We flew to Southern China a few days ago to complete Bear's Visa paperwork...our last remaining hurdle before bringing our little guy home. Today we filled out the application and wait for our appointment at the US consulate later this week. To burn some time (I'm getting homesick for the littles) we went on a city tour with the rest of our adoptive group. We went last year as well with Kate and had hoped that Bear would enjoy it as much as she did. Sadly, he was not feeling the groove but only the oppressive heat and humidity and cried most of the time. No worries, son. You can't be Mr. Mellow all of time.
We visited the Temple of Heaven and I loved the attention to detail MOST of the time. Case in point: The doors and stonework. I could do without these little devil things....they give me the willies.
I love gardening and have a slight obsession with Bonsai trees. I tried to grow one in college but my dorm room was not the optimal environment. Go figure.
This temple is made up of several small praying areas, such as the one below. I watched this husband and wife make an offering and pray together.
There is a slight haze in the temple from all of the burning incense. The air is heavy with the aroma and its pungent smell stuck to our clothing for a few hours.
After lighting the incense, worshipers would lay fruit, oil and nuts at the base of the statues. Each represents something different....for example, peanuts are often given when praying for pregnancy and the desire to conceive a son quickly.
Speaking of peanuts, I wonder what this little girl was praying for.
I wondered the same thing about these ladies.
The Temple of Heaven is beautiful with brick red and teal details. It has remained untouched for 100s of years.
But then again, many things seem to be untouched in China...like the bamboo broom that this fellow if using. It's overly long bristles are used for small leaves and debris. The street workers and museum keepers use them just the same.
With the heat climbing close to 100 degrees, we did what any sane family would do....pressed on. Here, Bear and I are entering the Chen Clan Academy for the Arts. He enjoyed a bottle while I enjoyed his hot, little body smashed against mine in the carrier...oh, and a broken ponytail holder that left my wild hair glued to my face. The humidity in this area is truly in a league of it's own.
Once inside, we walked quickly through the exhibits, snapping pictures along the way.
This little diddy makes me laugh. Bear and I photobombed a modeling session!
After visiting for just a bit, we hightailed it out of there.
All while commenting how unusual it is to see such an ancient place surrounded by modern high rise buildings.
After a long nap in the room, Bear and I hit the pool. I wasn't sure if he would get in due to our bathing (or lack there of) experiences together.
But, much to my surprise, this little snuggle bear loved the pool.
And we hope to visit again tomorrow.