Today’s adventure included the Safari Park. Originally on the schedule was the local zoo, but all the families in our group said we would rather go to the Safari Park, based on other CCAI families’ opinions. It was a little bit of an excursion, but a good way to pass the time as we waited for our visa paperwork for Mia to travel to the U.S., which wouldn’t be available to us at the hotel until 4:30pm.
We loaded up on a bus and Kathy and Paul gave the driver instructions and told us to have a good day! We are so used to having a guide that it was a little strange going an hour away with no translator at all, but they had to stay behind and make sure all of the paperwork was good to go for travel. Somehow we managed to get our tickets and entered the park as a group.
The first stop was the Safari on Wheels. This was a train that drove on a paved road throughout the open part of the park. Apparently, this path is open to outside cars as well, as we saw many families in their own cars on the same road. A lot of the animals were out in the open and had no real barriers, and others were separated from the road by a ravine. I am not sure what Mia thought of all this, but by the end I think she liked it.
Then, we were able to walk through the park like any other zoo in the U.S. It was nice and the weather was really good. Eventually it got hot, but we had arrived early enough to enjoy the nice day. This was the only time I thought a stroller would have been helpful, however, I know from experience with our boys that strollers tend to put the poor kids right at railing level, which makes it hard for them to see anything. Having Mia in the carrier made it easy for her to see what I saw, but it did become a workout by the end.
Kung Fu Panda was everywhere and made the park really inviting and fun. Pandas are the big deal here, of course, so it was fun to see some in action today.
Another great thing about this park was that they let you feed the giraffes and elephants if you wanted to. John and Mia fed an elephant, though I’m not sure that she was very excited about it.
We were to meet back on the bus at 2:00pm, and we rolled out of there shortly after that. By the end of the day, Mia wanted her Daddy, so we switched roles. This girl DEFINITELY loves her Daddy.
The bus ride home was challenging. I normally do get carsick, but I brought Dramamine with me to China, and we have made it a habit to sit near the front of any vehicle. Surprisingly, I really haven’t felt too sick except for the landing in Beijing and this afternoon on the bus. The traffic had gotten heavier and it was a LOT of stop and go. Mia was also out of sorts and needed a nap, which she never took. From that point on, I had a non-stop headache and my patience level had unfortunately dissipated. I am so incredibly thankful that John has been able to pick up the slack in that area.
When we finally arrived at the hotel, we were starving, so we went out with two other families to the noodle place close to our hotel. The food was great, and I was starting to feel less nauseous, though the headache remained. We got back up to our room and started packing for Hong Kong.
Tomorrow, we have a 4-hour van ride from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. HK was the best option for our family to fly from to get back home. We would have gone back to the US on Saturday, but we were not able to get the right flights, so we have to stay in HK until Sunday morning. We are planning to use this time to take Mia to the Disneyland there and enjoy some fun one-on-one time with her before returning home to be a family of five.
Right now I feel drained, anxious, and just ready to be home. My headache has not stopped and I need some prayers tonight.
1. My headache to go away and for rest. 2. A good, safe, enjoyable van ride to Hong Kong tomorrow (with a toddler who won’t have a seatbelt). 3. Special time with our little princess before heading home this weekend. 4. Increased bonding and communication with each other.
Traveling with Mia can be a big challenge and we covet your prayers. Tomorrow will be a drop in the bucket compared to the HUGE day of travel on Sunday. Please pray that my heart will be calmed and I won’t be so anxious about this. Thank you always!!!!