Yuntai garden

(Friday, February 26)

Today was free of "official business," and so it was a relatively relaxed day.  We enjoyed our extensive breakfast, though we noticed that the wait staff tucked us into an alcove this morning, away from most of the other diners.  Hmm, wonder what that was about... 

Anyway, our "sightseeing" today was to go to "the botanical gardens," and Ian and I were really hoping that it would be the same gardens we visited when we were here meeting Kylie.  We were excited when we pulled up to the gate and realized that it was indeed the same place.

 With three kids I'm learning to relax my standards on a "good picture" and just settle for all of us with our eyes open...

While there were still a good bit of things left up from Chinese New Year, there was also an entire tulip theme going on. 

We were wondering the connection between Holland and CNY, but it was pretty. 

Yuntai garden is a beautiful oasis in the middle of this large city and despite the approximate 98% humidity, we rather enjoyed our time walking around.  When we got to the back of the garden, Ian decided to spend $1.50 on some "goodwill" toys for the kids.   

Funny thing is that none of the kids even saw the vendor.  Daddy just decided to buy for the heck of it.   

These little helicopter fliers were a HUGE hit and our kids spent about 30 minutes chasing them around.  I think we caused a few other parents to have to buy some for their kids too.  

Caleb watches his helicopter take off.

Even though it was really hot, Kylie, Caleb and Darcy had a blast playing tag around the fountain ball.  I think they all would have been relieved if the water had suddenly come on! 

And of course there had to be some supervised "rock climbing."  My three honored my request to sit down beside each other long enough for me to snap a few quick shots.  But this one reflects more what I think my life is going to be for the next several months.

 Movement in three directions.  I'm gonna be needing a lot more sleep!

It was a nice morning in a beautiful location.  We found it a relief that almost everyone we passed either smiled, gave a thumbs up, or said, "Lucky children" to us as we walked by.  After being stared at so much in Hangzhou, it was a welcome change. 

And of course, a few more pictures just because I can't decide which ones I liked the most...

Caleb forgot how tired he had been just a minute earlier to SPRINT to the tiger.  

 Doesn't get much cuter!

Six days in and still loving each other...

Slightly out of focus, but there is a lot of movement when they are all near each other!  (And I am relaxing my standards...)

My four kids at play.  


Jenn said...

I'm loving all the precious pictures! They just make me smile!


Heather said...

good gracious ... they are darling, all of them (even Ian, ha). I can't pick my favorite, the family one for sure .. the out of focus hug, yes, the three of them on the big red animal .. oh my. So wonderful. I know I've said it before but they look like they've been together for years not days. I know there are likely hard moments but what a beautiful start to their lifelong friendships. Praying you the rest of the way home and glad the familiar territory is bringing some relief and relaxation. :)

NaiNai said...

Just makes my heart sing!! Everyone looks so happy. Glad you got to relax.
Love, Grandma

Sharon said...

Those relaxed standard sort of pictures are the best kind...keeps it real. My mom SO loved those gardens and we have so many pictures of her there among the flowers, she would have loved the tulips!!!!

Nancy said...

The last couple of photos of the girls, then all three kids just made my heart melt!

Jennifer Barbee said...

My favorite - the movement in three directions photo. I like it b/c it has an 'extra' unidentified kid in it. You can get used to that too. It seems as my oldest get older, we always seem to have an extra kid or two - sometimes I don't even notice until they've been here for a few hours. :) I guess their parents figure we have so many kids here we won't notice an extra one or two. And actually, we don't :)

Anonymous said...

I love the close up picture of the three of them! they look so happy! Mom is not going to like that your skype isn't working! :0 :) She may not talk to me for another week! :)
Love you guys and can't wait to see you soon,
Aunt Cici

Lisa said...

I was hoping you would have a free day and be able to relax a bit. So many great pictures that are worthy of frames! I love the close up of the three kids...such happiness, I didn't even notice that it was out of focus.

Our Journey said...

I love some of these pictures. The one of the three of them on the red-tiger...priceless. They look so happy together..warms the heart.

Melissa said...

These pictures make my heart smile!!! I cannot imagine what it's like to be their Mommy! And, you have the biggest kid of all in Ian!!!! Too cute!!! This is a beautiful park, we loved it here!