It felt like cheating...really, it did. But I ordered a single, grande, extra-hot mocha at Starbucks today. It was wonderful. And the warmed pain au chocolate? It was the perfect accompaniment. We sat under palm trees on Shamian Island and sipped from green straws and felt, for a bit, closer to home.
Today was a shopping day, a chance to find some treasures to take home. We spent most of our time in two stores. The first was filled with handmade goods, profits supporting programs for disabled children...particularly Mercy’s orphanage in Xinjiang. The other was a tiny hole-in-the-wall whose enterprising proprietor had flagged us down yesterday after church, and we had promised to peek in. Packed floor to ceiling with squeaky shoes, jade pendants on red silk cords, traditional outfits, and hanging scrolls, we enjoyed the shopkeepers even more than the fun merchandise.
A nearly three hour nap for sister made for a happy girl at dinner with folks from our travel group. This evening we walked to a Cantonese restaurant where our guide ordered family style for us. The conversation was sweet, and the unfamiliar dishes were delicious. Mercy tucked into the familiar ones -- glass noodles, rice , green beans fried with pork, and watermelon -- with tremendous gusto. We were thrilled that the giant turtle in the window was still there when we left the restaurant.
Tomorrow is our visa appointment...a big day for us all.