a very choppy night of sleep – ack. Kid up and moving before 5:30. Finished packing and got our bags out the door at 6 am. Kailey was brave and called the concierge to tell them our bags were ready – proud of her for taking that step knowing she may get someone who does not speak English. Despite her call, they never did come pick them up, not sure what happened. We ate another breakfast feast where we met the B family who I have been in touch with for the past month when we knew we would be traveling together. They will be taking the train with us, for which I am thankful to have another family to do this experience with! We departed the hotel at 7am for the train station.
Our guide, George, explained what to expect and have to say he did a great job of explaining every step. Despite the language barrier, we were able to figure it all out because of his details. I took a brave step this time – I used a squatty potty for the first time – I have avoided this in my prior 5 weeks in China but I figured I should have the experience at least once. Other than the smell putrid smell of urine that lingered in the stall, the experience wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.
We began through the train gate at about 8:30 to get to our train, which was a bit of a trek to get to our train car. Manners are a so very different here. People have no problem jumping in front of you, without a pardon or even glance seeking approval. There was plenty of time to get on. We departed right on time – 8:55 am.
I have to say, the train is the way to travel. We did pay for first class, but it was still cheaper than plane tickets and we had lots of leg room! Wish we could take a train all the way to the U.S. Despite traveling at 305 k/hr, it is a smooth ride and does not feel like you are going that fast. My kids worked on homework while I caught up on blog writing – and enjoyed the scenery along the way. We then had 3 minutes to get off the train, which ended up not being as much of a challenge as it sounds.
Got these treats in a complimentary snack pack on the train, along with a drink (water, Coke, or juice). There was an interesting cookie, a thick fruit strip, and almonds.
We met our guide Vivian as we exited the station. We crammed into a van to stopped at a bank on the way to the hotel to exchange money for the remaining adoption fees. We are staying at the Hilton in Zhengzhou, it has about 39 floors, we are on floor 21!
Once our luggage arrived to our rooms, we met up with the B family in search of lunch. Our first attempt, a Japanese Noodle restaurant, failed as they were busy and didn't have room for us. We decided to head to Subway instead. Afterwards, we explored a mall that is right across the street from the hotel. There is a WalMart too! All 7 of us families will be heading there tonight once everyone has arrived to stock up on a few things.
Kailey walking with the B family
Motor bikes are everywhere.
Kailey is thankful for the walk over bridge so she doesn't have to dodge this traffic!
We spent the afternoon getting settled into our hotel room as we will be here till Saturday, organized gift bags, and got Esther and Xavier's back packs ready. Tomorrow is the big day – Gotcha Day!!!!