Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy in Guangzhou (say what??????)

Okay... I had a good day. Well, actually, I had a great day. It did involve a little escape to about 60 miles south of here but it definitely pleased me. We met the other family from our agency and our guide after breakfast and we headed off to Lotus Mountain. I will have to give all the credit to the other family as it was totally their idea to go. I had never even heard of it before and I don't think many other Americans know it is there either (we were the only foreigners there). It was EXACTLY what I needed :)

Lotus Mountain has 2 main attractions. The first is an ancient rock quarry from which the King (who was actually the general that the emperor ordered to rule this part of the country) ordered rocks cut and sent downriver to Guangzhou to built his tomb. It was so interesting because you could see exactly where the rocks had been cut by hand centuries ago. There were sheer cliffs that just dropped down where the mountain used to stand. We walked around the very high part along the top (while I tried not to wet myself- Jay still can't believe I went up there!) and then we walked along the bottom where the rainwater has gathered over time to form beautiful ponds. It was very relaxing (except for the climb back up!) and beautiful.

The second big attraction on Lotus Mountain is the giant, golden female Buddha. It was really SO cool. Like I said before, we were the only foreigners around. The rest of the people were there to worship and it was so interesting to watch them pray, young and old. The air was full of incense and there was loud but peaceful music playing (think yoga class) which created a magical atmosphere. The whole area where the Buddha stands is huge and it sits on top of giant stairs to the bottom of the mountain. Off to the side is a giant building which houses another fairly large Buddha statue (a very early example in a form I would usually identify as Indian rather than of the Far East). It was a serene, surreal, beautiful experience and I am SOOOOO glad we did it!

Catherine had a nap in the van on the way back (I love it when she gets all snuggly on me!) so before dinner we decided to check out the playroom here at the hotel. She was a little shy and nervous about it at first but then she got into the groove of things. It was funny to see her next to the toys because you can really see how hugely tall she is. She was playing with age appropriate toys but she had to stoop down to play. Nobody believes us when we say she is only 2! She was having fun pushing the buttons on the little tables but nothing compared to having Daddy pull us up over the big red ball. She was all giggles!

Catherine was still testing us but she has been listening and responding to our "no's" alot better than yesterday. We are able to read her so much better than we could a few days ago so that is easing alot of her communication frustration and helping her relax. She was really very playful today and she was very smiley. She loves to explore things with her eyes and hands and she had a great time looking around and touching things on Lotus Mountain. She had a very contented look on her face the whole time... she was just soaking it all in. I cannot wait until she starts talking so we can hear about all the things going on in that pretty head of hers.

We will be headed back to the medical clinic tomorrow for chest x-rays (just a formality since her TB test came back positive... we know that it is a false positive since she just had a negative TB test in Shanghai a few weeks ago) and then we are off to sitesee, shop, and a dinner cruise tomorrow. I better rest up.

(more pictures on our photo album)


  1. Those pictures are absolutely breathtaking! I'm so happy you got to experience that adventure.

  2. What a find, never heard of the Lotus mtn either, now I want to go back (well, after being home more than a week!) It is wonderful to see all of you enjoying each other. Catherine does look so much more relaxed and in tune with you. Love seeing her towering over the toys, hope you child-proofed high at home! Hope the xrays go fast and easy, and you have some more fun to come.

    Love you guys, hugs to all


  3. Love the favorite is of Catherine hovering over the toys---too funny!



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