The Yellow CraneTower and leaving Wuhan (recap of Halloween afternoon)

Early Friday afternoon we finished packing while Kylie and Caleb were napping, wrestled our suitcases downstairs (and by wrestled, I mean Ian took the bags down), got checked out, and climbed into the van for one last adventure with Zoey.

Kylie with her buddy Zoey lead the way as we walked from the parking area to the tower.

On the agenda for Friday was the Yellow Crane Tower. In a city of 8 million ~ and the traffic to go with those numbers ~ the tower was a quiet place of refuge.
The Chinese character in this pagoda is for swan (or goose ~ I'm not sure) and was put there to remind people of purity (because of the color white).

We walked around the grounds, threw coins in the small pot under the giant bell (not sure how I didn't get a still shot of that one ~ probably due to keeping up with a FAST toddler while we were at the bell ~ but I did manage to get a coin into the pot ~ which Ian got on video ~ which insures me good luck in the coming year. I did it not because of the luck ~ I don't believe in superstitions like that ~ but more for the challenge.) and climbed the tower getting exercise, a history lesson, and a great view of Wuhan in the process. Unfortunately I missed most of the story on why the tower was built as Caleb was not content to stand still and listen to Zoey. I'll catch it in more detail later from Ian and probably come back to add it to this post. Even without knowing the history, it was still a nice visit and something I highly recommend on your next visit to Wuhan.
"Chrysanthemum rock" ~ the white crystals are totally natural!

The ever present lion statue. I found this one interesting because it was from a different dynasty in Chinese history. It looks totally different in style than the ones at the Forbidden City in Beijing.

Daddy and Kylie coming down the steps outside the temple.
She insisted on walking and was so proud of herself!
In the lower courtyard we attracted a little attention by letting the kids run back and forth, but it was totally worth it! They had so much fun racing back to Mama's arms!

Our family in front of the tower and the yellow crane statue. The yellow crane stands on top of the turtle and the snake showing it's dominance over both.

Just an interesting observation while we were in Wuhan, all the taxis had an LED screen in the back dash that scrolled some Chinese characters and then the date and time. So if you ever find yourself in Wuhan wondering what day it is or what time it is, just watch for a taxi!

We went from the tower to wait at Zoey's office in the civil affairs building for Caleb's passport. (Funny note here is that I only refer to my son as Caleb in writing right now. We have been calling him Lu Tao exclusively and I almost wonder how long it will take US to make the switch...) I almost got nervous waiting in the van, so it is a good thing that I didn't go upstairs with Ian and Zoey to find out that the passport hadn't arrived yet. Finally it came and we had to dash (and I use that word somewhat "sassily" as traffic anytime is bad in Wuhan, but on Friday afternoon at rush hour...) to the airport. Du (our driver for the week) assured Zoey that we did still have time to stop for dinner, so we enjoyed a delicious meal at a very nice restaurant (where Caleb broke a plate ~ do you know how much noise a ceramic plate makes when it hits a tile floor? ~ and therefore created one more place we can't go back...) and still made it to the airport with enough time to stop for a picture with Zoey and Du.

And as a new mom for the second time, tired out of my mind, and full of so many emotions about the week, I cried as we left Zoey (my arms were full of a sleeping Caleb and therefore I couldn't hug her, so impulsively I kissed her on the cheek ~ she was so delightful to have as a guide and friend for the week!) and the province Caleb was born in. For the presumed first time in his life, Caleb would be leaving the Hubei Province and while the steps were put in motion some time ago, it still was bittersweet for me to take him from Hubei. I'm sure that when we leave China on Friday I'll be feeling the same way...

Oh, and if you are wondering, no, he didn't stay asleep on the flight. He woke up just before boarding and riding with him on the plane (because of course we were not all together, Grant was right behind me and Ian and Kylie were about six rows behind us) was like sitting with an octopus! He was not content to sit on my lap and it was especially fun trying to keep the tray table in its locked position during takeoff and landing ~ it's hard enough to reason with a toddler that speaks your language... Thank goodness for Color Wonder markers, he found them fascinating and it it hadn't been for the entertainment they provided I probably would have lost my mind on that flight!


Laurie said...

Two posts in one day- what a thrill!!! Oh, Kristi, the picture of your Kylie and Caleb running, with huge smiles, brought tears to my eyes. They are both so beautiful, and it was just so wonderful to see them together, as brother and sister! LOVED it! And who is Grant? I'm still wondering about the mysterious white haired man! :)

Our Journey said...

The picture of the two of them running to you is just priceless!

Cindy M said...

Oh, the emotions of saying goodbye in truly cannot understand the depth of those emotions until you've lived it...

Love the photo of the kids running, too. Kylie looks like she's having a ball...but maybe jet lag will be on your side and she'll sleep a lot when you come home...glad to hear Caleb is having a good influence on her sleep habits! That's fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the history lesson. I am just hungry for information on the country and provinces where my precious grandchildren are from. Love all of the pictures. Grandpa Grant must be having the time of his life with those active, wonderful children. Love to all, LaoLao

Anonymous said...

I love reading what is going on over there! I can't wait to spend some time with you guys when you get to Charlotte! We miss you terribly and knowing that you will be leaving again breaks my heart :(
I can't wait for the day that you all move back to Charlotte... I hope. Not getting to know Caleb like we have Kylie makes me very sad... But anyway. We love you guys and are so happy your family of four seems to be going so well!
Aunt Cici

Mom of Triple As said...

I'm laughing out loud at the picture in my mind of Caleb breaking the plate. I'm sure it was an "accident." :) It is good to know that things are going well for all of you.

NaiNai Miller said...

I am so happy for you that your guides are also now good friends of yours. I know they have helped make your time in Wuhan more memorable. And thanks for all the news about Wuhan. I didn't know it was such a large city. The "chrysanthemum rock" absolutely amazed me. I would like to have a large print of it for my home. I am having trouble keeping up with all the blog posts AND the comments. You have been wonderful to keep us so informed.
Love, nainai

Melissa Wagner said...


I swear I have that same picture of the chrysanthemum stone! That was some of the coolest "rocks" we had ever seen. We also bought a ton of turquoise while in Wuhan. It's been so neat to see you visit the same places we did. (Oh yeah, Yellow Crane Tower was my fave!)

Take care!

Nancy said...

Kylie & Caleb are so cute together running. I love the ones of the whole family though. Its cool to see both your arms and Ian's full of kids!

C.C. said...

Wuhan looks so interesting....and Zoey is beautiful. Looks like you guys had a great time sight-seeing.