Thursday, September 08, 2005


Escape From Wuhan

The Americans made it out of Wuhan on a short hop jet flight in the nick of time. The lack of food, sleep, and abundance of provinvial smells had taken their toll on the group. Guangzhou was promised to be a "shan-gri-la". The flight arrived on time and the bus arrived at the hotel at about 4:20. The only problem was that the medical clinic closed at 5 p.m. and 16 babies had to get their final medical check. Somehow the task was accomplished and when it was done, the whole group was exhausted and hungry.

The buffet at the White Swan Hotel was not prepared for the Americans. After suffering through the horrible food in Wuhan, the well appointed buffet was no match for the beefy gang from the U.S. Even though the buffet was $30 per head, I know that I personally blew the profit margin for at least myself and one other member of the family. Everyone ate their fill and for the first time we felt human again.

The hotel is beautiful, the food is great, and Guangzhou is clean. All the merchants are friendly and they cater to the crazy Yanks with their new Chinese kids. The local shops let you borrow strollers for free and they sell every type of good imaginable for tourists. Tiana and her friend Lisa spent the entire day shopping and we had to buy a huge suitcase to fit JUST THE STUFF SHE BOUGHT. Somehow we will try to make it home under the 70 lbs. per person luggage limit.

Last night I went to the final paperwork barrage for the U.S. consulate and after spending an hour and a half filling out forms and paying our last chunck of cash, we are finally done with paperwork. Ariana's Chinese passport which we got in the Hubei Province on our last day is now at the Consulate awaiting a Visa stamp.

Tomorrow we get up and take the pictures of all the babies on the famous Red Couch. Then we go to the Consulate for the swearing in ceremony. The rest of the day is free, but we have to be out of the hotel and on the bus by 6am Saturday morning. They are opening the breakfast buffet early just for us and the porters are coming for our baggage at 4:45 a.m. Then its off to Hong Kong via our last Chinese flight and then the long hop to Chigago from there.

Ari is doing great and she is loud and boisterous. She fits into our family perfectly. We can't wait to get home!

Well Cean, I see you have survived the "Rolex Legions", internal animal parts masquerading as food, everything on 16, 8, 4 and 2 wheels, Tiana has emptied your bank accounts at the malls, and that by now you and Mao have become good friends.

You're in the home stretch ... don't forget to buy some chopsticks! (Ari has to learn how to use them)

I wish I could have met up with you guys somewhere along the way, but it wasn't in the cards.

If you have some time tomorrow, I recommend the Temple of Six Banyan Trees on Liurong Road.

Have a safe journey home and when I get back from Pingyao, I will update you on Grandpa Burch's exhibitions.

Uncle Bob

If you get this before you leave for the states, have a safe trip, take care of the family, and remember you have a ton of people back here who love you and miss you and can't wait to meet your new Daughter.

Love ya bro. See you in a few.

It brings tears to my eyes every time I read your journal...Cean - you are such a creative writer and the personal stories you are sharing with us are priceless...sounds like an ad...priceless! What joy you have brought to this little girl and your family - what gifts you give each other! I have so enjoyed spending time reading your journal and following your incredible story. Be safe. Hurry Home.

Judy O
Hey you four!

The Goulet's have been in Michigan for the past five days. Yesterday was my first day back at work and I was able to catch up on what you have been doing on your trip. Cean I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed reading about your travels. You make everything interesting, heartfelt and funny. I can't tell you how many times I laughed out loud. Have a safe flight back to the States and I hope we can connect with the family soon. We love and miss all of you very much. Ari is one lucky little girl - she is beautiful, congratulations. Big hug to Reidar - he is as handsome as ever and getting sooooo big!!!

Love to all of you,

The Goulets
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