Today was a free day. OUr guide, JoJo had to work on our paperwork so we were on our own. We slept in...even Emma! I think she was worn out from all the birthday excitement and she slept until 8:30. We played around in the room for a bit...and she had a blow-out requiring not only a diaper change, but new clothes and new sheets on the bed. It did not look or smell pretty! For the rest of the day, we double diapered AND used plastic pants. Thankfully, we didn't need them anymore.
After getting all cleaned up, we ventured out into downtown Xi'an. Amy, the Clapp's, Emma, and i walked to Pizza Hut for lunch - totally different menu than we have...but the pizza was a nice escape from what has become the norm- Chinese food! The Pizza Hut was located in a mall. The mall was like a mall in a big city - the clothes seemed very European to me. There were 6 floors. I bought Emma an outfit for next summer. After we had shopped, we found a St*r bucks...what a taste of home! It was phenomenal! I had a gastric bypass no no, but it was worth it! It didn't make me sick, but I only drank about 1/2. I bought them out of house and home...seriously, they had to restock the shelves when I left. I bought several mugs that said "Xi'an" on them for myself as well as for others. The stroller was weighed down with Starbucks bags.
From there, we searched for the American store of stores...W*l-Mart! It took some doing, but we found it. It was really nothing like our stores. The selection was not very good. Maybe stores other places have more. Now, I must say that there were plenty of things in the store that you don't see every day...live bullfrogs, Dried duck, roasted duck, duck on a stick...I kept thinking of the scene in the movie "A Chr*istmas Story" when they go to the Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner and they bring out Peking D*uck and the dad says, "It's,,,smiling at me" And the waiter proceeds to whack the duck's head off!
The Bell Tower was our next stop...that is at the center of Xi'an. This is a city of about 8 million people - even bigger than NYC! It is surrounded by a moat and a very high and thick wall. The tower is in the center.
just down from there, I saw a site that made my eyes begin to water...The golden arches...french fry heaven! I had heard that you could have the ice from there because it is shipped in from the US. I had high hopes for a big ol glass of iced tea. No doing. They had ice, but no tea. Bummer. I bought a thing of milk for Emma and a fake tea for me. I didn't think the tea was any good...and apparently Emma didn't like the milk cause she refused to drink it. But she did manage to squeeze the box enough to squirt milk across the store!
After all this, Emma and I had had enough...we were tuckered. The two of us headed back to the hotel...I had her in the carrier and was pushing a stroller laden with St*rbucks paraphenalia. It was a hoot.
The rest of the troop headed to a local market. We are going there again tomorrow, but since Amy is leaving, she wanted the chance to go ahead and shop there so she could pack up tonight.
Emma and I returned to the hotel and played and ate dinner...we just enjoyed some time just the two of us!
So...another great day in China...tomorrow will be busy. In the morning, we are touring the city and shopping...then in the afternoon, we are going to the orphanage. It is not often that prphanage visits are granted, so I am so thankful for this opportunity. We are also going to try to find Emma's finding spot. I know it will be an emotional day. Please cover us in your prayers. I know the visit will be hard for both of us...I know that Emma may be scared, but it is my prayer that she would not be traumatized by the visit, but that it would give her sweet mind some closure and reassure her all the more that she is mine forever! One of her main nannies asked me point blank what my religion was the other day. I told her I was a Christian and her face lit up and she said she was a Christian as well. What good that did my heart! I feel sure that it's all the prayers for Emma that have made this transition so easy.