March 5, 2013

Day 4 in Guangzhou: Safari Park

Yesterday was a great day, but between the fun and a little incident that involved Meili throwing up on the bed, there was no time to post about it. So it's a little late, but better late than never, right?

Although it wasn't on the schedule, many of the families in our group had heard that the Guangzhou Safari Park was a great experience. Our guide added it to our schedule in case anyone wanted to go, and since we have to spend SO many days in Guangzhou, we figured we might as well go too. We aren't nearly as adventurous with Meili as we would be if it was just Jon and I, and we're already starting to go a little stir-crazy in our hotel, so planned expeditions with our english-speaking guide are a good thing :)


Isn't that an odd sign? Makes it look like you can drive your convertible beamer right through the park...which you can't. And be careful, a koala may hop in your backseat!



Reason #132 why Jon is an amazing husband: He shamelessly carries the pink backpack all around China since I am stuck carrying Meili all.the.time.

People were right; this zoo is amazing. The landscaping is beyond gorgeous and they let you do all kinds of things you would never get away with doing in the US. Like this red panda behind us; he is not in a cage. You literally could turn around and pet him if he would let you.


You can also feed the giraffes. I don't think Meili thought they were overly fascinating, but I loved them! And they don't have just 1 or 2, they had at LEAST 16 that we counted. They walk right up to you and eat out of your hands. We fed them a couple times, and I petted one on the nose.



We also went to the White Tiger show. They have at least 14 white tigers that we counted, plus several bengal tigers and about 5 lions; and those were just the performing ones. There were many others in their cages.


Occasionally they asked for audience participation. It made for quite a few interesting looks when the clown picked Jon! All the Chinese people stared and three other families from our group (who were seated on the opposite site of the arena) stood up and cheered! He had no idea what he was supposed to do since we don't speak any Mandarin, but taking cues from everyone else he figured out he was supposed to play tug of war with a Tiger.


They lost. But in his defense, I don't think those two Chinese girls were much help!

One of the plants in the park produces these gorgeous pinkish-red flowers. They look just like something straight out of "Horton Hears a Who." Meili loved them and carried hers around the entire visit.



I think this rabbit is wondering why on earth a grown white man would want his picture with him...


You can't see it very well in the picture, but we were looking at the baby tigers. That was another great thing about this zoo...they put all the babies out for you to see. There were several baby tigers and lions which were ADORABLE, some monkeys and lemurs, and several others. Meili did actually seem to enjoy the baby tigers.


And lots of baby bears! They also have zoo workers standing in many of the cages, and when someone walks up, they'll feed the animals or make them do tricks. You don't have to worry about walking around and seeing a bunch of sleeping animals. The baby bears would do just about anything for a treat and we also got to watch a whole exhibit full of monkeys fight for snacks. They even threw some in the water so we could watch them swim!


It really was a fabulous zoo. We walked slowly and took our time, so we only saw about half of it even though we were there for almost 5 hours. Meili didn't seem overly thrilled about any of it, but there were a few exhibits she seemed to like. And she definitely enjoyed having space to walk and run a little bit. We don't think she's probably ever seen any animals before, so it was probably a very unusual experience for her. If nothing else, maybe it will help her not totally freak out when she meets our cat.


Since we got back right about supper time, we decided to make things easy and get carry-out from the same Chinese restaurant we ate at the night before. We had Shiyan write down our favorite dishes in Chinese to improve our chances of actually getting what we wanted.


Barbequed pork, garlic broccoli and fried noodles with white rice = insanely delicious authentic Chinese.


Meili doesn't do well eating in restaurants or at the breakfast buffet at the hotel. She's way too distracted to concentrate on eating, and when she does eat, she makes a HUGE mess. We've been feeding her in our room instead. Usually what she gets is either rice cereal or oatmeal mixed with mashed bananas, yogurt, applesauce, or something like that. Yesterday she ate a LOT for supper, then before bed seemed ready to eat more so we let her have some extra. Then just before laying down she chugged a full sippy cup of juice. About 5 minutes after laying down she coughed a little and threw up most of the juice. We are REALLY hoping this was just because she ate/drank too much.

It was quite a sight trying to explain to housekeeping why we needed the sheets changed, especially since it was apple juice so didn't look like much other than a big wet spot. I tried pointing at her, then making puking sounds and motioning with my hands...I still don't think they knew what was going on, but eventually we got new sheets and FINALLY after a completely exhausting day and an hour past Meili's bedtime, we ALL got some sleep.



  1. Enjoying following your journey!

  2. Hang in there. I have ten kids and have fallen in love with each of them differently and not anywhere near instantly in some cases. My son, Joshua, still throws up after drinking too much juice. Once he did it at a Chinese restaurant after too much pineapple juice. And he is nine years old, home for 18 months. My daughter Joy is significantly delayed like your daughter physically and mentally. Hopefully your doctors at home will help you put the pieces together. Ours have for us in helping us understand how sick she probably was that first year of her life and what that would do developmentally. Our daughter is six and operating on a 2-4 year old level and the size of a 3-4 year old. But she IS learning and has potential. Sounds like your daughter does too!!!!!

  3. Thanks Jennifer! It's always good to hear from BTDT moms....I hope we can get things figured out once we're home too :)