July 6 ~ Yuntai Garden and beginning to head home

**We're home.  It was a long day ~ always is when coming halfway around the world, but it was bearable.  I'll tell ya though, our bed and pillows were such a welcome sight after we got back the second time Thursday night.  Yes, SECOND time.  Story to come soon...  But first the report of our last day on the mainland (there was no free internet access at our hotel in Hong Kong or at either airport)**

Thankfully Daniel was restless but quiet when it came to bedtime the night before and went down without struggle ~ still clutching that sippy cup of milk.  He even gave Ian and I a gift by sleeping through the night.  Minus the few minutes of fussing after he fell off the bed around 2am.  

The group was headed to the zoo, but we decided to opt out as we'd been a few times before.  Even though it was dreadfully hot, Ian and I wanted to go over to Yuntai Gardens to see how it was decorated this year.  Besides, we had pictures of all our other kids at their animal signs, we couldn't very well leave Daniel out…

Excited and full of energy at the beginning.
It was the year of the rabbit.
Taking a relaxed stroll.
Cutest little rat I ever did see…
Our "golden pig"
And our two dogs
After a brief water break in the shade.
This is going to be what picture taking is like from now on, isn't it?
One thing I love about the gardens and Shamian Island, always plenty of bridal portraits being taken.  
Anyone like a spot of tea?
It was so hot that I'm pretty sure all four were contemplating jumping in.
Again, Caleb was really considering taking a swim.  
Popscicles make everything better.  And this picture really highlights Daniel's shiner.

About an hour (and A LOT of sweat later) we headed back to the hotel to grab a quick lunch, stuff the last of our things into our suitcases, and head down to the lobby to go to the train station.  Seemed fitting that we've now headed home four different ways ~ once we flew to Hong Kong, once we flew back to Beijing, once we flew back to Shanghai, and this time it was the train to Hong Kong.  
Getting ready to begin our train adventure.
We were with another family from our group and chatting with them about their experience helped pass the time.  There was some pretty scenery from time to time, big fields with farmers out working in them, but we also saw lots of factories as we sped by.  The camera also served as entertainment for a while.

"the twins" entertaining one another ~ they got along so well this trip
Ky showing off her favorite souvenir ~ her Chinese fan.
DQ picked up the peace sign picture thing while we were gone.
Our biggest concern was getting from the Hong Kong train station to our hotel.  We figured that between our two families we'd need at least four taxis.  But when we got out of the immigration area, Ian noticed a transportation desk and went to inquire how much it would be to rent a large van for us to ride together as we were staying at the same hotel.  One bus that seats 24 was going to cost significantly less than the taxis we would require, so we tried to book that.  Unfortunately there were no more for the night, but the guy must have felt badly for us and offered another option for just $20 Hong Kong dollars more.  So our two families ~ a total of 12 people ~ rode in a 50 passenger van for the hour between the train station and the airport hotel.  Yeah, I said 50 passenger.  It was hilarious.  We were all so tired that we were quite punchy and I think that I'll never forget that bus ride.  

Our "cozy ride" to the hotel.
Then we settled into our hotel room for one last sleep before the long haul.  Again, it's good to be headed home, but oh how I'll miss this fascinating place.  


jody said...

I want to hear about the train to Hong Kong and coming home 2x !!so happy you are home. Hope the jet lag is not too bad! See you soon! Jody

Angela said...

We loved Yuntai Gardens!

And I am very intrigued by how you managed to come home twice! Coming home once was hard enough for us last time :)

Anna said...

Welcome home, Miller family! :)

Brett & Julie said...

Welcome home! Thank you for letting us follow along on this amazing journey to Daniel! Hope you have a restful time over these next few days. So excited for you!

anything but LoKEY said...

Get some rest! You deserve it. Enjoy your time home and together as a family!

Traci said...

The gardens are beautiful! Love the 50 passenger bus! that is hilarious!

Pierson and Maylin were looking at pictures of them while we were still in Taiwan. They asked me why they were holding their fingers up in all of the pictures. (the peace sign). How quickly things change! Made me laugh to see Darcy doing it too.