This afternoon, we left our hotel in Jinan. While we're both excited to go get Isabelle, we're a bit sad at leaving Jinan behind. We have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves this week, and that makes it hard to say goodbye. But, I'm sure that we'll explore Guiyang some in the week ahead, and I want to make sure that I appreciate our time in Guiyang, because this will almost certainly be the only time that we'll ever get to be in Isabelle's birth province.
We ran into a few snags in getting to our flight this afternoon. First, we almost left Hallie's bottle at the hotel, which would have been an unmitigated disaster since that's the only way that we can get her to consume anything. It's the bottle that her nannie from the orphanage dropped off with her, and I don't know what we would have done if we had forgotten it. Thankfully, Kristie remembered that it was still in the refrigerator in our room as we were loading our luggage into the van. Then, at the airport, we were delayed in obtaining our boarding passes because Hallie's birthday had been incorrectly entered as being in 2008, and it took a while to sort that out. Then, we had to pay a fee of 490¥ because our bags were 20 kg over the weight limit. By the time we got in line at security, I was stressed because I thought that our plane was supposed to leave in about fifteen minutes. So, when we were held up again (I'm not even sure why this time), I really began to worry. We got through the check-point with ease, and then I hustles down to our gate. At that point, I realized at our flight was to depart at 16:45, not 16:00 as I had been thinking. And all this time, it was printed on our boarding passes! At least we got to our gate in time, but we again were delayed when we tried to get on the plane. There was some problem with Hallie's boarding pass, and while we're not exactly sure what the trouble was, we think that her seat might simply have been double-booked because they assigned us to a different row. But, we made it safely onto the plane.
Poor Hallie had a very hard time when she first boarded the plane. She didn't like the fact that the flight attendant made us put her in her seat and buckle her in (nor did we, for that matter), and she didn't like the pressure change during take-off. The poor thing cried pretty much the whole time, and she only settled down once Kristie was able to get her out of her seat and hold her. Then, she quickly fell asleep. She was really tired and probably a bit hungry, though she was so worked up that we couldn't coax her to take any of her bottle.
John had told us before we left Jinan that Lucy was running late and wouldn't be able to meet us at the airport, so the driver would take us to our hotel. Once we arrived in Guiyang, we gathered our bags and met the driver at the airport exit. She then ushered us up to the upper outside level, which meant taking a couple of trips up the escalator because the baggage cart wouldn't fit. Then, she asked us—through a series of hand gestures, since she doesn't speak any English—to wait there while she went and got the car. A few minutes later, she came back, looking frantically for her keys. Thankfully, she found them among our bags. She must have dropped them while helping us to get our bags to the upper level. I'm sure glad she found them! Then, she drove us over to our hotel, which is easily the most luxurious hotel at we've ever stayed in. It's almost like living in an Eastern-style European apartment. I don't think that we'd have ever booked a room in a place like this, but this is where our contact put us for this week, so we're going to enjoy it.