Wednesday, July 8, 2009

group email from June 21

HI! Guess what? We're still in China! So we don't seem to have jet lag... not so far anyway. We didn't get to our hotel room until around midnight. We didn't sleep at all on the plane-which was torture but seems to have helped us out. We were so tired we fell asleep instantly. We woke up this morning around 9:30am (Guangzhou time.) We got dressed and ate breakfast. Then we hit the streets:-) We walked the entire island. Our hotel (and many other hotels, restaurants, AND the US Embassy) are all a part of Guangzhou that's called Shamain Island. It's an "island" because this part of the city is surrounded by the Pearl river. It's a lot smaller than I imagined it. We spent the morning exploring the island. We have sunny weather! And I sweat like a tourist! Wow, it's hot. There was a guy actually swimming in the river- yuck. But I briefly considered joining him to cool off:-) In my last email I mentioned how there are really modern buildings right next to buildings that look like they're going to fall down. We photographed a building like that right around the corner from our hotel. We also had to photograph some of that bamboo scaffolding that I mentioned. I would love to see those bamboo trees alive!! That is huge bamboo! The streets are all full of vendors obviously geared towards tourists. But it's still neat to see. There was a guy making ink paintings just using his hands and fingers. Kevin asked to take some photos of him doing it (he's my brave husband, I'm too chicken to do that) but we also bought some of his paintings. The funniest part was when we found a German restaurant! See Mom and Dad, you Germans are everywhere:-) We might eat dinner there tonight. It's too funny, and seeing as how my family is German we have to eat there once. The Chinese restaurants are cheaper so we'll probably mostly stick to those while we're here- after all- we're in CHINA. We finished walking the entire Island by 2pm. Like I said, it's a lot smaller than I thought and it's all hotels, restaurants, and tourist shops. We're trying to figure out how we can take some tours off of the island. The island is interesting but I want to see some history! Right now we're chilling in our hotel room- literally chilling- we've got the air-conditioner cranked up:-) We're supposed to get C tomorrow. We haven't heard anything from our guide... I guess he's just supposed to find us at our hotel room at some point and time? Hopefully he does. Oh, we found a 7-Eleven! We bought bottled water there... at 7-Eleven in China hahahaha! There's also a StarBucks and a Subway next to our hotel! See, we really need to get off of the Island! I think because this is where the US Embassy is, the Island is really geared towards Americans. Oh and everyone spoke English in all of the shops we went inside of. I can see how this place would be an Oasis to some Americans. And it'll probably be really nice for us too as the days go by. But I really do hope we can get off of the island and see CHINA. Its' like going to "Chinatown" in New York, except this is "Americatown." Well, tomorrow is a big day for us!!! I'm sure we'll have photos and lot's to say after we get C! here's hoping Mr. Li finds us...

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