Crowding, monkeys, and nice hotels

It's 5:30am on March10 here in China (3:30pm March 9 in Houston) and Zoe, Alex and I are awake and being productive. I'm answering a few emails and typing this, they are coloring. My last post was brief because it was 9:00pm here, and I was literally nodding off while trying to type it on my phone in bed.

This hotel is insanely nice. Maybe the nicest hotel I've ever visited. It's huge, and it feels like it's out of a movie. We haven't had time to explore it all yet, but the room is very modern, very swanky, and really cool. I'll take a picture of the bathroom later, when Ava wakes up. It's COOL! I cant' wait to see the breakfast buffet.

Today we take Ava for a medical exam, the U.S. government requires this.

Last night we met our new guide, Lucia. She seems like she has done this quite a bit. We also saw 2 other American couples when we were checking in, and rumor is there are 7 of us staying in this hotel. It will be nice to see some other folks from the USA to chat with. There was one other American couple with us in Hefei, but we didn't see them very much, and we were so tired when we did, it was hard to make good conversation.

Today is my youngest brother Zack's birthday, so here is a shoutout......


A few things I forgot to mention. We saw a monkey on a leash in the street yesterday, he did tricks and was hilarious. I only took video, so no pictures.  I'll post all of our videos when we get back.

Also, on my Chinese observations. These are just funny observations of cultural differences. I'm sure Chinese people think Americans are nuts, weird, or ridiculous too.  With that caveat, here is another one, and I noticed this in Japan too, when we were there on our way to get Zoe. People are fanatic about lines, cutting in lines, and being the first one through any door, or onto any plane.  In the picture below, people are packing themselves in so close to one another to board a plane, this picture may not do it justice, but they are practically on top of one another...