Monday, August 1, 2011

The Rest of the Story - Part 1

Five days have passed since my last blog, although it feels like it's been weeks.

In the afternoon after our fun day at the safari park, we started packing and preparing for our morning flight out of Guangzhou to Shanghai.  We were so ready to begin our journey home, but we were also unsure of what flights we would get since we were flying standby.

Our original plan was to spend one night in Shanghai, then try to catch the Friday night flight out to LAX.  However, due to several reasons, we decided to try to go ahead and fly out that night.  So we spent a very long, very tiring day at and around PVG airport.  We had planned to meet some friends at their hotel downtown and also wanted to ride the MagLev train, so we hopped the train and headed downtown.  The MagLev was as neat as we thought it would be!  Such a cool experience.  We went as far as we could go on the MagLev, then decided to grab some lunch at a nearby McD's.  The place was packed and we had no place to sit.  Eventually, we found two empty chairs at a bar, so stood around and ate our lunch.  We had several carry-on bags and a stroller, so were quite the sight to see, I'm sure.  Maneuvering wasn't easy and I was beginning to feel "off."  We checked the subway and after seeing how far the hotel was from us, we decided to just head back to the airport.  Before heading back, we perused the MagLev museum.

Back at the airport, we parked ourselves and all our stuff in a quiet place upstairs to rest and hide from staring eyes.  After a while, Ken took all the kids back on the MagLev to ride it at maximum speed.  I stayed back to rest a bit.

In the afternoon, the kids were getting tired and TJ started feeling sick.  When evening finally came, we went to a restaurant upstairs. Not family friendly at all, but we managed.  TJ was in tears by this time, saying he hated China and just wanted to go home.   It was time for us to freshen up and change clothes.  In the process, TJ threw up, Tian fell and smacked the back of his head. Lots of blood, but it was just a cut at skin depth.

Feeling anxious, worn, and some of us sick, finally at 8:40pm, we stood in line 30 minutes to be told 5 of us could get on the flight.  We had not considered splitting up.  I felt so badly for TJ and honestly didn't want to leave any of them.  Just talking about splitting up made the kids cry.  The girls cried, saying they didn't want to leave TJ behind.  So sweet.

We got a taxi and headed to the hotel downtown.  It was a pretty horrible 40-minute drive.  The hotel was a welcome sight.  We got the kids in bed, got meds in TJ, and tried to go to sleep.   From the moment we got in our beautiful suite, I felt uneasy.  My stomach was in knots.  Before we had left the airport, the people from the airline let us know there would be no way we could all get on a flight together and that we needed to plan to split up.  From the looks of it, half of us would have to leave Monday night and the other half Sunday night. That meant 3 more nights in China.

This was one of the most beautiful hotel rooms I'd ever been in, but I felt so uneasy I couldn't sleep. I had also stopped eating from lunch time on.

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