walking and boating at Liuhua park

After we got back from the medical exam (and a quick stop at a grocery to buy some chips for our carb loving boy) we headed out in search of food for lunch.  Our guide had told us about a popular noodle shop just around the corner, but sadly when we got there the entire place was gutted and it was clearly being renovated.  No noodles for us...  

We kept walking down the street like we owned it.  I mean, when you're being stared at like a walking circus, you may as well "go big or go home" and eventually we settled on a pizza place (Fadino's Pizza, just down the street from the hotel after you pass the Han dynasty museum) that boasted being Halal.  There was a pizza place that we enjoyed over near the Garden on previous trips but Ian and I both liked this one even better.  We'll have to go back by and take pictures (and eat again) of it to refer future travelers there.

With full tummies we decided to explore one of the nearby parks as the weather for Sunday and Monday was forecast to be a wash.  Liuhua park was one of our favorite spots to visit on Darcy's trip back in 2010, (here are pictures from that visit) and at the China Hotel we were just a ten minute walk from there.  The little one sure knows how to use his smile to catch a ride instead of walking.

Upon entering the park there is a great across the lake view of a massive white building.  (Some online research provided information that it once was "the place" to see and be seen for dining in Guangzhou.  Unfortunately it is now abandoned and is showing signs of disrepair).  Grant saw it as an opportunity for a good backdrop and had us gather to get a picture of the M8.  This was the first in the series and while we "weren't quite ready yet" there's something about this shot that I like better than the rest.  Perhaps because it is a more real representation of us than ones with us all smiling at the camera.

We walked for a while...with the little ones asking for rides.

We found interesting places to stop and explore.

And just when we began to hear the distinct language known in our house as "whinese" we found the boats.  Two electric boats for 30 minutes only cost us $15 and that sent the bad attitudes far away.

The girls and I lamented that our boat clearly had a weak motor, but we'd make sure to "win" races against Ian and the boys by lagging far behind them and then turning around and getting back to a point before them.

Riding on the water gave a gentle breeze and it truly was a fun way to get off our feet for a bit.

Recharged from our boating excursion, we pressed on and finally found the playground area Ian and I remembered from Darcy's trip back in 2010.

this picture melts my heart...Daniel ADORES Nicholas
Despite being "just a smidge" bigger than the last time we were here, the oldest kids hit the equipment and enjoyed testing it all out.

Nicholas however was quite content to play with his powpows and entertain others.  He and Ian were like the pied piper of bubbles with tons of little kids giggling and squealing with delight at their chance to pop so many bubbles.

Eventually we realized it would soon be time for dinner, so we began the trek back to the hotel in search of an easy meal plan.

While he is vocal about expressing his displeasure with our decisions from time to time, Nicholas is settling in amazingly well.  He just can't seem to hold a grudge for long...

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