Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Loving Guangzhou

In Christi’s much-mocked note to me, she counseled, “Be happy and enjoy this time as much as you can.”  Fantastic counsel.  I can honestly say today was one of the best days of my life.  I have so enjoyed the company of my three oldest daughters.  I am really trying to live by the adage, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…and it’s all small stuff!”  And it really isJ.  It has been an incredibly endearing bonding experience to be half way around the world with just the three of them.  Over the years I have had many opportunities through sports and camping to make some fantastic memories and bonds with my older boys.  But those opportunities have been less frequent with my girls.  As I have now officially retired from coaching, I have been able to enjoy more of these experiences.  And the results in my relationships with the girls are very evident. 

We were up at 7:45 today to get ready for a trip to the Guangzhou safari.  Aside from the rain, it was quite wonderful.  We saw all kinds of wildlife up close as we rode through the “Safari on wheels” portion of the park.  Then we were able to walk through the other areas and see pandas and koalas, tigers and dinosaurs (pretty decent Jurassic Park fare).  We even got to feed giraffes out of our hands.  Those are some pretty long tongues!!!  After resting for a while back at the hotel, we took a taxi down to Shamian Island, did some shopping and had dinner.  There is something about an outdoor meal at Lucy’s that completes my adoption tripJ.  We found some cross stitch patterns for the girls that will hopefully keep them interested for a portion of that long plane ride home.  Also found some good gotcha gifts and grand bag items. 

Today’s best lines:

Jessica (an email novice) while watching me type my email address into an online form:  “Hotmail?!?  What’s that mean?”  Then, after a couple seconds of thought, and with a suspicious look in her eyes, “Does that mean Christianne mail???”

Cali, at dinner after yet another taxi ride, (and through Graci as an interpreter): “Daddy, why do you always ask the taxi drivers the same questions?”  This, of course, was a reference to the fact that I can only ask about two questions in Chinese:  “Are you from Guangzhou?” and “Do you have any children?”  The funny part was that on the way home, we were in another taxi and I asked the driver, “Are you from Guangzhou?”  Cali immediately started cracking up and mocked me in front of everyone.  She has quite the sense of humor.

I am so excited to get home to my family and to the States and to Christmas.  But I am truly going to miss China and Guangzhou and the time I have here to focus entirely on three of my precious children.  Life is beautiful.



  1. ACK!!!!! How did I miss that you all were leaving for sweet Cali!!!! I am so so happy to see this beautiful child with her beautiful new family!!!!! YAY!!!!!! Praise the Lord!!!!!!

  2. I can't WAIT to meet y'all! We've got to make it part of next summer's trip out west. Jeremy you sound like you could be one of Pete's brothers. You're already an honorary American "grandpa" (haha since you're so young) so we'll just have to make you all honorary Landsgaards! :)

  3. Jesi's comment about Christi - best. compliment. ever. That is so cute! I love picturing you there with your three girls. They will never forget this time with their daddy!

    1. Thanks, Jenny! I loved it-- made my day!!!

      Great post, Jer-- you're the best! (:

  4. Morning Brother - wow you covered a lot of the best parts! Yeah - the patio at Lucy's - memories there...and the wise crack about hotmail - smart daughter! ;) Mostly yeah - I too love China - and I would never have thought that I would, I almost bask in the feelings there - and a lifetime of memories to follow them.

    For all that stuff - life really is pretty good - made that way in part because of folks like you!

    love you guys - hug them all just once for me (or as often as they can stand it!

    aus and co.

  5. PS - this would be your wednesday night (about 1800 your time) - will you be leaving for home Thursday night - Friday morning or Friday night - Saturday morning your time?