Today our travel group went to the pearl and jade market in Guangzhou. It was a great experience - but very hot and crowded. The markets were inside malls and nothing is stroller friendly! We didn't bring our big double stroller because Jaxson has usually been content riding on Jason's back in our Boba carrier. Today he was not. He really didn't want to be in the stroller, either. Neither did Alexis. They both wanted to push it. So, it was a bit hectic trying to contain both of them in the middle of their regular nap times. :-)
Our guides took us to shops they have relationships with, so we got great deals on items we wanted. I bought Alexis a strand of real pearls that I will give her when she is older. They made the strand into a necklace and earrings. I bought a jade pendant for myself that I will have made into a necklace. I have a birthstone ring that I wear to remember Alexis' birth, so now I will have this pendant necklace to honor Jaxson. Our guides told us the story behind how they find and gather the jade and how it is brought to this area of China. They also explained that the color will deepen over time, especially if I wear it (heat from your body deepens the color). The pearls and jade were a mere fraction of what they would cost in the U.S. - and they are beautiful!
We also visited an embroidery shop and got some beautiful gifts. Our last stop at the market was an entertainment store where we bought Jaxson a DVD of the Chinese cartoon called "Happy Goat." The characters look like sheep to me, so I'm not sure why it's called Happy Goat. There's a big bad wolf character, too. We see the sheep and wolf cartoons EVERYWHERE here. He carried it around for almost two hours - he was very proud of it.
Our guides then took us back to the island where we ate lunch at Lucy's again. We are afraid we won't like the "authentic" food on the cruise tonight, so we tried to eat a lot. :-) We got the rest of our souvenirs we wanted to get and headed out.
We will leave for the cruise in a couple of hours. They said many new lights and attractions were added along the riverbank for the Asian games last year, so it is supposed to be the highlight attraction in Guangzhou.
Tomorrow is our last full dday in Guangzhou. That is very exciting, but bittersweet in a way. I'm sure Jaxson thinks this is our home, as we have no way to explain to him otherwise. It will be a big transition for him to no longer hear his language or see people who look like him.
Tomorrow is the consulate appointment - we are very excited about that. It is literally the last phase. We are looking forward to seeing an American flag, too. :-)
We didn't get very many pictures today, as we were so occupied by our tired and restless kiddos running around expensive jewelry shops. :-) I'm sure we will get a lot of great shots tonight!