Guest blogger – Megan!
Goodbye Nanning, hello Hong Kong!
After our last (disastrous) travel day, we were all a bit nervous on how today would go. Dad mentioned several times to our guide how we wanted to make sure the driver was there on time, or asked how much a taxi would be from our hotel to the airport last night. I think our guide must have thought that we were crazy, or total idiots because we missed our last flight (he never really seemed to understand why we missed the flight).
We woke up to the lovely sound of rain this morning; it was the kind of morning where I would have stayed in bed with a good book. We (the kids) got a treat while we packed when we found a channel that was showing an American movie in English (“Cheaper by the Dozen 2”) on the TV; so far most of the television has been in Chinese or the news. After we got all packed we went downstairs where our driver was waiting for us, so no drama there! The ride to the airport was uneventful and we got on our first plane to Guangzhou with no trouble, a welcome change from our last travel day. We even had time to do a bit of shopping in the Nanning airport.
I sat next to Mia on the flight from Nanning to Guangzhou, which was only about an hour-long flight. 30 minutes in, she was done with her activities in her backpack and started talking to me, and talking to me, and talking to me. At one point, Dad leaned over to me and told me that we were talking too much and when I passed that piece of information onto Mia, she said, “No, he didn’t say that, you’re lying to me,” and kept on talking. When we landed, I could tell that Mia was tired and she told me she was done with being on planes. Unfortunately for her, we still have several plane rides to go, including one more today to get to Hong Kong.
For lunch, we went to the ever-popular American restaurant, yup you guessed it: McDonald’s. I had hopes that being in Guangzhou, which is a more “touristy” city then Nanning or Guiping we would have an easier time communicating, but it was still a trick ordering lunch for six people. With our American food in our stomachs, we ventured throughout one of the biggest airports we have been in yet. There were several floors to the airport and we somehow ended up in the bottom floor, with one shop where the water costs $7 US or 40 RBM.
After a short bus drive on the tarmac, we got the chance to feel like celebrities when we climbed the stairs to the plane and we got a picture of Kayla waving like the President as she got on the plane. This ride was shorter and we were in Hong Kong pretty quickly. Getting through immigration was not a quick though. We made it all the way to the immigration checkpoint (it was a long walk from where we got off the plane) and waited in line. When we finally made it to the front, I was first to approach the officer and she told me I had to go off to the side and fill out an immigration card then get back in line. So the whole family got out of line to fill them out. With one more stamp on our passports, we got our luggage and were greeted by a beautiful poster and the smiling faces of Lydia and her mom.
Mom, Anna, and Mia went with the Saunders in their car and Dad, Kayla, and I went with a driver along with the luggage. In Hong Kong, they drive on the left side of the road (like in Europe) and the driver sits on the opposite side then in the States. There was a roundabout and we turned the “wrong” way and I had a minor freak-out thinking we were going the wrong way because I am so used to driving on roundabouts living in Lenexa. But we made it safely to the Saunders’ apartment. Once we got up to their apartment we got the grand tour courtesy of Lydia (including their bookcase and all their storage places). Pretty soon after that concluded, the three younger girls went off and set up a game that took up most of the floor in Lydia’s room. Good to know the last four days hasn’t made them forget how to play together!
Well, after a much-appreciated uneventful travel day, we are now relaxing in the Saunders’ apartment and getting some laundry done before we go to bed.
Note from Tim…We were surprised at the size of the Saunders’ apartment. They have four bedrooms, which is very handy. Megan and Kayla have a small bedroom with a futon sofa sleeper (actually softer than a China bed!), Anna and Mia are sharing Lydia’s bedroom while she sleeps on an inflatable in her parent’s bedroom, and Kathleen and I are in the official guest bedroom with an incredible view of the bay. They also have a large family room/dining room that is off the kitchen, which is roomier than we expected, too (we watch a lot of International House Hunters on TLC). With full run of the place and 24-hour access to the fridge and pantry, we might have to try this hotel again!