Tuesday 3 September 2019 78 °F
Through the wonders of technology, we began our final full day in China with breakfast with Henry. Sue’s giant iPad sat at the fourth place on our table, so Henry’s FaceTime mug conversed with the rest of us as we munched on our breakfast buffet of Chinese delicacies. As usual, his booming voice could be heard above all other diners, despite any volume control enacted.
Today’s tourist destination was the previously missed Humble Administrator’s Garden with its many hidden walkways, rock paths, and ancient bridges. The perfect destination to keep a kid (mostly) happy with exploration. We’re thinking that administrator wasn’t so humble...
Following our stroll through the garden, it was time for Pearl to go on her long awaited shopping extravanganza. What, other than cheap Chinese nicknacks, is a gal supposed to spend her (modest) allowance on after all? Long minutes were spend pouring over cheap remote control vehicles, clever wooden toys with moving parts, and plastic machine guns. Final purchase included: strawberry tea, a puzzle of Suzhou, and a Rubik’s Cube-like game.
Sue drove a hard bargain with the pedicab driver, and the non-too-thin Americans jumped in the carriage for a 20 minute bone-jostling bike ride to the subway.
One final photo of the Suzhou concert hall complex
After more instrument practicing and a horn section reading,
we enjoyed a delicious Vietnamese dinner with our new friends from the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra.
How to wrap up our trip to China?
First of all, the ridiculous:
One thing we struggle with as a family: photo squabbles.
Who takes the photo? Who has to be in the photo? Are we counting to 3 or not? Why can’t we take another photo so I can smile?
Sheesh. Our family truly loves to spend time together, but is this too much togetherness?
And secondly the heartfelt:
One can never predict life’s twists and turns. When Dave and Sue were married in 1993, we couldn’t have imagined that the country of China would play such an important role in our lives. Fourteen years ago, when we started the process to adopt our now 12-year-old daughter, we signed documents that promised that we would do our best to keep Pearl in touch with her Chinese roots. Each adoptive family decides how they will accomplish this task, but our family decided to embrace China through language and travel. There can be difficult days when Pearl doesn’t want to attend Chinese class, and traveling together always has challenges, but ultimately we hope, as parents to our beloved Chinese daughter, that we can provide enough tangible background so Pearl feels fulfilled and inspired to continue exploring her roots on her own.
Thank you for following our journey. See you stateside!