Thursday, January 24, 2013

May 15th - Trip to the Park

I have been missing China recently, so rather than finishing Christmas I've been looking at photos from China.  May 15th was our last full day in China, and while a part of me wanted to stay longer, a larger piece was anxious to get home to Sunflower and SnapDragon and start our life together as a family of 6.

Like most days in China we started the morning at the hotel buffet.  Sweet Pea didn't sit or know how to put cheerios into her mouth on her own, but by this day she was feeding herself like a champ.  I don't know if she just hadn't had the chance to learn before or if she was coming out of her shell and starting to use skills she already had.  Either way it made eating with her a little easier.
Then the kids rested while Oak packed and I went to the pool to help my friend with her 3 year old.  They wanted to go swimming, but everytime J saw the pool she would become very frightened.  It was still a no go.

But we couldn't spend our last day in China doing nothing and our guide was insistant that we must go see the park with the 5 Goat Statue.   So we went.  And for those who skim my posts for pictures, here they come...

The park was across the street, but thankfully there was a tunnel under the street we could follow...we just had to figure out which staircase to take back up to get where we wanted to go.  
Don't think small little tunnel hard to get lost in...there was a 7-eleven or two in there.  Thankfully the signs were very clear.
J was much more willing to move forward if she was holding two people's hands.  Notice no baby in the tunnel...that is because she was on my back.  Carrying her on the back instead of the front was a lot easier if not quite as good for bonding.  She liked it more and it was cooler for both of us which was a huge plus since it was 100 degrees out.  Plus it left me free to actually use my camera--the real reason I like site-seeing.
So we got to the park and it was very pretty.  Our guide had said the statue was right inside the entrance we were going in...just go up some stairs.  So we went up the first set of stairs we saw.
 It kept going up and up and on and on.  Until finally...

...there was a pavilion with lots of benches and shade and people and...
 ...fascinating caterpillars which a man took from us and squashed.  The path also branched out several different directions, all more stairs, some up, some down...we took one going down back into the park, found a large main path again, a map, and followed it to another set of stairs.  Is this it?  Is the goat statue in here?
No.  I'll let you read what this was, if you wish.

Oak went up stairs inside the monument.  Sweet Pea, Huckleberry, and I waited in the coolness of the bottom floor.  Did I mention it was 200 degrees out?

So we continued our search.
It really was lovely.  A lush garden in the middle of a large city.
At times you could get glimpses of the outside world.
But most of the time it was just nature and old brick.
We walked along this wall for quite awhile, then down a set of steps...and back along the otherside.
Clearly this wall and nature had coexisted for a long time.
A long part of the wall was lined with these trees and root systems...and to give you an idea of size, that is Huckleberry in the above photo.
Oh!  A snack stand.  That meant ice cream and much more expensive than the cokes we would buy at the grocery store, but oh so refreshing...even if not always cold.  We should have not been stingy and bought one at every stand.  It was 300 degrees out.
I did not envy this woman her job of sweeping the steps, but the end of our trek was in sight.
Oak said, "No.  A picture of the sign is not enough.  Must go up stairs..."
But first a little bubble time to cheer up the new daughters...or maybe me.  At this point we had been walking over an hour and 20 minutes and while Sweet Pea was still content on my back, my back was not so content.
Last set...he promised.  As if he knew where we were!  First I bought some souvineers in the row of gift shops.  Bargaining?  No energy, just let me buy some bracelets and Huckleberry some postcards.
But finally, we climbed.  We saw.  We rested.  I took a lot of pictures of it from every angle...should have bought the postcard.
I sat on a similar curb until I turned and saw this bug.  With Sweet Pea on my back it would have been only a couple of inches from her feet. 
Okay.  My SD card is full, Sweet Pea is done riding, and it is 600 degrees out.  Let's go back to the hotel.  Luckily our route had taken us in a huge circle (remember the pond in the beginning?  We went around it) so we were not far from the entrance we came in.  Apparently our guide had said "stairs to the right" not left.

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