Today we enjoyed a free day in the city. Little Kate woke up with a smile and was ready for breakfast by 7am. She passed on her typical congee for scrambled eggs, bbq pork buns and a little fruit. She is drinking less than what we would hope, but she is teething in several places (eye teeth and molars) and her mouth is sore. Talk about a rough week for such a peanut. The highlight came when she and D engaged in a great game of peek-a-boo that ended with a hug. When we left the restaurant, Dennis was carrying her. She's made so much progress in the last few days!
After breakfast we headed to a highly recommended lake park. It was beautiful and very different than the mountain park we visited a few days ago. Here we watched traditional fan dancing, fencing of some sort and various forms of group aerobics. There is no charge and anyone is welcome to join. I keep telling D that we should hop in a dance class but he shutters at the thought of drawing any more attention to himself. Party Pooper. Although I will say that I was feeling a bit awkward in Huidong yesterday when we drew such a large crowd that a security officer stood next to us as we tried to eat. We were far from the city and quite the anomaly. School had just let out for their traditional afternoon break and children were hiding behind buildings and trees trying to get a peek at us. We would wave and they would run giggling...only to return a few seconds later. The adults on the other hand came close...very close with camera phones rolling. We smiled and said hello. I returned the "peace sign" when it was flashed at us and used my weak arsenal of Cantonese phrases to communicate. You know what they say, "When in Rome...."
After naptime we headed to the playground at the hotel, watched a bit of TV and prepared for dinner. Dennis and I have worked out an unspoken agreement when it comes to leaving the confines of the hotel. I do the talking...which is combination of Cantonese phrases, charades and pointing to what people are buying or eating. He does the negotiating and paying for our food, trips, taxis, etc. It is hysterical and we laugh at each other several times a day. For instance, our dinner tonight was a hoot. We managed to order pan fried dumplings, sweet and sour pork and a bowl of soup for the baby. When it was delivered, the wait staff stood back and watched as we tried to make a plan on how to feed Kate dumpling soup with chopsticks. Now, I'm an expert when using the cheap-o wooden sticks from Panda Express or even the plastic sticks at PF Changs, but we are running with the big dogs here. The chopsticks are much longer and heavier than what we use in the states for the most part. People don't hold them low (like one would hold a pencil) but much higher, only about three inches from the top. The staff giggled as we managed to get a dumpling from the bowl to a plate. After fishing it out, Dennis said, "Now all we have to do is cut it up." I burst out laughing and so did Kate. We eventually figured it out, much to the approval of the spectators.
I would say that today's highlight came at the very end of the day. As we were snuggled up in bed, Kate took it upon herself to feed both D and I her puff snacks. Those little suckers are disgusting but there was no way that he or I would refuse a treat from our little gal. She meticulously picked them up one at a time and took turns feeding us. It was a very sweet and loving act from a little lady whose world has been turned upside down.
Eenie Meenie Miney Moe..
One of Kate's favorite Cantonese dishes